Summary: Why are we dependent on the Spirit for renewal? He renews with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Only His renewal makes us sufficient for life’s challenges.
Theme - We are continually dependent on the Spirit’s ministry of renewal.
Why are some believers lacking a fresh sense of cleansing, hope, and love? Freedom from sin’s oppression requires a continual application of the Spirit’s grace.
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." Without the Holy Spirit’s power we are like that car without its engine. Associated Press.
Freedom - no word was ever spoken that has held out greater hope, demanded greater sacrifice, needed more to be nurtured, or required the filling of the Spirit. Some Christians have disregarded the renewing ministry of the Spirit.
By restoring our mind, body, and emotions, the Spirit recharges us with new vigor. We are continually dependent on the Spirit to resupply our energy, motivations, and visions.
He constantly reinvigorates us with a fresh supply of strength, hope, and faith to complete the Father’s will. While vigorous young men may grow weak and tired yet, those who wait on the Lord are renewed like the eagles. They will can run and not grow tired though given tremendous responsibilities. As we cannot live on old food or stale bread, so the Spirit makes the word fresh, nutritious, and satisfying every day.
Take time out to experience the Spirit’s refreshments at least three times a day. Pause to read the scriptures and pray over its reviving words. Let the Spirit initiate changes in your thinking. Believe God for constant improvements in your relationships and ministries. He constantly seeks to make all things better. He makes all things new. Otherwise you may find yourself growing weary and heavy-hearted.
Resisting the Spirit’s renewal ministry is the beginning of self-destruction.
Question - What are some reasons people grow tired and quit advancing in the Christian life?
Prayer - Lord, help us to look to the Spirit for our renewal.
Theme - The Spirit gives us signs and wonders to testify of the greatness of God’s power.
Why is there so much confusion about the purposes of the Spirit’s signs and wonders? God has promised supernatural power to all ages.
1. The Spirit of power is the engine that drives the heart of great people. He seeks to demonstrate His power through means that are most effective in every culture.
2. The Spirit’s signs and wonders are given to help persuade all men to come to the knowledge of the truth. To confirm the greatness of God’s mighty, authority, and power, He uses the Spirit to perform miraculous signs and wonders. Do not limit God by your narrow perspectives.
Nothing dies quicker than a great idea in a closed mind.
3. God distributes gifts according to His will, not by human reasoning. Human logic will only take you so far. The Lord persuades men through His power, truth, and love. He is still giving signs of healing, miracles, and wonders in His church today. Many of these may not be visible to every seeing eye, but may be done in the quietness of people’s hearts and minds. If the signs and wonders confirm the truth of God’s word and the characteristics of Christ, they fit the criteria found in today’s passage.
Do not criticize the Spirit’s working through vision, signs, and wonders or you may find yourself opposing God.
A narrow mind and an open mouth usually go together. Jesus said, "He who is not against me is for me." (Luke 11:23)
Question - What are the ways that we can determine if a sign is given through the Spirit of God?
Prayer - Lord, help us to trust You instead of any sign, miracle, or wonder. God, help me to trust you for the Spirit’s empowering even when circumstances turn against me.
Theme - The Spirit puts an intense measure of urgency in our preaching, teaching, and counselling ministries.
Why are some people unable to persuade others to change their minds about the truth? Faith does nothing alone - nothing of itself, but everything under God, by God, through God. The Spirit miraculous demands a positive response when God’s truth is contextually presented. Millions of Hebrews went to hell because they hardened their hearts during their testings in the desert. Many Israelites saw God’s wonders, but quickly focused only on their hardships. Life’s success is always a matter of perspective. Trials can either improve or wreck our beliefs. The choice for happiness is ours alone.
The Spirit reminds people of the alternatives to accepting truth. The Israelites faltered, disobeyed, and grumbled in their unbelief against Moses. So, God made them wander hopelessly in the desert for forty years. Most died without seeing the promises of God fulfilled. Though they could look at the promise land, they could not enjoy its bounty. All of their suffering, misery, and deprivation will be shared by anyone who rejects the prompting of the Spirit.