The role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian is a central matter of Christianity. The Holy Spirit is the Christian life. The question isn’t, “do you have all of the Holy Spirit,” but rather, “does the Holy Spirit have all of you? ” Are you fired up about the Lord like you once were? Find out what you can do to live a more Spirit-filled life.
We Wait for the King
We’ve been given an immense responsibility. We have time, resources, and abilities. The King expects a return on His investment. Have you stopped to consider all that God would give if you would steward what He gave initially?
We Bring Gifts to a King
Before the Wise Men could offer their gifts and worship to Jesus, they had to do a few things. You too must prepare yourself to adore Him. Find out how to recognize the King, verify that He is worthy of your loyalty, and present your gifts unashamedly. As you allow Him to fill your heart with abundant joy unrelated to your circumstances, coming to adore Him will never be the same.
We Bow to the King
Have you bowed? This is not something you want to be foggy about. You can either bow before the King of Kings willingly today or forcefully in eternity. In other words, you have to get the second life during the first life or you’ll get the second death after your first death.
He came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God” (Luke 1:28–30, esv).
Mary was just a regular human being. She wasn’t full of grace; she needed grace. She wasn’t sinless; she was a sinner, just as all of us are. The reason she said, “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:47) was because she, too, needed a Savior. Even in this amazing passage from Luke 1 where we first meet her in Scripture, we see her perplexed and “greatly troubled.” We see her freaked-out afraid in the presence of the angel Gabriel. We see her expressing real doubts—“How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34)—like any regular person would ask.
But here’s all that matters. We also see her finding “favor with God.”
And finding favor with God makes everything else okay.
Make the favor of God your focus, and everything else will fall into place. Please God with your life, and you’ve found what’s key. The Bible doesn’t say Mary found favor with her parents or with her fiancé or with her neighbors. Those are all fine things to do. But when you’ve found favor with God, you’ve found everything.
Now it doesn’t mean everything in your life is going to be perfect as a result. Is that what it meant for Mary?
Mary found favor with God, but it didn’t mean her husband wasn’t pretty misunderstanding of everything that was happening. Mary found favor with God, but it didn’t mean her Son wasn’t going to be born in a barn. Mary found favor with God, but it didn’t mean she wouldn’t experience some lonely times when Jesus left home, going off to dedicate His life in service to His Father. Mary found favor with God, but it didn’t mean this Son she loved wouldn’t be hated and rejected and beaten and crucified before her very eyes.
Finding favor with God doesn’t mean everything becomes wonderful and rosy and beautiful and bright. But here’s what it does mean. It means God Almighty has laid His hand upon your life, and He is going to use you for His eternal purposes.
It means having ongoing hope—hope that you can overcome all the obstacles you’re facing.
I promise you, Mary is having a great day today. She hasn’t spent one minute bemoaning what a rough plan God laid down in front of her when He sent His messenger to Nazareth, telling her she would be the mother of her Savior. God is fully capable of rewarding those He has favored, those He has placed His hand upon to use.
And if you, like Mary, are faithful in this hope, you won’t need to wait until eternity before being able to look back without resentment toward the hard things He took you through. As one who’s found favor with God, you can thank Him and praise Him right now for all He’s allowed in your life, knowing He’s working something special in you.
God’s favor isn’t easy, but God’s favor is good.
It means you’ve put all your hope in the only right place.
Lord, thank You for the promise that You will make all things right. Thank You for the assurance that all those You’ve redeemed through Christ will spend eternity with You. But thank You for providing a way for me to experience Your favor even now, despite the difficulties I’m facing. Help me look to You above all others, especially above myself, knowing You are the sole source of my life and my hope. I come in the name that is above every name, the name of Jesus. Amen.
We Welcome Kings
In the lows of difficulty and despair, Christ offers you hope for your hopelessness. In the highs of feeling like you don’t need Jesus, He gives grace for your strong will. He is a Savior who levels the ground between the mountains and valleys in your life and guides you as you prepare your heart for His triumphant return. Listen and find out how to get ready to give Him a welcome fit for a King.
Do you know Jesus Christ? People who have known Christ for some time will be stirred up by way of remembrance with a deeply refreshed gratitude of the good news. If perhaps you don’t know “Him” yet, this message will help you understand what it means to be “saved” by the Savior.
God is a God of immense holiness and infinite transcendence. He is not like us, and we don’t have a parallel with which to describe him fully. In this message, Pastor James MacDonald walks us through the four throne room scenes of Scripture found in Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Revelation and our response to His Holiness.
The application of biblical authority means you can’t just do what you want.
Biblical authority is not failing at the point of intellectualism, it is failing at the point of individual application. Never has the Bible been so readily available, yet made so little difference in the way people live. Its applications are many and will surely be rewarded. This message from Psalm 19:7-11 covers the various facets of Scripture applied.
2 Peter 1:12-21
Scripture Is True • Lay the foundation of your faith here, because from it, you have everything. The Bible is the final authority and it has been confirmed by eye witnesses, written without human origin, inspired by the Holy Spirit. In this message, we will address fallacies regarding the Bible.