The ‘Spirit’ [v174]

AUGUST 2013

The ‘Spirit’

Just a week ago, a non-profit I’ve been closely involved with for almost three years now, “LIFE REMODELED,” gave away a new house to a deserving family, the “Jeter’s.” It was the culmination of a week-long ‘project’ in a Detroit neighborhood that also renovated 36 other houses (new roofs, siding, windows, painting, stairs, etc.), boarded up over 150 vacant houses, and “beautified” 65 city blocks (removing blight, trimming trees, cutting grass, etc.).

[ If you are interested, here’s some pics, for each day, during the entire week of the ‘project’:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/liferemodeled2013/sets/
and here’s some videos: http://vimeo.com/liferemodeled/videos ].

This was an amazing success, showing the real ‘spirit’ of Detroit—especially just after the city declared bankruptcy the previous week! It seemed to only inspire more resolve in “Detroiters”—including ‘suburbanites’—to show the nation that efforts like “Life Remodeled” are going to be a big part of its ‘revival’.


In downtown Detroit, next to the Municipal Center, there sits a large bronze statue called “The Spirit of Detroit.” [ More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spirit_of_Detroit ]. The statue’s body represents man ‘lifting up’ the community. In his left hand, he holds a gilt bronze sphere with emanating rays that symbolize God, and all that is good in possessing faith. In his right hand, he ‘protects’ the family unit, which is representative of a strong city. The monument also includes the seals of the city and the county. A plaque in front of the sculpture bears the inscription, “The artist expresses the concept that God, through the spirit of man is manifested in the family, the noblest human relationship.”

The actual name of the statue emerged from the inscription on the wall behind it, which says: “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (that comes from the Bible, in the Book Of Corinthians).

Considered the ‘symbol’ of Detroit, it represents the ‘heart’, character, tenacity, passion, commitment, and faith in our city and its people—past, present, and future. Though, somehow we have lost our way as a city. We have lost sight of what really matters to our quality of life and to a strong Detroit.

Eyes from around the world are watching—wondering how we have ‘fallen’ so far  from being one of the most influential cities in the world, and if we will be able overcome the dysfunction in our government and the devastation in our neighborhoods, and whether or not a ‘transformation’ of Detroit is even possible.

Well, that’s what “Life Remodeled” was all about!—’transforming’ one family and a neighborhood at a time! [ FYI: Life Remodeled actually received the “Spirit of Detroit” award from the Detroit City Council ].

Over 5,250 volunteers committed their valuable time, energy, and finances to express their ‘spirit’ and commitment to making a ‘small’ positive change in the city of Detroit, and a ‘huge’ change for a single mom with two kids, and their new  neighborhood. Without Life Remodeled, the neighborhood would have probably been neglected and eventually abandoned. So now, after Life Remodeled, there’s a ‘new life’ in this neighborhood because of the ‘SPIRIT’ they’ve been shown.

That’s very similar to how the “Holy Spirit” of God ‘works’—He will ‘transform’ and ‘remodel’ you with a ‘NEW LIFE’!


In the Bible it says that, just before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He told is disciples that after He left, God the Father would send the “Holy Spirit,” that would lead them to all truth,  would dwell ‘inside’ them, and that they would receive ‘power’ when the Holy Spirit came upon them [John 14:16-17; Acts 1:4-8].

Jesus also explained that the Holy Spirit will be sent to guide us in our own spiritual ‘regeneration’: “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit” [John 3:8].

All of us have seen wind act with terrible force concentrated in a moment, such as with a hurricane or tornado, or push the America’s Cup boats faster than most power boats as they go racing across the ocean. On the other hand, the wind can also be ‘delicate’ and cool us off on a sweltering hot day.

As I mentioned previously, the “wind” is one of those things that we can’t actually see, but we see the ‘affects’ of it. The Holy Spirit is much like this. Often alluded to as a “wind,” He is unseen, but very ‘powerful’.

The Bible also does a much better job than I would in describing the Holy Spirit. Some of the ‘attributes’ or ‘works’ mentioned include: “inspiring,” “encouraging,” “interceding,” “liberating,” “illuminating,” “cleansing,” “convicting,” “regenerating,” “empowering,” “sanctifying,” “sealing,” “revealing,” “strengthening,” “indwelling,” “teaching,” “interpreting,” “guiding,” and “comforting.” Things I want and need!

So then, how can you ‘connect’ with the Holy Spirit?

Back in Biblical times, God came to us as a man, Jesus Christ, Who was God in human flesh. But now, God ‘comes’ to us through His Spirit, Who—although He is unseen—can be just as ‘real’ to us now as was Jesus to His disciples!

The Bible talks about the “filling” of the Holy Spirit. It can ‘come’ to you, at least in one way, as the result of simple prayer. In your own words, you can go to God and tell Him that you believe that His Son, Jesus, came to this earth to die for your sins and resurrected to give you ‘life’. After that, God will then send you the Holy Spirit to teach and guide you for the rest of your life.

