What we missed about God’s love and the Holy Spirit

In a previous post Pastor Sharon shared some details about a fellowship we used to belong to. That fellowship used to believe that God was a family name with two separate Gods(Father and Son), and a force or power called the Holy Spirit that they used to do whatever they wanted to do. In my last post I shared what we missed about God’s love and Jesus. This one is about what we missed about God’s love and the Holy Spirit.

I’ll start with a few verses from the bible showing that the Holy Spirit is a person. The verses in John use words like He, someone and Friend, none of which apply to an “it”. The verse in Ephesians use the word grieve. A force or power cannot be grieved.

John 14:15-17 The Message (MSG)
15-17 “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!

Ephesians 4:30 The Message
30 Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.

In our former fellowship, we also didn’t know that the Holy Spirit is God. It’s understandable that thinking that the Holy Spirit is a force or power leads to the conclusion that the Spirit is not God. Here are a few verses showing that indeed the Holy Spirit is God. When Ananias lied the the Holy Spirit he lied to God.

Acts 5:3-4 The Message
3-4 Peter said, “Ananias, how did Satan get you to lie to the Holy Spirit and secretly keep back part of the price of the field? Before you sold it, it was all yours, and after you sold it, the money was yours to do with as you wished. So what got into you to pull a trick like this? You didn’t lie to men but to God.”

So far I would expect what I have said to be familiar with most, if not all the readers of the blog. But have you considered what the Holy Spirit shows us about God’s love? Lets start with what Jesus said about the purpose of the law(the old covenant).

Matthew 22:37-40 The message
37-40 Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

That old covenant was a witness that without God’s power, people would not, and indeed could not love God and their neighbor the way He wanted them to. Jesus was sent to mediate a new covenant based not on what people could do, but on what only God could do. No human works can pay the death penalty for sin or change human character. But God’s grace(His love in action) can do both. For the first there are those famous scriptures in the bible.

John 3:16-18 The Message (MSG)
16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.

God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

For the second, changing human character, God’s grace is not so well known. Without God, this is what we are, and no amount amount of human effort will change that.

Galatians 5:19-21 The Message (MSG)
19-21 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.

But the Holy Spirit is God’s love in action, just as much as Jesus was and is. Look at what He, and only He can do in us. If we repent of sin and give control of our life to Jesus, then our sins are forgiven. Likewise if we submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit he will change our carnal sinful character to Holy Godly character.

Galatians 5:19-21 The Message (MSG)
19-21 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.

One more example of God’s love involving the Holy Spirit. I had thought for years that Jesus went to heaven but we had the Holy Spirit with us instead of Jesus. But the scriptures add something else.

John 16:12-15 The Message (MSG)
12-15 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’

Jesus while he was on earth did the Father’s will not His. Likewise the Holy Spirit does Jesus’ and will not His own. What an act of Godly love! Jesus did not leave or abandon us. Through the Holy Spirit He’s is always with us.

In His love and service,

Pastor George

copyright 2020, Christ’s Disciples Ministry, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All rights reserved

Posted in Bible Study, celebrate Jesus, Christian Coping and Living, christian love, Christian Meditation, Christian Teaching, christian witness, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, Godly love | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What we missed about Jesus and God’s love

One of the things Pastor Sharon talked about in her last post was the beliefs of our former fellowship about God. They believed that the Godhead was composed of two separate Gods, Father and Son, and a power(not a being) called the Holy Spirit, that the Father and Son used to do whatever they wanted to do. As you may have guessed, Christians outside of that fellowship have different opinions about that church. Some thought it was Christian(but not by much), and others believed that it was not Christian at all. So what are the crucial beliefs for being a Christian? Those are who Jesus was, and what the Father sent Him to do, and why. I’m going to start with what we believed about Jesus. Scriptures are from The New International Version.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

From these scriptures, we understood that Jesus was God and man. And as God, His death on the cross paid the price of sin for all mankind. Because of these beliefs the church did not teach any form of salvation by works. They taught that salvation was from repentance from sin and faith in Jesus. My personal opinion is because of these beliefs, some considered us Christians. Others of course didn’t agree with that, and called us a cult. However, our understanding of Jesus and why He came to earth was way incomplete. Here are some verses about what we missed.

