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.

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