ENABLED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT WE TAKE CHRIST TO ALL PEOPLE BY LOVING GOD, NEIGHBOR, AND SELF.
Enabled by the Holy Spirit
Enabled by the Holy Spirit
We can get ourselves very confused when it comes to thinking about the Holy Spirit.
Genesis mentions the Spirit of God hovering over the
Wouldnt that be the Holy Spirit?
How does the Holy Spirit enable us to do anything?
God builds into us talents that He knows He can use for His purposes.
We are like store houses of talents for God to use whenever and however He chooses.
These God-talents have value to God and may not always be recognized by us or by others as valuable here in the world.
God uses the Holy Spirit at the right time and place to bring out these God-talents stored in us and use them to further Gods plan.
The effort we need to make is to tune in to the presence of the Holy
Spirit. To put it in not-so-elegant terms, the Holy Spirit is always
all around us like radio waves.
We need to tune in our thinking and awareness to the Holy Spirits presence.
We do that by learning how God is and who God is.
We can not know how God is and who God is on our own in this current world.
God knows how this current world works.
He also knows that the only way we can ever know Him while we are in this current world is if He tells us about how He is and who He is.
God tells us how He is and who He is through the Bible.
That is why it is so very important for us to read and study the Bible.
Again, the current world does not want us to know how God is and who God is, so that is why it is so difficult for us to carve out that part of ourselves, our day, our thinking to spend time and resources reading and studying our Bibles.
The effort we have to make is to resist what the current world wants us to do. God has given the current world great power over us and it takes a determined effort on our part to resist the current world, read our Bibles, get to know how God is and who God is, and be tuned into the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
The current world is making an effort to push us away from God while God, through the Holy Spirit, is making a constant effort to bring us back to Himself.
Gods Holy Spirit can and will bring us and others back to God if we will only make the effort to know how God is and who God is.
We take Christ to all people
The medicine has the power to heal, but is not able to do its work
until we actually take the medicine and absorb it into our bodies.
Once we receive Christ into ourselves and our lives,
then we can be enabled by the Holy Spirit to take Christ to others.
Another image for receiving Christ is that of receiving a gift
(Christ is, after all, a gift from God).
· The gift is offered
· You must decide that you want to accept the gift
· The gift is given
· The gift only becomes yours when you accept and receive the gift.
You know how we are when we receive a really good gift like a new power tool or a computer game:
· We push all the other gifts aside
· We tear open the packaging
· We examine the contents
· We read the instructions (unless it is a power tool, then guys just naturally know how to use it)
· Then we find ways to use it
o We spend time with it
o We invent projects that require us to use it (tool)
o We call up friends and talk about the details of it (game)
How can we take Christ to all people?
How can we take Christ to all people as a congregation/church?
Why should we take Christ to all people?
In what ways can we, as men, express this idea of loving as we have defined it?
By Loving God
This is all that God has chosen to tell us about Himself,
but this not all that God is. There is much, much more to God.
There is a lot of mystery surrounding God.
There is a lot of stuff about how God is and who God is that we do not know.
Is God trying to hide something from us?
No, God is not like us.
God reveals to us only what He knows we need to know about Him
and only what He knows we are able to handle.
God knows us and He knows our capacity to know Him is limited.
In fact, God knows what capacity each of us has to know how He is and who He is and He reveals Himself to us according to that individual capacity.
Our knowledge and understanding of God is unique to us and therefore should be developed individually by us with help from the Holy Spirit.
We can use input from others of their impressions of God, but in the end
we should develop our own relationship with God and understanding of how God is and who God is based on what God has given us to do that.
Does God, as you define him, have a place in your life?
If so, what is that place?
Is that place central or peripheral?
Is God a constant resource for you in your daily activities
(Guiding Principles: Pray, Accept, Listen, Serve)
or do you only call upon Him in times of crisis or stress?
God is with us ALL of the time.
God wants to be a central part of our lives.
God will be there when we call, even if we only call upon Him
in times of crisis and stress, but God really wants to be and can be
more in our lives
When God seems distant, it is not because He has moved away from us,
it is because we have moved away from Him.
By loving neighbor
What are some ways you can minister to your neighbor?
Start with yourself which should be a natural starting point for all of us.
By Loving Self
In some ways these traits may be self-preservation tactics or what
might be described as survival instincts. We are expected by
ourselves and others to be bread winners. Many times,
when we feel the pressure to perform, we may use these traits to
cover up or hide our inadequacies. We put our trust in ourselves so
we can be in control of our lives, our relationships, and our world.
Who better to be in control and to trust these things to than ourselves?
How do we love ourselves?
If loving self translates into being in control, then what happens when we find our lives, our relationships, and our worlds out of control?
If we are honest with ourselves, despite our best efforts, we find that many times our lives, our relationships, and our worlds are out of control?
Our worlds are full of things we can not control: weather, traffic, wives, children, girl friends, investments, gas prices, just to name a few.
When we find ourselves in one of these out-of-control situations, who or what do we turn to for help? Usually we will turn to people and things that are closest to us: our parents, our friends, our wives, our girl friends, food, alcohol, drugs; almost anything we can think of to make ourselves feel better.
Men, in general, are not comfortable feeling out-of-control.
Lots of times though, we find that the people and things we turn to and are closest to us do not have the power to help us get back in control.
It is at this juncture we, as Christian men, should know that we can turn to God and Jesus Christ as the ultimate resource. In fact, it may be a distinct possibility that these out of control times in our lives are Gods way of reminding us just who is in ultimate control of our lives.
However, we can only tap into this resource if we make God and Jesus Christ one of those people and/or things that are closest to us.
God wants to be one of those close things in our lives.
God wants to be a resource to us that we can turn to when we feel that things are out of control.
How will loving self help us to take Christ to all people?
Maybe we men need to re-define how we translate loving self.
Maybe our translation of loving self needs to change from ourselves being in control to asking God to be in control.
Putting God in control of our lives takes a lot of trust.
We need to let go and let God.
We need to get to know how God is and who God is so we can learn that God is big enough to be in control of our lives. God can do it.
Once we learn to trust God with our very lives, God will reveal himself to others through us. God will provide those situations and opportunities for us to take Christ to all people. As our small group Bible study theme states, God will use us in His plan to love, and bless, and save the whole world. That is a pretty awesome plan and a pretty awesome task.
Our God is an awesome God. God sees us as being pretty awesome, too. As God tells us in Psalm 139, we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. The Bible tells us that His plan will prevail despite all of the natural and cosmic forces arrayed against us in this world.
In the end, God wins.
We as men can be winners too if we will allow ourselves to be
ENABLED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.