16 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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

These verses were seldom read. And when they were, the focus was on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. What was missing was the awesome, overwhelming love of the Father and of Jesus. Love was the reason they did what they did. Sin was not the only reason why Jesus came to earth. God, Father, Son, and Spirit(more about what we missed about Him next time) loved their human creation so much! Because of sin, which they hated, mankind who they loved so much, could never be with them. Who Jesus was, and what He did, made possible the eternal fellowship the Godhead longed for.

In His love and service

Pastor George

Copyright 2020, Christ’s Disciples Ministry, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved

Posted in Christian Coping and Living, christian focus, christian love, Christian Meditation, Christian Teaching, Christian Testimony, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, Godly love, Jesus, spiritual love | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is your fellowship spiritually toxic? How do you know?

Years ago, Pastor G and I were part of a fellowship that others thought was spiritually toxic. We scratched our heads and wondered why these people thought like that. You know me, I did some research into toxic fellowships and got infomation that for us did not prove itself out. We felt at home in our fellowship and knew we were loved by the brethren. It was a worldwide fellowship, and we knew we belonged anywhere we went. We felt we were spiritually free to do and be what God had for us to do and be. We kept moving foward spiritually until we hit what as for us was a literal dead end. We felt spiritually stifled and felt we needed to break free to learn what God had for us to learn. So, we left and continued forward to embrace God’s truth wherever He led us. You see, our former fellowship focused on God the Father and Jesus as a spiritual family. To them, God the Holy Spirit was a power and not a Person. We had much to learn and unlearn. God the Holy Spirit led us through many congregations to teach us the truth about Jesus and the Trinity. These congregations were also not toxic but incomplete in their understanding about the trinity and how God does things.

John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Spiritual family, all fellowships are varying mixtures of spiritual truth and spiritual error because not all men understand scripture or follow God the Holy Spirit and receive His power and anointing. It is our prayer that you will focus on God the Holy Spirit’s power and leading so that you can embrace the truth that can and will set you spiritually free.

John 8:32  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Spiritual hugs and blessings,
Pastors George and Sharon Billington

copyright 2020, Christs Disciples Ministry, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved

Posted in Christian Meditation, Christian Obedience, Christian Teaching, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, God's purpose, Godly love, Jesus, Spirit Led | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Holy Spirit on Pentecost, what did they expect?

Looking backwards in time at that Pentecost(knowing what we know), it’s easy to assume that the disciples knew what was coming. The scriptures show that their understanding was incomplete. Let’s start with what they learned fron Jesus the night before He was betrayed.

John 13:34-35 The Message (MSG)
34-35 “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

Jesus gives them the command to love each other in the same way that He loved them. We don’t know what went through their minds when they heard this. Did they believe that they could do this by their own efforts? After all that’s the way that they were expected to obey the law, the covenant mediated by Moses at Mount Sinai. While Jesus was speaking to them, He told them a number of times about someone who was going to be sent to them.

John 14:15-17 The Message (MSG)
The Spirit of Truth
15-17 “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!

John 14:25-27 The Message (MSG)
25-27 “I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

John 15:26-27 The Message (MSG)
26-27 “When the Friend I plan to send you from the Father comes—the Spirit of Truth issuing from the Father—he will confirm everything about me. You, too, from your side must give your confirming evidence, since you are in this with me from the start.”

John 16:4-15 The Message (MSG)
4-7 “I didn’t tell you this earlier because I was with you every day. But now I am on my way to the One who sent me. Not one of you has asked, ‘Where are you going?’ Instead, the longer I’ve talked, the sadder you’ve become. So let me say it again, this truth: It’s better for you that I leave. If I don’t leave, the Friend won’t come. But if I go, I’ll send him to you.

8-11 “When he comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control; that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted.

