Summary: How the Spirit uses the word to teach, reprove, correct and train in righteousness
Theme - The Spirit shows His power through the reproof, correction, teaching, and training with the scriptures.
Why does the preaching of the scriptures continue to produce changes in people’s hearts? There are many issues in the Bible people say they do not understand. But, there are many things in the Bible that everyone should not misunderstand. However, the Spirit takes the word of God and infuses into it powerful messages to its hearers. The Spirit miraculously changes the way we look at people. It gives us discerning eyes to see past the superficial actions of people. Wherever the apostles went their preaching produced supernatural results, unlike some preachers today. The Spirit enabled them to deliver contextualized messages that brought deliverance from the powers of darkness. The apostles preached with the full power of the Spirit behind their spoken and written words. The Bible is the only book by which you may know the future. It is the only book that satisfactorily answers the vital questions of life: "Where did I come from? Why am I here? What am I to do? Where am I going?" Let the correcting ministry begin within your mind, will, and actions. To the one who admits his errors, God commends.
Question - What hinders us from speaking the truth with the Spirit’s power?
Prayer - Lord, help us speak your word in the power of the Spirit and not relying on our own insights.
Feb 2nd 2 Cor. 4:1-6
Theme - The Spirit’s ministry not only involves communication skills, but confrontational ones as well.
Why are many educated people too reliant on academic persuasions to invoke change? Many educated men carry their knowledge like a watch - not for display but for their own use. The highly educated use knowledge like a fortress against the world. Knowing our limitations is the first step to overcoming them. Knowledge tends to make one arrogant, but love edifies writes Paul in I Cor. 8:1. Most corrections come by confronting sin and its consequences, Jesus inferred. The Spirit is the one who can convincingly challenge people with sin, righteousness, and judgment. Perhaps, many formally educated people prefer the gentle, logical, and organized approach to truth. Others, seem to incorrectly recognize the Spirit’s working only through miracles. Paul’s ministry of the Spirit did not always rely on persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the power of the Spirit. Paul’s ministry involved titanic confrontations with the spirits of Satan. He knew that the devil continually tries to blind the minds of the unbelievers and the carnally minded. Since the devil is smarter than any man, it is futile to try to outwit him. Instead, the Spirit gives us the power to overcome the devil and his tricks if we will only use it
Question - What are the ways that we can use more of the power of the Spirit in our lives and ministries?
Prayer - Lord, help us to not rely on academic persuasions alone, but more on the power of your Spirit.
Feb 3rd John 16:8-11
Theme - The Spirit acts as a prosecuting attorney convicting all of sin.
What are the means that the Spirit uses to bring conviction? Conviction is a word that means proving the guilt of an individual or organization. The Spirit uses knowledge to convict us. For example, the best remedy for conceit is to sit down and make a list of all the things you do not know. By His firm persuasive techniques the Spirit discloses to every person, their errors, shortcomings, and sins of omissions . The Spirit makes it clear there is gap between people’s realities and the ideals found in Christ. He points out inconsistencies between their words and their actions. By convincing the world of the righteousness found in Christ, the Spirit warns people of the impending judgment awaiting those who reject the truth. As a prosecuting attorney, the Spirit exposes incriminating evidence against everyone for wrong words, emotions, and actions. He uncovers hidden thoughts of anger, jealousy, and covetousness. Each person’s conscience is pricked in areas that are sensitive to guilt, shame, and fear of punishment. The Spirit is not limited by cultural barriers in discovering sin. Do not let your hearts grow calloused to His convicting and correcting ministries. Nothing is more harmful to a new truth than an old error. The recipe for perpetual ignorance is to be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge.
Question - What are the problems of growing cold to the convicting ministry of the Spirit?
Prayer - Lord, help us to stay sensitive and responsive to the Spirit’s convictions.
Feb 4th ……
2 Cor. 2:14-17
Theme - The Holy Spirits gives Christians attractive powers.
What makes a person attractive? A beautiful heart more than offsets the handicap of a homely face. Any person can appear glamorous. Do not judge a person by the clothes he wears. God made one, the tailor made the other. People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a smiling face. It takes the remaking of the Spirit to make one beautiful. When the Holy Spirit controls our lives He produces fruits that draw others to us. By arousing interest through the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control, He produces a desire in others to know Jesus Christ better. Constrained by the beauty of Jesus shining through Spirit filled believers, thousands have come to salvation through another’s life testimony. Through this magnetic pull many are delivered from the attractions to the world, the flesh, and the deceits of the devil. He makes all things beautiful through His Spirit. Others are drawn by the magnetic powers of the Spirit’s love. Though some may be repulsed by the aroma of Christ, others will be drawn closer to Him, as we exhibit the fruit of His Spirit. Express the pleasant sensations of the Spirit’s joy, love, and hope to everyone we meet. The surest sign that a person is not great is when he tries to appear that he is. The Spirit makes one truly great when one is truly loving.