A prayer might be something like this: “Lord God, I believe that Jesus is the propitiation for my sins, and I desire to be controlled by Your Holy Spirit. Here is my sin; I confess it and denounce it. I ask You to forgive me and come into my ‘heart’. I will now seek Your counsel. I’ll do what You tell me to do. Please live Your life through me, and I will depend on You every day, and ‘walk by faith’ by the means of Your Holy Spirit, to become more like your Son, Jesus.”

That’s it—the moment that you receive Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live in your ‘heart’. Your body then becomes the ‘temple’ of the Holy Spirit, and He helps you live the Christian life—conforming you more and more into the ‘image’ of Jesus.

After you take that ‘step of faith’ (…being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see” [Hebrews 11:1]), and ask God for repentance of your sins, the work of the “Spirit” of God in you will be ‘regeneration’—which is another term for ‘renewal’. The Bible says that, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit” [Titus 3:5].


During the rest of your life then, the Holy Spirit will continually “fill” you and aid you in producing “fruits” in your life—which the Bible refers to as, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” [Galatians 5:22-23]. Even though there will still be those people whom you may not be able to love easily, you will tend to ‘deal’ with them differently—since the Holy Spirit will give you the ‘power’ to love them. The Bible says that “love will be the greatest ‘evidence’ that you ‘know’ Jesus.”


As I said, as you ‘move through life, the Holy Spirit will continually teach, guide, and instruct you. It is the Holy Spirit who will be your helper and your educator. He is the one who opens up and talks to your ‘heart’ and mind. He is responsible for urging and directing you. It is His guidance that is going to help you better ‘appreciate’ Jesus and what He did for you.

If you let Him, the Holy Spirit can easily become a very valuable ‘friend’—a friend who will always be with you, always guide you correctly, and always be true to you. He will be ‘inside’ you every second of the day. All you have to do is reach out, take His ‘hand’ in yours, and ask Him to be your Friend. If you do, then suddenly you will have the most powerful ‘friend’ you can imagine right by your side day and night. A faithful and trusted Friend, Who is always ready to help, always ready to protect and defend, Who wants desperately to lead you to be more like Jesus, and a Friend Who will very willingly guide you, step-by-step, right into eternal salvation!

By the way, don’t think that the Holy Spirit is not as ‘important’ as Jesus or God the Father. Talking to His disciples, Jesus said this about the Holy Spirit: “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven” [Luke 12:8-10].

Whoa! I guess that the Holy Spirit is just the ‘person’ we all need—‘UNSEEN’ to the naked eye, but VERY REAL in the things He can do for one’s life here on earth—and for one’s ‘place’ for eternity!

That “assurance” I asked about earlier? Well, most have heard, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” [John 3:16]. But less of us may have heard these Scriptures related to eternal life:

“What shall we do that we may work the works of God? Jesus said ‘this is the work of God: that you believe on Him whom He sent’” [John 6 :28-29].

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” [John 3: 36].

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” [John 5:24].

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” [John 10:28-30].

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” [1 John 5:11-13].

Of course, there’s more, but I’m thinking that these would give anyone a good bit of ‘assurance’.


Does God’s Spirit dwell in you? If not, the Bible warns, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ” [Romans 8:9], and “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life” [1 John 5:13].


Let me encourage you to make sure of your commitment to Christ—then, thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit, Who will now live within you, and will help you ‘prepare’ for that UNSEEN, but very REAL ‘place’, where He is ‘preparing’ for you to ‘reside’ for eternity—Heaven!

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” [John 14:1-3].

Carpe Diem…and be ‘remodeled’ by the Spirit!


[ Excerpts from: Wikipedia; Benny Napoleon; Stuart McAllister; Margaret Manning; Jill Carattini; Billy Graham ]


[P.S.: If you would like to investigate how prayer can ‘connect’ you with the Holy Spirit, visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q12_d4_1of10.html


LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v174) for AUGUST 2013

If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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MIND’S EYE
[In my mind, I can see Your face
As Your love pours down in a shower of grace
Some people tell me that You’re just a dream
My faith is the evidence of things unseen]

In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye
In my mind’s eye, in my mind

You know what I’m going through
I know this is true
‘Cause You stood in my shoes
Desire’s inside of me
But it’s hard to believe
In what you cannot see

Can you catch the wind?
See a breeze?
Its presence is revealed by
The leaves on a tree
An image of my faith in the unseen

(chorus)
In my mind’s eye
I see Your face
You smile as you show me grace
In my mind’s eye
You take my hand
We walk through foreign lands
The foreign lands of life

In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye
In my mind’s eye, in my mind

In my mind I’m where I belong
As I rest in your arms
And like a child I hold on to you
In my moment of truth, yes I do

We can ride the storm
Endure the pain
You comfort me in my hurricane
And I’ll never be alone again

(repeat chorus 2x)

In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye
In my mind’s eye, in my mind

