God is Love

A Personal Pentecost

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 Paul in Ephesus

19 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Acts 19:1-2

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The Holy Spirit

When Paul came to Ephesus, he “found some disciples.” They clearly knew about Jesus and had been baptised in water. Yet something seemed amiss. Paul was concerned to learn that they had never even heard about the Holy Spirit. They hadn’t experienced the Spirit for themselves and didn’t know what they were missing!


Paul knew from his own life what a difference the power of the Holy Spirit had made. Paul knew that God’s Spirit changes lives in countless ways, with a revolutionary impact. So he laid hands on these Believers, and “the Holy Spirit came on them” (Acts 19: 5-7). Their lives would never be the same!

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Reminder

Years later, the Ephesian church needed to be reminded about their ongoing need to be filled with the Spirit. Even though they had been saved and empowered by the Spirit in the past, they needed to continue to be filled with His presence (Ephesians 5:18).


Many Christians today need a similar reminder. Some have been born again, but have not experienced their own personal Pentecost. They don’t realise all that the Spirit can accomplish. Others have forgotten about the ways the Spirit can help us.


Today, on this Pentecost Sunday, Believers throughout the world celebrate the day the Holy Spirit fell on the church in Acts 2. What a wonderful day for you to be renewed in your relationship with the Spirit of God.


Be filled anew

Seek to be filled anew with the Spirit. Seek to be more sensitive to His leading, that His fruit and gifts might operate through you. That He might empower you, in new ways.

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Prayer

Father, I seek anew to be filled with Your Spirit. May Your Spirit fall on me afresh. Change me by Your Spirit. Empower me. Guide me. Use me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Holy Trinity, 0 comments

Everything in it’s time – Love

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Most of us are naturally impatient and do not like waiting for anything. In this world, in these uncertain times, we face many dangers, trials, unstable economies, war, diseases, starvation, relationship problems, financial distress, the list goes on… however, our expectations are seldom met, often changed by things completely out of our control, and so, we are often forced to spend time reflecting on what might have been. I pray this post will help you discover the joy of waiting for everything to come in it’s right season.

God’s timing Ecclesiates 3:1-8
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To watch a video about God’s perfect timing, please click here.

A Time to Love

In the ever uncertain world we live in, there is one thing that is lacking the most – Love. Jesus’ greatest commandment is to love; love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind and to love your neighbour (each other) as you love yourself (Matthew 22:36-40). If everyone lived by this commandment wouldn’t the word be a far better place?

Love, however, is a word that is overused, misused, bantered about, cheapened and corrupted by a world filled with greed, lustful desires, a corrupt secular world. Sometimes, the mention of love assaults (and sometimes offends) our senses from popular songs, advertisements, promotions—screaming in our minds and pressurising us from every direction. Most dictionary definitions focus mainly on love in the sense of great pleasure in something or a sexual attraction and relationship between people. 

The ancient Greeks had several definitions of love. The four most commonly used are:

Eros – a sexual passion

Philia – deep friendship

Storge – love of parents, children and families

Agape – the love of God for man and man for God.

Try describing agape love? What did you come up with? Any description you came up with will fall short of how strong, deep and pure agape love truly is. God’s love is vast, immeasurable, unfailing, everlasting and far beyond our human understanding. God IS love (1 John 4:7-8). God’s love extends to everyone who has ever and will ever walk the face of the earth, whether they believe in Him or not, whether they’re poor or rich, highly successful or dismal failures, good or bad, nice or nasty, rulers of nations or beggars in the gutter. Nothing we do will make Him love us less. And nothing we can try to do can earn his love. It’s a gift and it’s free, because Jesus paid the price. That’s what He is made of. That’s what He is.

God created us and loved us from the moment of our conception and will love us to the day we die, whether we acknowledge Him, mock and scorn Him, deride Him or deny Him. He longs for us to turn to Him and be born again by his Spirit, and to live with Him forever.

It’s easy when it’s our families, or the people we look up to, or our best friend, or the lovely people in our church. It’s not so easy, though, when it’s a druggie, or the bully who made our schooldays a misery, or a dictator boss at work, or dictator rulers creating suffering for thousands in the country they rule over. But still it is a command. For love is a powerful force, and there is no weapon that can be formed against it.

Love wins and will win each and every time. In the end, it is only love that will remain and conquer the horrors of this present world.

Many waters cannot quench love;
    rivers cannot sweep it away.

If one were to give
    all the wealth of one’s house for love,
    it would be utterly scorned.
Song of Songs 8:7

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jnr

So let’s accept the love of God in Jesus, so that we can love ourselves and love others, and in our own various ways hold back the darkness. It’s a time to love.

Let the light of world shine through us in Christ Jesus.

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath, 3 comments