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Summary: 50 DAYS TO PENTECOST - part 5

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I like putting together puzzles. I use a simple strategy to put the picture together. I begin by sorting through the hundreds of pieces to find all of the edges to put the boarder together. Next, I will sort the pieces into groups with similar colors or patterns, then I begin to putting it all together (often through trial and error). Finally, after days of work the final piece is put into place and the picture is complete.

Oh wait, I do one other thing on a regular basis throughout the process of putting the puzzle together. Can you guess what it is? I frequently look at the picture on the box in order to see how the pieces are supposed to fit together.

Imagine for a moment putting a puzzle together without any reference to the original picture as a whole. What would it feel like to be given hundreds of pieces to join togther without knowing what the end result was going to look like. The task would be just a little overwhelming.

Sometimes living the Christian life may seem a little overwhelming¨Clike putting a puzzle together without knowing what it¡¯s supposed to look like. You may sometimes feel that all the pieces are coming together, only to one day discover perhaps you¡¯ve been looking at it upside down.

God doesn¡¯t want you to be overwhelmed; He has shown us how the pieces of the puzzle fit together. How many of you know what the Christian life looks like? In a word the Bible shows us that our lives should be lived like Jesus; anyone who claims to be a Christian should ¡°walk as Jesus did¡± (1John 2:6 NIV).

For some an overwhelming task just became an impossibility! That¡¯s good! God does not intend for you to try to live like Jesus on your own; it¡¯s not up to you to try harder or make better promises.

THE HOLY SPIRIT PUTS THE PUZZLE TOGETHER. The primary purpose of the Holy Spirit living in your life and mine is to enable us to live like Jesus in our day to day lives¨C to be ¡°Jesus with skin on.¡± The Holy Spirit knows what Jesus looks like and will reproduce the life of Christ in us as we yield or submit to Him.

Over the last four weeks we have been looking at the role of the Holy Spirit within the lives of believers. If we¡¯re not careful, we may look at what the Holy Spirit does in our lives as ¡°pieces of the puzzle.¡±

¡ñ Overcome temptation, one piece.

¡ñ Baptism in the Holy Spirit, a second piece.

¡ñ Staying filled with the Spirit, a third piece.

¡ñ Walking in the Spirit, a fourth piece.

¡ñ Today¨CWorshiping through the Spirit, a fifth piece.

These are not pieces of the puzzle for us to try to put together; the work of the Spirit in our lives is not a pile of puzzle pieces for us to figure out. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE ONE WHO PUTS THE PUZZLE TOGETHER. Rather than being pieces of the puzzle, these are ways the Spirit puts the pieces of our lives together to make us like Jesus!

As we focus today on worship, understand that worship is not another piece of the puzzle being worked into our lives. The Holy Spirit enables us to worship to make us like Jesus.

Don¡¯t think of worship as just a piece, instead think of worship like the tiny lines you see through out a puzzle that has been put together. Worship joins the pieces together into a whole. Worship is not just a part of our lives; it is to be the essence or totality of our lives in Christ.

+ Romans 12:1 . . . offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. (NIV)

Worship should not be an event; worship should be our lifestyle. Everything we do should become an offering of worship to the Lord.

+ Hebrews 13:15 . . . let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess [Christ¡¯s] name. (NIV)

The Holy Spirit is working in our lives to reproduce the image of Christ in our lives. The Spirit does not just want to make us a worshiper; the Spirit wants to make us into a worshiper like Jesus.

Perhaps you may have a hard time thinking of Jesus, the Son of God as a worshiper. Jesus loves the Father and set an example of worship throughout His life.

+ Luke 10:21 Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.¡± (NIV)

If Jesus exalted the Father through worship, then how much more should we? How can we become a worshiper like Jesus? That¡¯s the simple question to answer¨Cwe yield to the Holy Spirit and let God do His work in us to reproduce Jesus in us.

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