July 17 2016

THe Spirit-Filled, Charismatic Christian

As a young man having just placed my faith in Christ….there were a lot of things that were confusing to me.    One of the things that confused me was the topic of “Charismatic gifts”  

A friend of mine went to a church that he referred to as “Spirit Filled”.    The implication was that HIS church did what the Holy Spirit told them to.    That HIS church was different than the one that I went to (and WAS’T Spirit Filled)…in that MY church was kind of dry, and dead…..and wasn’t “Spirit Filled”.  

I began to question my faith a little bit…and it really made me wonder.    

I’m afraid that a lot of people today may have that same confusion in regards to what it means to be a “Charismatic” church.        The word “Charismatic” comes from the word “Charis” – which means grace, and “mata” which means “gifts”.    So the word “Charismatic” is referring to “Grace Gifts”   -- or Spiritual Gifts” .      The “Charismatic Movement” really began in the early 1900’s….with an emphasis on speaking in tongues, and other visible signs of the Holy Spirit moving.   

It’s also been a bit of a wedge issue—there have been churches divide over it.     Many people think that to be “Charismatic” means to exhibit the visible, exciting sign gifts…..while we tend to forget about other ways and gifts in which the Spirit moves among Christians.   

I think we need to look at what it means to be “Charismatic”.  

Let’s look at what Paul has to say regarding listening to the Holy Spirit.     

Read 1 Thess 5:19-28

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July 4 2016

It is Well

What is the will of God?    We see some final commands in the last half a chapter here.   THIS is how a Christian is to live out their faith among hardship and persecution.   

Look at Paul’s commands in 1 Thess 5:16-17

·        Rejoice always

·        Pray without ceasing

·        Give thanks in everything

That sounds so trite, doesn’t it?       

Are you going through  a tough time in your life?    Having difficulties?   Maybe sickness?  Marital issues?   

Suppose you go to a counselor….maybe you come to see me…..

You come into my office…sit down to talk to me…..and you POUR out your feelings to me……..and what do I do? 

I just say….”Be happy…PRAY MORE…give thanks”……because this is God’s will.  

That SOUNDS so trite and lame, doesn’t it?   Oftentimes….there is a tendency to view religion as the thing that you kind of….sorta…..fall back on if everything else fails…don’t we?    

The apostle Paul had not had an easy time in life.    His life is not the example of what a televangelist would tell you is your “Best Life Now”.    

If you were looking for a reason to believe in Jesus…..Paul’s life would not be one we would want to lift up as the IDEAL experience….

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