12-15 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’

This someone who Jesus called The Friend and The Spirit of the Truth would be sent, from God the Father, who they didn’t know existed before Jesus revealed Him to them. Now they were hearing about someone else referred to as the Friend and the Spirit of Truth. This someone would be sent by Jesus, and by the Father. Did this seem a contradiction to them? Please understand that they were just starting to learn that there is one God in three Persons.

So what did they make of what Jesus told them? That the One to be sent was a spirit, not a man. They knew that God’s holy angels were spirits. But no angel ever did the things that Jesus told them The Spirit of the Truth would do. No angel was ever called a friend to humans. No angel ever revealed all the things mentioned in John 16: 8-11, please read those verses again. No angel was ever inside a man or woman. And although there is mention in scripture of angels guiding someone to a physical location, they did not guide people to the truth. To us it may seem that the answer is obvious. The Friend, the Spirit of the Truth couldn’t be an angel, so He had to be God. But that’s because we did not grow up with an incomplete understanding of the Godhead. But they had no time to think it over, or to ask Jesus questions about these teachings. Spiritually major events starting happening fast, one right after the other. Jesus was arrested, He was put on trial, condemmed to death, and executed. Then a few days later while they were still in shock over these events, He was resurrected! What did the disciples make of all that?! We’re going to pick up the story again just before Jesus asended into heaven.

Acts 1:6-11 The Message (MSG)
6 When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?”

7-8 He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”

9-11 These were his last words. As they watched, Jesus was taken up and disappeared in a cloud. They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly two men appeared—in white robes! They said, “You Galileans!—why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly—and mysteriously—as he left.”

Even at the very end of Jesus’ ministry on earth, His disciples were trying to understand what God would do based on their incomplete understanding of what Jesus had taught them. Their question in vs6 was about the physical. In other words, would Jesus declare Himself king? Would He free the land of Judea from the Roman Empire? Would this physical kingdom be a place of peace and prosperity? The answer was no, they would get something much better, spiritual blessings! They would receive the benefits of God’s love.They would receive the Holy Spirit, and witness about Jesus. People would be spiritually freed from sin and spiritually blessed.

John 3:16-18 The Message (MSG)
16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

And finally this is what the disciples learned and experenced from the Holy Spirit(read Acts 2 for details). They learned
that the the power of The Holy Spirit could do what they could not. They could could not preach like that by themselves, must less convict anyone of sin, much less have them repent and accept Jesus as their lord and Savior, but the Holy Spirit could. Only He, the Helper, could make it possible for them to be and do what God wanted them to be and do.

In His love and service,

Pastor George

copyright 2020, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, Christ’s Disciples Ministry, All Rights Reserved

Posted in Bible Study, celebrate Jesus, Christian Coping and Living, christian focus, Christian Meditation, Christian Spiritual Counsel, God the Holy Spirit, Godly love, Spirit Led, spiritual unity | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Divine Attitude, How Father, Son And Spirit interact

Have you ever wondered how the members of the Trinity interact with each other? That’s the subject of todays blog. Jesus is the one most Christians know the best, so let’s start with Him. Jesus was fully God in addition to being fully human, as God and man let’s look at the ways in which He was willing to serve the Father.

Philippians 2:5-8 The Message (MSG)
5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

John 12:45-50 The Message (MSG)
44-46 Jesus summed it all up when he cried out, “Whoever believes in me, believes not just in me but in the One who sent me. Whoever looks at me is looking, in fact, at the One who sent me. I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark.

47-50 “If anyone hears what I am saying and doesn’t take it seriously, I don’t reject him. I didn’t come to reject the world; I came to save the world. But you need to know that whoever puts me off, refusing to take in what I’m saying, is willfully choosing rejection. The Word, the Word-made-flesh that I have spoken and that I am, that Word and no other is the last word. I’m not making any of this up on my own. The Father who sent me gave me orders, told me what to say and how to say it. And I know exactly what his command produces: real and eternal life. That’s all I have to say. What the Father told me, I tell you.”

After Jesus finished serving the Father in His ministry on earth, He spoke of another member of the trinity who would be serving both Himself and the Father. Look at how beautyfully this scripture illustrates how the three members of the Trinity serve each other.

