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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Praying in the Spirit

29 August 2012

Opening Prayer/Worship

Prayer is the key, prayer is the key
Prayer is the master key
Jesus started with prayer and ended with prayer
Prayer is the master key (2X)

Theme: Be filled with the Holy Spirit

Topic: Praying in the Spirit

Reading: Ephesians 6:10-20
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For our* struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16With all of these,* take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,* 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

The passage for our discussion today started off with a description of the nature of the battle we face as Christians and how to be prepared on a daily basis; it then ended with the instruction: pray at all times in the Spirit- for ourselves and for other Christians.  According to Scripture, the Presence of God is what makes the difference between success and failure.  Whoever has done or are doing exploits for God, can only succeed through the presence of God with him/her.  No wonder Christ made prayer a priority.  The Son of God will always withdraw from the crowd and His followers to spend time in the presence of His Father.  Since the challenge we face as Christians is a spiritual one, if we are to be victorious, we need to spend time in with God through prayers as often as possible, just as Christ did.  In the ‘busyness’ of today’s world, it has become more difficult for Christians to really call on God as often as He may want us to.  And it is very clear that a prayer-less Christian is a powerless Christian.  Just as an automobile will need a refill of fuel/gas once in a while to keep running, so also Christians need to pray at all times to be alive in the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is calling on us each day to pray and have Him intercede on our behalf.  All we have to do is be willing and obey His counsel.

1.     What does praying in the Spirit mean?

Mark 1:35-39
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37When they found him, they said to him, ‘Everyone is searching for you.’ 38He answered, ‘Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.’ 39And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Acts 4:18-31
So they called them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; 20for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.’ 21After threatening them again, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because of the people, for all of them praised God for what had happened. 22For the man on whom this sign of healing had been performed was more than forty years old. 23 After they were released, they went to their friends* and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24When they heard it, they raised their voices together to God and said, ‘Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and everything in them, 25it is you who said by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant: *“Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples imagine vain things? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers have gathered together against the Lord and against his Messiah.” *27For in this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant* Jesus, whom you anointed, 28to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants* to speak your word with all boldness, 30while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant* Jesus.’ 31When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.

Ephesians 6:17-20
Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,* 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

2.    How often should we pray?
Luke 11:5-13
And he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.” 7And he answers from within, “Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.” 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. 9 ‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for* a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit* to those who ask him!’

Luke 18:1-8
Then Jesus* told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my opponent.” 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.” * 6And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?’

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

3.    What should be the nature of our prayer?  
        What and who should we pray for?

Matthew 6:5-8
‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.* 7 ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

1 Timothy 2:1-8
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for everyone, 2for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 3This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, 4who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, 6   who gave himself a ransom for all
—this was attested at the right time.
7For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth,* I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 8 I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument;

James 4:1-10
Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet* something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. 4Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you suppose that it is for nothing that the scripture says, ‘God* yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us’? 6But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.


God loves having fellowship with us and has given us His Spirit to guide us when we pray.  May we always find time to dwell in His Presence through meditating on His word and praying in the Spirit.

Closing Prayer
Thank You Father for the communion we have with You when we pray.  Grant us the grace to diligently seek Your Presence as often as we can; that we may serve You and live according to Your purpose all the days of our lives.  We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Be filled with the Spirit

22 August 2012

Opening Prayer/Worship

Holy Ghost fire, fire fall on me
Holy Ghost fire, fire fall on me
As in the day of Pentecost, fire fall on me
As in the day of Pentecost, fire fall on me

Theme: Be filled with the Holy Spirit
Topic: Be filled with the Spirit

Reading: Ephesians 5:15-20

Each of us has a void that can only be perfectly filled with the Spirit of God.  This is why the Scripture refers to our body as the temple of God.  To be filled with the Holy Spirit, implies that we live our lives under His control and guidance.  The implication then of not being filled with the Spirit of God is that we become controlled by the flesh, human wisdom, addictions, bad habits and other ungodly attributes.  Consequently, we live below our God given ability and unless we change, we may never attain our maximum potential in life, as well as fail to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.  When we are filled with the Spirit of God, He directs our path and leads us to where He wants us to be for His own purpose and glory.  Since our living body cannot exist unfilled, we ought to be careful to yearn for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and avoid the things that can take His place in our lives.  In today’s study, our discussion will focus on why and how we can be filled with the Holy Spirit.

