Category Archives: HOLY SPIRIT

WHAT? A CHRISTIAN? WHO IS THAT? 051315

[The following is an excerpt from the Kairos Talk: A Christian]

Silhouette illustration of a man praying under the lightWhen we follow Jesus, we learn to love, because Jesus is in our hearts. We begin to see with Jesus’ eyes, and hear with Jesus’ ears, and feel with Jesus’ heart.  We’re not struggling to love others, to love ourselves and to love God, because Jesus’ Spirit is inside our hearts loving others through us.

So how in the world do we reach the point of having Jesus live His eternal life in us?  We have to give up.  We have to quit trying to do good and do right and never make mistakes.  If you finally get that message, that you can’t do it on your own, you can’t do it in your own power, you cannot possibly be good enough to satisfy God, and you accept the gift of Jesus’ death on the cross, and surrender yourself to Him, THEN you can start the journey of following Jesus.

Here’s the central message of this talk.   We’re all a bunch of pieces of manure.  We stink.  And what’s worse, we’re not getting any better.  It’s not hard to see that without God we’re not going to make it out of here alive.  And I don’t mean this prison.  I mean this life, my life, your life, in this world.  The only way we’re going to make it is if we humble ourselves and accept Jesus as our Savior, and start letting Jesus live His life in us.

A CHRISTIAN: 051215

concepts of the fruits of the Spirit as from Galatians 5:22

This is the first part of the Kairos talk, A CHRISTIAN: I call it “How to Quit Struggling and Start Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk.” Luke 9:23-24, says, “If anyone would be My disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”  Just so you’ll know; the word disciple means follower.  So if you want to be a follower of Jesus, what do you have to do?  Three things: 1] Deny yourself, 2] Take up your cross daily, and 3] Follow Jesus. Continue reading

CHOICES. 050815

Fork roads horizon with grass and blue sky

The introductory talk in the Kairos program for the brothers in white in the prison is called ‘Choices’.  The person chosen to make this talk (in fact all talks in Kairos) is given certain points to make during the talk, but there are two basic guidelines for every talk.  1] Write it and give it in your own words, and 2] give a personal testimony that relates to the subject matter.  While in Kairos we are primarily concerned with talking to the participants about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, in the ‘Choices’ talk, we are specifically directed NOT to say anything about God or religion or the Bible in this talk.  We just want to get them to think, to think about themselves and their past, to think about how their past choices have affected their lives.  It’s like parents raising their children.  In order for the child to grow up to be a responsible, productive citizen, on a natural level, they need to understand the principle of cause and effect.  “If you do this, this will happen; if you do that, that will happen.”  If we do good things, good things will result.  If we do bad things, bad things will result.  Continue reading

WALKING IN GOD’S GRACE.050715

[The following are excerpts from a Kairos talk called “Walking in God’s Grace”.]                  Religious Words on Grunge BackgroundI wish I could tell you that living the Christian life, after you really commit to God, is going to be easy, that you’re going to feel God’s presence every day, more and more; that you’re going to be obedient, that you’re not going to do anything stupid, that you’re going to trust God all the time, that you’re going to love everybody and they’re going to love you; that there’s going to be a steady shining light in your life all the time and no more darkness.  Sorry, it’s just not going to be all sweetness and light, because we’re all still a bunch of sinners.

Let’s say that because of this Kairos weekend, everybody here has made a commitment to Jesus.  We’ve had good food and good fellowship; we’ve felt God’s unconditional love through the brothers, both those from inside and those from outside the prison; and we’re excited about the prospect of going back out in the world to share Jesus with other people out there in the dark.  How are we going to do that?  We can’t.  Why can’t we?  We’re heard the message; we’ve accepted it; we’ve made a commitment to Jesus; and He’s definitely made a commitment to us (to each one of us).  So what is holding us back? Continue reading

DELIVERANCE TO THE PRISONERS . 050515

Abandoned Jail in TallinnIn Luke 4:16-20, is the story of when, shortly after Jesus returned from His temptation wilderness, He first appeared in the synagogue at Nazareth to announce His ministry.  It goes like this: ‘And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

In a number of places in the New Testament, Jesus says that those who believe (trust) in Him will receive the Holy Spirit (That’s Jesus’ Spirit), like John 7:39; John 20:22;  and Acts 1:8; I take these verses to mean that because you and I trust Jesus, His Spirit lives in us too, and the passage in Luke quoted above applies to us, just as it applied (applies) to Jesus.  We too are to proclaim deliverance to the prisoners.   Continue reading

JESUS, THE CENTURION AND THE SICK SERVANT. 042615  

ColossiansIn Matthew 8:5-13, is the story of the Roman centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant, and Jesus said, “I’ll come.”  The centurion responded, “You don’t need to come; just give the order, and he’ll be healed.  I know this because I am a man under authority (I understand authority).  When I tell one of my men to do something, he does it, no questions asked.”

Jesus was totally impressed.  He said, “I tell you the truth, this man has more faith than anyone I’ve seen, even in Israel.”  Continue reading

Hey Bud, Whatcha Lookin’ At? 042415

" Don't judge a book by its cover " written on a blackboardIn 1 Samuel 16:7, God says to Samuel, “The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

When I was a little kid in the 50’s, television just came to our town, there were two stations, Channel 11 and Channel 13.  Channel 11’s slogan was, “Hey Bud, Whatcha’ Lookin’ At?  Channel 11, Good Lookin’!”  In those days just having a program on at all was a fascinating prospect.  At first the TV didn’t even come on til about 5:00 PM, and stayed on only til after the 10:00 news.  How much things have changed.  It was a much simpler time, not nearly so complicated.  They had a show called “Father Knows Best” which was a family style sit-com; and in those days a lot of people thought father really did know best.  We’ve all had to make a lot of adjustments since then, just to try to keep up. Continue reading

WATCH OUT! 042315

Der Wolf im SchafspelzMatthew 7:15-16 says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are vicious/ferocious wolves. You will know them by what they do.”  This is Jesus talking, in the Sermon on the Mount.  He goes on to say that good trees bear good fruit, bad trees bear bad fruit, and people are the same way.  Beware means “be warned”.  Watch Out! Continue reading

Works of Righteousness. 041215

Ephesians 2.8In Ephesians 2:8-9: Paul says,“For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

And in his letter to Titus, in chapter 3, verse 5, Paul says again,  “ .  .  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,”   Did you get that?  It is not by any works, not by any deeds we have done, or by any special actions we have taken, that God saves us.  Particularly not by “works of righteousness”, meaning good things we’ve done to make God like us. 

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TRIBULATION BUILDS CHARACTER.031815

Sad Student with the Book“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”   James 1:2-4

“We also glory [rejoice] in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  Romans 3:4-5  When I was a little kid, my Momma used to say, often, that tribulation builds character.

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