Holy Spirit

As we focused on 1 Thess. 5:19 today, we had a portion of the time worshiping the Holy Spirit.  One …

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Empowered by the Spirit

But when the Father sends the Counselor as My representative–and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit–He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I Myself have told you.  –John 14:26 (NLT)

Jesus Christ was an amazing example for the disciples to follow as they learned how to be on mission to tell the world about the grace and love of Jesus Christ.  As Jesus ascended into heaven, He told the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit to come over them because Jesus knew that the Spirit would serve as a guide and a teacher in His physical absence.

During the Jewish feast of Pentecost, the disciples got what they were waiting for.  The Holy Spirit, the presence of God Himself, took up residence inside ordinary bodies – their bodies.  The disciples immediately hit the streets with a bold new style that the world has never recovered from.

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The Empowered Church

02 - The empowered Church

 

Week 2 in our study of Acts and we come to see what the empowered Church looks like.  What could happen when the Spirit of God radically changes lives in a congregation?

One of my mentors, Chuck Lawless, once taught me that the scary thing about many people is how much “ministry” they could actually do in their own power.  Natural talents and gifts could be so visible that it appears that God is blessing something when in actuality, maybe it’s just worldly success.  It could be simple influence.

I don’t want to settle for influence.  I want the Spirit of God.

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The Clueless Church

The Clueless Church.001

I’m teaching through the Book of Acts this semester.  I’m not teaching at Lander this Spring, but I am teaching a survey of sorts.  I’m teaching it in 3 places: 1) College group at our house on Wednesday nights, 2) worship team practices on Wednesday nights, and 3) this blog.  I will be sharing some insights here weekly.

I’m teaching on Acts for a few different reasons: 1) it’s a book of the Bible, 2) it’s really good, 3) we are tragically neglecting the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and 4) I have never known such a time as then when Christians were more confused concerning what the Church really is.

We are clueless to what the Church really is.

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The Spirit & Salvation

What a passionate and eclectic day of worship today.  We went everywhere from gospel to a capella and about everything in between.  Last week, we had nothing but an acoustic set from the floor, this week, we had about everything else!

We were very blessed to have One Heart help lead us in worship this Sunday.  Peggy is a part of our normal worship team, but she also sings with an a cappella group called One Heart.  Becky and Beth were gracious enough to join us for our worship this Sunday.  As we focused on the Holy Spirit, I asked them to do a medley of Spirit songs.  I don’t think they had ever sang that arrangement until this morning, and it was so fantastic.  What a way to welcome the Spirit’s presence.

Got to see some sights from last week’s Shake-n-Shine camp and hear stories from Jeff.  Such an incredible mission-focused summer (Africa girls get back tomorrow).  Jeff’s message on the Spirit was so refreshing.  Baptists need to “remember” the Holy Spirit.  Unfortunately, he is the often neglected member of the Trinity.  This message was a powerful reminder of the Spirit’s work in salvation.

Today, we worshiped to:

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The Holy Spirit

What a great, unexpected, turn-at-every-moment day with North Side!  As we were gathering for soundcheck this morning, the power went out completely out in the worship center.  With flashlights going and people scrambling, it appears that all the AC units in Greenwood on non-stop decided to take out our air and electricity at 8:40 Sunday morning.

So, what is a worship pastor to do?  I got the right people working on getting it back on, and I gathered the worship team in the commons area outside the worship center.  I told them we would either do things acoustic in the dark or out in that open area with no AVL or we would try to setup up shop in the gym.  But in the moment, we just gathered round some acoustic instruments and began to worship.  I have actually planned for a more acoustic service later this month to worship like our family is over in Africa, and thought maybe God wanted it earlier.  In our prayers, we didn’t pray for the power to come back on, we just wanted to be obedient in however God wanted to teach us this morning.

At about 9:20 when people were gathering to go inside the doors, our team was singing “I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it, when it’s all about you, all about you, Jesus,” and then the lights came on.  We went into the room with people finding their seats, plugged in our instruments, got a camera feed up so we could watch our baptisms, and started the service on time.

I say this a lot, but today is one of those days I don’t think anyone truly understands how serious I am about this: our worship team is amazing.  They are incredibly flexible, no one was running frantic, no one seemed frazzled, no one was rude to one another, we just each did our part and God decided that we should have power back at that time.  And as everyone came prepared, the services went off great without anyone able to see anything that would have said there was no run-through that morning.  I am honored to work with such great people.

Today, we worshiped to:

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The Anointing of Jesus

What a great morning.  The boys normally go to soundcheck with me, but birthday boy Obadiah was extra rowdy on the drums this morning.

It was such a powerful time of worship today at North Side.  I can’t begin to tell you how much the Holy Spirit united the service today.  There are times when we plan elements together and it’s great to watch them fall, and then, today, I listened to Jeff preach his sermon and use words that were verbatim of the last song we were going to do after his message on Mary anointing the feet of Jesus.

I figured he had looked at the flowsheet and studied the lyrics, but something also told me that maybe this was a God orchestrated thing.  Turns out he didn’t know what the lyrics of the last song were, but as he preached in his message about “focusing on the gift instead of the Giver…Giver of every perfect gift…being satisfied in only Jesus…”  It was wild.

Today, we worshiped to:

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