1. What is your understanding of the phrase: ‘be filled with the Holy Spirit’?  
Joel 2:28-32
Proverbs 20:1
Matthew 3:11-12
Acts 2:1-4
Ephesians 5:17-18

2. Why should we desire to be filled with the Spirit of God?  
Ezekiel 36:22-32
John 3:5-8, 6:56-66
Acts 11:11-18
Romans 8:9-11
2 Corinthians 3:2-6

3. What are the things that may prevent us from being filled with the Holy Spirit and how do we avoid them?
 Isaiah 32:9-20
I Corinthians 6:18-20
Galatians 5:16-26


God has poured out His Spirit for all who believe in Christ to receive.  May we always open our hearts and mind to the Holy Spirit that we may be filled and controlled by Him at all times.

Closing Prayer (Collect for 12th Sunday after Pentecost)
Almighty God, You have broken the tyranny of sin and sent into our hearts the Spirit of Your Son.  Give us grace to dedicate our freedom to Your service, that all people may know the glorious liberty of the children of God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit

15 August 2012

Opening Prayer/Worship

Holy Spirit, be our Comforter,
Holy Spirit, take control,
As we’re walking along the way, the road is so narrow,
Holy Spirit, lead us home (2X)

Theme: Be filled with the Holy Spirit

Topic: Do not grieve the Holy Spirit

Reading: Ephesians 4:25-32, 5:1-2
So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbours, for we are members of one another. 26Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and do not make room for the devil. 28Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labour and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. 29Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up,* as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. 31Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.* 51Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2and live in love, as Christ loved us* and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

The Holy Spirit is the power behind Christian living. Without the Spirit of Christ dwelling within us, we cannot please God. When we are not filled with the Holy Spirit, we can hardly pray or know what to ask for when we pray. He is our Advocate, Counselor, Guide and Guard; He is gentle and quiet, gives us life, helps our weaknesses and is the Spirit of Truth, bringing the teachings of Christ to our remembrance. The Holy Spirit is the believer’s closest aid, friend and associate. Living without Him is like going on a very long voyage without compass, food, water, clothing and other items/material necessary for the trip. No wonder the Scripture warns us not to grieve the Holy Spirit. We are on the same team with Him and He alone knows the way. To grieve the Holy Spirit implies displeasing Him and by so doing, we risk losing His companionship and guidance. In this study, we will discuss how to avoid grieving the Spirit of God in our lives.

1. What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit?
Matthew 12:22-32
Then they brought to him a demoniac who was blind and mute; and he cured him, so that the one who had been mute could speak and see. 23All the crowds were amazed and said, ‘Can this be the Son of David?’ 24But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘It is only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons, that this fellow casts out the demons.’ 25He knew what they were thinking and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? 27If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own exorcists* cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 29Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property, without first tying up the strong man? Then indeed the house can be plundered. 30Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31Therefore I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Acts 5:1-11
But a man named Ananias, with the consent of his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property; 2with his wife’s knowledge, he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3‘Ananias,’ Peter asked, ‘why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? 4While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You did not lie to us* but to God!’ 5Now when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard of it. 6The young men came and wrapped up his body,* then carried him out and buried him. 7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter said to her, ‘Tell me whether you and your husband sold the land for such and such a price.’ And she said, ‘Yes, that was the price.’ 9Then Peter said to her, ‘How is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.’ 10Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11And great fear seized the whole church and all who heard of these things.

Ephesians 4:30
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.

