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The Gift God Gives


Encounter: Open your Bible to John 14 and read one time through verses 16-21, 23-24, and 26. Now write these verses down in a notebook or journal. Write at the top of your page the request, “Lord tell me about the Holy Spirit?” and then write these verses as a response to your request. Listen to how God speaks to you through these words.



This past week I listened to a podcast of Richard Foster, the founder of Renovaré, sharing about what motivated him to write his most recent book, Learning Humility: A Year of Searching for a Vanishing Virtue (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rv4DQQeves&t=485s).


In a society where raging narcissism dominates the moral landscape, the virtue of humility is often dismissed as irrelevant…Richard insists that humility is central to the journey toward character formation and spiritual transformation. For this reason he decided to spend a year studying the virtue of humility.


As I listened, I sensed God making the connection of the virtue of humility with living in relationship with the Holy Spirit in our ordinary days. Actually Richard emphasized the only way we will become like Jesus is through humility at the core of how we live our lives. It is like a child listening intently to their parents and living the blessing of obedience. The child receives the peace of being open and responsive and the parents pleased by their desire to do so.


Our new series, Holy Spirit Here and Now, begins this Sunday and more than just a lesson on humility, we begin here because our hearts need to be open and looking for more in our relationship with God. We have been inspired by Trevor Hudson’s book with this name because it fits perfectly with our Life with God studies. Trevor writes, [we] are tired of superficial, shallow, and secondhand faith. We long for intimate interaction with the living God…to know the fire of God’s presence burning in our hearts…to know that unless God becomes a living reality we might as well throw in the towel…if we do not experience God’s life within us, our Christianity often deteriorates into a lifeless system of dreary rules and empty rituals.


What if the gift that God gives is all Jesus says it is? “Loving me empowers you to obey my word. And my Father will love you so deeply that we will come to you and make you our dwelling place…“I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!”


We invite you to see this series as an opportunity for God to reveal Himself personally and more than anything else, the Holy Spirit wants you to know you are infinitely loved by a good and loving God whose human face we have seen in Jesus Christ. And when the gift is received and when those who follow Jesus are open, filled and empowered, “The Spirit creates space for us in the worldwide body of Christ so that we might all work together, connects us to one another at the deepest levels and then draws us out of ourselves to love others as Jesus did (Trevor).


Yes, the gift is available and leads to Abundant Life. He continues to pour out more and more grace upon us. For it says, “God resists you when you are proud but continually pours out grace when you are humble.” (James 4)


Come Holy Spirit,

Pastor T


Reflect: As you read the passages in John 14, notice the connection between God making His home in us through Holy Spirit and being empowered to live the Way of Jesus through humility, teachability, and obedience.



Spiritual Practice: Go back through the verses you wrote down in your journal and reflect on your relationships and what is in your soul in relationship with God. Ask God to help you see and understand where He is calling you to love Him by obeying His teachings. Are there places in your life that you are experiencing peace because this is so? Write down what you hear Holy Spirit impressing upon your heart, mind and soul.



Gather: Share any part of your reflections and spiritual practice with those in your small group or with a friend. Keep asking, what does it look like to be led by the Holy Spirit in our ordinary day.



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