Summary: What are the best ways to appropriate the fact that God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit’s renewing, guiding and illuminating love? Too many people take for granted the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Some people are scared of
1. What are the best ways to appropriate the fact that God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit’s renewing, guiding and illuminating love?
D.L. Moody said, "Everytime I get up to preach I ask God to light me on fire with the Holy Spirit. People always come out to watch a person who is on fire."
Too many people take for granted the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Some people are scared of being labeled a fanatic so they hardly ever speak about Him. Others try to ignore the Spirit by taking the responsibility of appreciating the riches in the love of God only with their intellect.
The process of personally appropriating the love of God requires both an active and passive response. Our efforts cannot take the place of the Holy Spirit’s ministry of teaching us about the depth, length, breadth and height of God’s love. (Eph. 3:14-20)
We need to take an active role in studying and meditating on the scripture, but we have to wait on the Spirit to pour out His illuminative understanding of the meanings of God’s love.
Too many people err on the side of being too active or too passive in regards to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
A teacher is called to describe the meanings and applications of love, but it is the Spirit’s job to open your eyes to understand how personal that love is.
Our job is to point people to the work and words of Christ, but it is the Holy Spirit that makes His work and message precious to one’s soul.
It is the teacher’s job to explain the message clearly but the Spirit’s work to make it dear to a person’s soul.
It is your responsibility to drink from the living waters of God’s word every morning but it is the Spirit who cleanses, nourishes and energizes you.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you balance your active responsibilities with your ability to rely on the Spirit to teach, renew, heal, restore, direct, and enable you to bear fruit in every good work while assisting you to grow in your knowledge of God.
2. Paul taught the Romans how to receive the gift of God’s love and to rely on the Spirit to help us bear up in any difficulty. Do not think it is enough to do one without the other. It is our job to hope in God, but the Spirit’s responsibility to fill us with God’s power, purpose and love. It is the Spirit that successfully helps us counteract any negative with God’s positives.
3. Paul taught the Romans how to perceive adversity correctly and to allow the Spirit to fill us up with everything we need through His love. It is not enough to just correctly perceive truth. We must spend time praising God and praying that the Spirit will fill us to overflowing with whatever we need. When we are weak, He makes us strong. When we are tired He gives us strength.
Application: When we are fearful He gives us courage. When we are lonely He becomes our best friend. When we are attacked He protects us with His might.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you balance your responsibilities to perceive and to receive all of the Spirit’s loving gifts.
4. It is harmful to claim the natural or moral power to appropriate God’s love forgetting the free grace of the gift of the Spirit. Most of us like to take credit for how far we have come. However, Paul taught the Romans to praise, thank and acknowledge the fact that God’s love is freely poured our in our hearts by grace. \
Application: Our maturity depends on a balance of trust and obedience. Like the old song says,
“Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” Some of you are more like Martha who are hyper-active.
Others are too much like Thomas, hesitating to act until all the assurances are provided.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you balance out your active and passive responsibilities. Learn to syncretize your trusting and obeying to maximize your contribution to Christ’s kingdom and righteous priorities.
song: Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.