Mark  Broadus
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Our World Belongs to God 29

[This week, joining Pentecost and Trinity Sunday, "Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony" focusses this week on the Holy Spirit.  Paragraph 29 looks at what the Spirit seeks to do in the lives of individual Christians. 

Paragraphs 1-6: Preamble (April 11-29)
Paragraphs 7-12: Creation (April 30-May 8)
Paragraphs 13-17: Fall (May 11-15)
Paragraphs 18-22:Redemption (May 18-22)
Paragraphs 23-27: Jesus Christ (May 25-29)
Paragraphs 28-30: Holy Spirit (June 1-3)
 

Paragraph 29 (Today)
The Spirit renews our hearts
and moves us to faith,
leads us into truth,
and helps us to pray,
stands by us in our need,
and makes our obedience fresh and vibrant.
God the Spirit lavishes gifts on the church
in astonishing variety—
prophecy, encouragement, healing,
teaching, service, tongues, discernment—
equipping each member
to build up the body of Christ
and to serve our neighbors.

On the Spirit’s work of renewing our hearts, see Titus 3:4-7; moving us to faith, Romans 5:1-5; leading us into truth, John 16:13; helping us to pray, Romans 8:26-27; standing by us in our need, Hebrews 2:18; and making our obedience fresh and vibrant, Romans 8:1-11. On the Spirit’s gifts, see 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12:3-8.] 

 

What is your spiritual gift?  How and when do you exercise it?   These are questions that every individual Christian should know the answer to.  If you don’t know, that is nothing to be ashamed of, but you need to spend some time exploring to find out. “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

It is also very important that we note, that the first half of paragraph 29 is not distinct from the second half.  Rather, the church is at its best when the individuals, using their gifts, are Spirit-renewed, faithful, truth-seeking, praying, well supported Christians.  These helps of the Spirit are likewise “for the common good,” not merely for our own private spiritual growth.

I am very interested in how we each use our spiritual gifts in a time of physical isolation. That is not meant to be a guilt-producing statement. It is admittedly difficult. Gifts that can be exercised via the telephone (such as encouragement) may be easier to use than gifts which normally require hands-on (such has helping). It calls for some creative imagination, and perhaps a conversation with a wise friend, as to how to use your gift in the present circumstances.

Prayerfully consider the following questions:

One of my spiritual gifts is ______________________________________

This gift benefits the others by ____________________________________

One way I can use my gift right now is _____________________________________

Someone who would benefit from me using this gift is ____________________________

Today's song is "Father you have given" by Robert Critchley but I can only find the lyrics! Perhaps someone can point us to a recording, it is a beautiful song and very singable.

Let's again together pray this portion of the Nicene Creed:

We believe in one God,
      the Father almighty,
      maker of heaven and earth,
      of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
      the only Son of God,
      begotten from the Father before all ages,
           God from God,
           Light from Light,
           true God from true God,
      begotten, not made;
      of the same essence as the Father.
      Through him all things were made.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
      the Lord, the giver of life.
      He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
      and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
      He spoke through the prophets.

Amen.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you" (2 Corinthians 13:13).

Pastor Mark

PS - My online office hours on Wednesday will be from 11am to noon, and 1-2pm. I'll be there if you want to talk or just say hi.

 

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