John 14:26-27 The Message (MSG)
25-27 “I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

Here’s a scripture about the Holy Spirit(who is God), not doing His will but serving Jesus.

John 16:13-15 The Message (MSG)
12-15 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’

How does the Father serve Jesus? By honoring and glorifing Him. Indeed, the members of the Trinity give glory(honor) to each other.

John 11:4 The Message (MSG)
4 When Jesus got the message, he said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.”

John 12:27-28 The Message (MSG)
27-28 “Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’”

A voice came out of the sky: “I have glorified it, and I’ll glorify it again.”

Here’s something else to think about. The Holy Spirit honors the Father and Jesus in the ways that He helps Christians to serve and give glory to Them. As christians we are to serve God and each other. Please consider these last two scriptures in that light.

Galatians 5:13-15 The Message (MSG)
13-15 It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?

1 Thessalonians 1:7-10 The Message (MSG)
7-10 Do you know that all over the provinces of both Macedonia and Achaia believers look up to you? The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore—you’re the message! People come up and tell us how you received us with open arms, how you deserted the dead idols of your old life so you could embrace and serve God, the true God. They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom.

The members of the Godhead serve each other out of love, there is no pride or self serving in them. God wants believers to serve Him and our brothers and sisters in Christ in the same way.

In His love and service,

Pastor George

copyright 2020, Christ’s Disciples Ministry, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Coping and Living, christian love, Christian Meditation, Christian Unity, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, Godly love | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s love and the believers obedience.

Probably the best known expression of God’s love is about His Son Jesus. Here it is.

John 3:16-17 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

But did you know how Jesus wants us to express that love? It’s by obeying what He commanded us.

John 14:21 (NKJV)
21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

John 15:10 (NKJV)
10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

There is a connection between obeying God and being in His love. Just as Jesus did the will of His Father, and abidied in His love, we are to do what Jesus commanded us so we can abide in His love. And what is the role of The Holy Spirit and God’s love and obedience in our lives?

John 16:13-14 (NKJV)
13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

Romans 5:5 (NKJV)
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.

Jesus came not to do His will but the will of the Father, and by doing so He showed us a way to abide in God’s love. Likewise The Holy Spirit does not come into our hearts to do His will but to make it possible for God’s love to be in us. Do you know how God wants us to express that love? It’s by obeying the command(or lead or prompting if you prefer)of the Holy Spirit. Consider these examples of obeying The Holy Spirit in Paul’s ministry.

Acts 13:1-2 (NKJV)
13 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Acts 16:6-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.

The bible clearly shows that to be in God’s love, you need to obey Him. God will no accept love without obedience, nor will He accept obedience without love.

In His love and service,

Pastor George
Christ’s disciples fellowship. 2020

Posted in Being Christlike, Christian Choices, Christian Coping and Living, christian love, Christian Obedience, Christian Teaching, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, Godly love, Jesus, Spirit Led, submission | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What was the joy set before Jesus?

The title for this blog is from the letter to the Hebrews 12:2. here’s the full verse.

Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

When I was younger, I didn’t understand why the day of Jesus’ death was called Good Friday. How could His death be anything good? Since then I have learned that His death paid the death penalty for sin. That those who accepted Him as their Lord and Savior(including me), would have their sins forgiven through His sacrificial death on the cross. But that didn’t explain this joy that so motiviated Jesus to endure the pain and shame of the cruificiation. Lets look at what the Apostle John wrote about this.

John 3:16-17 (NIV)
16 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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

1 John 4:9-13 (NIV)
9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit.

The joy that Jesus was looking forward to, came from the love that He, the Father, and the Spirit have for us. For them the prospect of us being with them forever is joyful. Yes it was necessary for Jesus to give his life to pay the death penality for our sins. But that was only the beginning. For Him, the pain and shame of that temporary experience was as nothing compared to the joy of us being with Him forever.

In His love and service
Pastor George

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How has God touched your life?

Have you heard His voice? Have you literally felt His touch? Pastor G and I sure hope so. We know Him this way and pray that we can help expand your knowing Him, too. We are preparing to hold a series of meetings about God the Holy Spirit once we are given the “all clear” in the wake of this corona virus plague and we are excited to share our experience and information with you.

