Summary: We are in our series on Core Values. Core Values are the DNA that define who we are, what we are in infancy and in greatness. What God has called us to be. They are not just creeds on plaque or notes in book somewhere. They are the essence of who we a
Power & Presence of the Holy Spirit
16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
Zech. 4:6 So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.
We are in our series on Core Values. Core Values are the DNA that define who we are, what we are in infancy and in greatness. What God has called us to be. They are not just creeds on plaque or notes in book somewhere. They are the essence of who we are, if you were to describe our church in 12 words, the core values would be it. The core values we’re going to be speaking of for the next few months are establishing a foundation for New Mercy Community Church – Prayer, Holy Spirit, Evangelism, Equipping, Relationships, Love, Family, Sound Doctrine, Character, Excellence, Worship, and Missions. Today we’re going to talk about the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
ILLUSTRATION: HALF-EMPTY – Speaking to a large audience, D.L. Moody held up a glass and asked, "How can I get the air out of this glass?" One man shouted, "Suck it out with a pump!" Moody replied, "That would create a vacuum and shatter the glass." After numerous other suggestions Moody smiled, picked up a pitcher of water, and filled the glass. "There," he said, "all the air is now removed." He then went on to explain that victory in the Christian life is not accomplished by "sucking out a sin here and there," but by being filled with the Holy Spirit.
ILLUSTRATION: MISSING MOTOR – Sometime back the Associated Press carried this dispatch: "Glasgow, Ky.--Leslie Puckett, after struggling to start his car, lifted the hood and discovered that someone had stolen the motor."
ILLUSTRATION: IRA YATES – Come with me into West Texas during the Depression. Mr. Ira Yates was like many other ranchers and farmers. He had a lot of land, and a lot of debt. Mr. Yates wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage, so he was in danger of losing his ranch. With little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on a government subsidy.
Day after day, as he grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills. Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.
At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large. In fact, 30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day. And Mr. Yates owned it all. The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he’d been living on relief. A multi-millionaire living in poverty. The problem? He didn’t know the oil was there even though he owned it.
It is fair to say that you and I are a lot like Mr. Yates at times. We are heirs of a vast treasure and yet we live in spiritual poverty. We are entitled to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and his energizing power, and yet we live unaware of our birthright. We gather today to remember how rich we are.
We must remember that Pentecost in the Jewish tradition commemorated the giving of the law at Sinai. What the disciples experienced when they were all together and the Spirit came upon them was nothing less that the release of the law of the Spirit of life, replacing the old covenant law of sin and death. But, Pentecost was also a time of the celebrating the first fruits, a harvest festival. This experience of the disciples was only the first fruit of the outpouring of the Spirit, and we must consider, “What will the outpouring of the Spirit look like in our day as we get closer and closer to the Lord’s return?”
A tremendous amount of confusion and controversy exists about the Holy Spirit today. You can visit churches today were people experience hysterical laughter said to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, or you can go places where people fall down on the ground, where they even growl like animals...all in the name of the Holy Spirit.