1 Thessalonians 5:19
Do not quench the Spirit.

2. Is it possible for us to know when we grieve the Holy Spirit? How do we make amends?
1 Samuel 2:27-34
A man of God came to Eli and said to him, ‘Thus the Lord has said, “I revealed* myself to the family of your ancestor in Egypt when they were slaves* to the house of Pharaoh. 28I chose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to offer incense, to wear an ephod before me; and I gave to the family of your ancestor all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel. 29Why then look with greedy eye* at my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded, and honour your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?” 30Therefore the Lord the God of Israel declares: “I promised that your family and the family of your ancestor should go in and out before me for ever”; but now the Lord declares: “Far be it from me; for those who honour me I will honour, and those who despise me shall be treated with contempt. 31See, a time is coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your ancestor’s family, so that no one in your family will live to old age. 32Then in distress you will look with greedy eye* on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed upon Israel; and no one in your family shall ever live to old age. 33The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep out his* eyes and grieve his* heart; all the members of your household shall die by the sword.* 34The fate of your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you—both of them shall die on the same day.

1 Samuel 4:12-21
A man of Benjamin ran from the battle line, and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes torn and with earth upon his head. 13When he arrived, Eli was sitting upon his seat by the road watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. When the man came into the city and told the news, all the city cried out. 14When Eli heard the sound of the outcry, he said, ‘What is this uproar?’ Then the man came quickly and told Eli. 15Now Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes were set, so that he could not see. 16The man said to Eli, ‘I have just come from the battle; I fled from the battle today.’ He said, ‘How did it go, my son?’ 17The messenger replied, ‘Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has also been a great slaughter among the troops; your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.’ 18When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli* fell over backwards from his seat by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and heavy. He had judged Israel for forty years. 19 Now his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant, about to give birth. When she heard the news that the ark of God was captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed and gave birth; for her labour pains overwhelmed her. 20As she was about to die, the women attending her said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, for you have borne a son.’ But she did not answer or give heed. 21She named the child Ichabod, meaning, ‘The glory has departed from Israel’, because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband.

John 14:15-30
‘If you love me, you will keep* my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,* to be with you for ever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in* you. 18 ‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.’ 22Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, ‘Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?’ 23Jesus answered him, ‘Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. 25 ‘I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate,* the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. 28You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.” If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. 30I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me;

3. How do we avoid displeasing the Spirit of God in our lives?
Psalm 119:9-16
9     How can young people keep their way pure?
      By guarding it according to your word.
10    With my whole heart I seek you;
      do not let me stray from your commandments.
11    I treasure your word in my heart,
      so that I may not sin against you.
12    Blessed are you, O Lord;
      teach me your statutes.
13    With my lips I declare
      all the ordinances of your mouth.
14    I delight in the way of your decrees
      as much as in all riches.
15    I will meditate on your precepts,
      and fix my eyes on your ways.
16    I will delight in your statutes;
      I will not forget your word.

Romans 8:1-17
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit* of life in Christ Jesus has set you* free from the law of sin and of death. 3For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin,* he condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.* 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit* set their minds on the things of the Spirit.* 6To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit* is life and peace. 7For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit,* since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit* is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ* from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through* his Spirit that dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers and sisters,* we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba!* Father!’ 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness* with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Galatians 5:16-26
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21envy,* drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Finally, brothers and sisters,* we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that, as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact, you are doing), you should do so more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; 4that each one of you knows how to control your own body* in holiness and honour, 5not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6that no one wrongs or exploits a brother or sister* in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. 8Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.


The Lord is our present help in the time of trouble and His Spirit is always at work in us and for us. May we be willing to follow His counsel at all times, for He alone knows the way.