Years ago, we asked God if we could know Him better, and He graciously honored our request. He first started with Pastor G literally hearing His voice and conversing with Him. We had been newly ordained as spiritual leaders, and Pastor G worked outside the ministry as an OTA (occupational therapy assistant). Things were tough in the field, and he had to travel an hour and a half each way to and from work. One day he came home to tell me that he and Jesus had talks while he was commuting. You can imagine my response. I looked at him like he was “losing it” and was from another planet. He kept sharing what they discussed, and I became convinced that what he said was really happening. Today, we both hear His voice and have truly meaningful spiritual talks.

Having left the fellowship we had belonged to for more than 20 years, we searched for a new church home. We attended various fellowships from Methodist to Pentecostal and discovered that each had much to teach us. We discovered our best “fit” was with the Pentecostals. We attended an Open Bible fellowship for quite a while. I looked forward to services and absorbing what God had for us. One Sunday morning, we were preparing to be seated when I felt a whole-hearted smooch on my left cheek. I looked around and saw no one standing on my left side and realized that kiss was from God the Holy Spirit. You know when teens interact with celebrities and say that they will never wash that hand (or whatever) again? That’s how I felt, knowing that He kissed me. Emotionally, I floated through the service, loving what had happened. As you can see, to this day, 20+ years later, I still remember.

Through the years, God literally told me what to do in various circumstances. The most recent one was a few weeks ago, when I heard the name of a woman in the neighborhood where we moved from a couple of years ago. Seems like she needed food, and God wanted us to bring it to her. Pastor George and I asked when to do this, and we heard “NOW!” So we went shopping for her and delivered the food. She had an urgent need. The visit also turned into an opportunity to witness to her, since she is not yet spiritually His.

Praise God for using us as His instruments! May He use you as well.

In His amazing love and service,
Pastor Sharon

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Posted in celebrate Jesus, christian focus, christian love, Christian Meditation, Christian Obedience, Christian Teaching, Christian Testimony, christian witness, friendship with God, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, spirit of a sound mind, walking with God | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV) To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:

For most of the last three months I have been led by God the Holy Spirit to reblog previous posts. This was a different season and purpose that God had for me. I had never even reblogged before. Now the leading of the Spirit is to blog new posts.

The posts on this blog are about God’s love. Witnessing that God is a loving God,  a Holy God, an all powerful God, and an eternal God all at the same time.  They are about God the Holy Spirit who lives in us, and that through Him, Jesus and the Father live in us. They also witness that God is able and willing to do what we cannot do. No amount of human works can pay the penality for our sins.  Jesus can, if we repent and accept Him as Lord and Savior. No amount of human works will change our carnal nature, but God the Holy Spirit can, if we allow Him to change our character to be like Jesus our example.

It is the frequent prayer of Pastor Sharon and myself that God’s people would give control of their lives to God. He has a purpose and seasons for the life of every one of His people. That purpose cannot be manifested by our human efforts.  Only God can do that. and Pastor Sharon and I can tell you the He does!

 

In His love and service,

Pastor George

Copyright 2020, Christs Disciples Ministry, All Rights Reserved

Posted in celebrate Jesus, Christian Coping and Living, christian focus, Christian Meditation, Christian Teaching, Christian Testimony, christian witness, Following Jesus, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, God's holiness, Godly love, walking with God | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Pastor George’s encouraging words from the Word 9/11/2016

Life is Tough, But God Always Makes a Way

Isaiah 54:17 (NIV)

17     no weapon forged against you will prevail,
    and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
    and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.

A Christian’s life is a difficult one. Jesus did say that His disciples would have to carry their own cross.  He wasn’t referring to a small, light object that is on a piece of clothing or on a chain around the neck. Crosses were large and and very heavy. It took quite an effort to carry them. Today, as Jesus’ disciples, His servants, some of the spiritual weight we have to bear is from attacks against us, whether from flesh or spirit. What this means is that we will have to endure a certain amount of suffering and loss. Be encouraged, our Lord is faithful and true…

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