In my mind I can see Your face
Love pours down in a shower of grace
Life is a gift that You choose to give
I believe we eternally live
Faith is the evidence of things unseen
People tell me that You’re just a dream
But they don’t know You the way that I do
You’re the one I live to pursue

Can you catch the wind?
[Can you see God, have you ever seen Him?
I’ve never seen the wind
I seen the effects of the wind
But I’ve never seen the wind]
Can you see the breeze?
[There’s a mystery to it]

(repeat chorus)

In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye
[I see You there again]
In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye
[I know You’ll meet me there my Friend]
In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye
[I know You’re there, I can touch You there]
In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye
[I want You there, I need You there, I see You there, I know You care]
[And I believe, and I believe, and I believe]

[By dc Talk – from “Jesus Freak” album]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-yxNeCOqmk

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THE COMFORTER
Having thus explained the Spirit’s office as a teacher and advocate, we now come to the translation of our version—the Comforter; and here I shall have three divisions: first, the comforter; secondly, the comfort; and thirdly, the comforted.

I. First, then, the COMFORTER. Briefly let me run over in my mind, and in your minds too, the characteristics of this glorious Comforter. Let me tell you some of the attributes of his comfort, so that you may understand how well adapted he is to your case.

The Holy Ghost is a very loving Comforter…he is a faithful Comforter…Again, he is an unwearied Comforter…how wise a Comforter is the Holy Ghost…Then mark, how safe a Comforter the Holy Ghost is…Moreover, the Holy Ghost is an active Comforter…Then, to close up, he is an ever-present Comforter…

Your God is always near you; and when you need comfort in your distress, behold the word is nigh thee; it is in thy mouth, and in thy heart. He is an ever-present help in time of trouble…

[Charles H. Spurgeon]

Entire Sermon:
http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0005.htm

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HOLY SPIRIT, RAIN DOWN
Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down
Oh Comforter and Friend
How we need Your touch again

Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down
Let Your power fall
Let Your voice be heard
Come and change our hearts
As we stand on Your word
Holy Spirit, rain down

No eye has seen, no ear has heard
No mind can know what God has in store
So open up heaven, open it wide
Over Your church and over our lives

Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down
Oh Comforter and Friend
How we need Your touch again

Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down
Let Your power fall
Let Your voice be heard
Come and change our hearts
As we stand on Your word
Holy Spirit, rain down

[By Alvin Slaughter – Sung by Hillsong]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDUY6gMG2yM

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WELCOME, HOLY SPIRIT
Welcome Holy Spirit
We are in Your Presence
Fill us with Your Power
Live inside of me

Welcome Holy Spirit
We are in Your Presence
Fill us with Your Power
Live inside of me

Welcome Holy Spirit
We are in Your Presence
Fill us with Your Power
Live inside of me

So, welcome Holy Spirit
We are in Your Presence
Fill us with Your Power
Live inside of me

You’re the Living Water
A never drying Fountain
Comforter, my Counselor
Take complete control

Welcome Holy Spirit
We are in Your Presence
Fill us with Your Power
Live inside of me

Welcome Holy Spirit
We are in Your Presence
Fill us with Your Power
Live inside of me

You’re the Living Water
A never drying Fountain
Comforter, and Counselor
Take complete control

Welcome Holy Spirit
We are in Your Presence
Fill us with Your Power
Live inside of me

Welcome Holy Spirit
We are in Your Presence
Fill us with Your Power
Live inside of m

Welcome Holy Spirit
We are in Your Presence
Fill us with Your Power
Live inside of me

Welcome Holy Spirit
We are in Your Presence
Fill us with Your Power
Live inside of me

Fill us with Your Power
Live inside of me

Fill us with Your Power
Live inside of me

Fill us with Your Power
Live inside of me

[By Mark Condon – unknown singer]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Mi1e8q0HjA

******************************
CREATE IN ME
Create in me a clean heart, Oh God
And renew a right spirit within me
Cast me not away from thy presence, Oh Lord
And take not thy Holy Spirit from me
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me

[Song derived from Psalm 51: 10-12]

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DEEP THOUGHT(s):

“The Wizard of Oz says look inside yourself and find self. God says look inside yourself and find the Holy Spirit. The first will get you to Kansas. The latter will get you to heaven. Take your pick.”
[Max Lucado]

“Your call will become clear as as your mind is transformed by the reading of Scripture and the internal work of God’s Spirit. The Lord never hides His will from us. In time, as you obey the call first to follow, your destiny will unfold before you. The difficulty will lie in keeping other concerns from diverting your attention.”
[Chuck Swindoll]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.” [Romans 8:2-6].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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One Response to “The ‘Spirit’ [v174]”

  1. New ‘Identity’ | LIFE'S DEEP THOUGHTS Says:

    […] For more detailed info about the Holy Spirit, see this pervious “Life’s Deep Thoughts” posts: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-spirit-v174/ https://markbesh.wordpress.com/empowered-willpower-v207/ […]

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