Closing Prayer
We are eternally grateful Lord for the gift of Your Holy Spirit who guides and comforts us. Grant us the desire to please You always by following His leading everyday of our lives. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

God will renew His Spirit within us

8 August 2012
Opening Prayer/Worship

Cast me not away from Your Presence O Lord
Take not Your Holy Spirit from me
Restore unto me, the joy of Your salvation
And renew a right spirit within me (2X)

Theme: Be filled with the Holy Spirit
Topic: God will renew His Spirit within us
Reading: Psalm 51:1-13
God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son as atonement for our sins. When we ask God to forgive us, we tap into what He has already completed, the work of salvation. He frees us from all guilt, bondage, sickness, fear of death, satanic influences, lures of the flesh and the world… and so on. He then fills us with His Holy Spirit, enabling us live in His righteousness and be found blameless in His sight. When we live in sin or guilt, it limits the flow of the Holy Spirit in our lives but when we confess our sins to God and repent of them, He always forgives us and renews His Spirit within us. Is guilt keeping you away from the full impact and presence of the Holy Spirit? If like David, we turn to God in genuine repentance, no matter how trivial or terrible our sins are, God has promised to forgive us, forget the sins and renew His Spirit within us… if only we will turn unto Him with a sincere and repentant heart.
1. How do sin and guilt hinder us from being filled with the Holy Spirit? 2 Samuel 12:7-14; Psalm 5:4-6; Isaiah 59:1-21.
2. What do we do when we sin? 2 Chronicles 6:36-39; Psalm 51:1-9; 1 John 1:8-10.
3. How does God renew a right or steadfast and willing spirit within us? Psalm 51:10-12; Romans 12:1-3; Ephesians 4:21-24; Philippians 4:2-9; Colossians 3:8-10.
No matter how light or heavy our sins may be, God will always forgive us and forget our wrongdoings if we confess them to Him. Let us always confess our sins to the Lord that He may cleanse us and fill us with His Holy Spirit always.
Closing Prayer
Lord thank You for always forgiving and cleansing us from all our faults and wrongdoings. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit we beseech thee, that we may be found blameless in Your sight now and always. We ask this in the precious name of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

The power at work within us

1 August 2012
Opening Prayer/Worship

Let the Spirit of the Lord come down, Amen.
Let the Spirit of the Lord come down, in Jesus name.
Let the Spirit of the Lord from Heaven come down.
Let the Spirit of the Lord come down.

Let the Power of the Lord come down, Amen.
Let the Power of the Lord come down, in Jesus name.
Let the Power of the Lord from Heaven come down.
Let the Power of the Lord come down.

Theme: Be filled with the Holy Spirit
Topic: The power at work within us
Reading: Ephesians 3:14-21
When someone decides to follow Christ, one common and erroneous assumption is that he/she can make it through personal efforts and strength. Soon the believer realizes that to follow Christ requires the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, daily. The need for the Holy Spirit in our lives is not an option but an absolute necessity without which our efforts to be like Christ become futile. The Holy Spirit is the power behind Christian living. Without Him, we can neither know the mind of the Lord nor truly live for God. Our human abilities lack the power to produce true faith in Christ. The passage for today’s study is reminding us that God can do much more than we can ask or imagine through His power at work in us. This implies that for God to work in us, we need to yield our lives to Him. When we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, God begins to do extraordinary things in our lives, showering us with the love of Christ which is beyond human understanding.
1. What is your understanding of the phrase: God will exceed our expectations through the power at work in us? Romans 16:25-27; Ephesians 1:15-23, 3:14-21; Colossians 1:3-14.
2. Are there requirements for being filled with the power of God? Luke 24:44-49; John 6:5-14; Acts 1:10-14, 2:1-4.
3. List some of the hindrances to the move of God in our lives. Proverbs 6:16-19; Mark 6:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24.
Without Christ we can do nothing, and without the Holy Spirit, we cannot live for Christ. Let us keep yielding our hearts to the Holy Spirit that He may fill us and empower us to live for Christ everyday of our lives.
Closing Prayer
Thank You Lord for the release of Your power to us. Grant us hearts that will yield to the move of Your Holy Spirit that You may accomplish Your purpose in our lives and in Your world through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.