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A Note From Our Pastor

Our Greatest Need #2: What if?

What if we, as church members, really got serious and followed the counsel given us to spend an hour every day, 24/7, reading, studying, contemplating the life of Jesus? What if we gave ourselves unreservedly to the leading of the Spirit of God? Leonard Ravenhill, an English evangelist, has a moving question on his gravestone, “Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?” The book of Acts is many times referred to as “The Acts of the Apostles,” but I sometimes feel it should be called “The Acts of the Holy Spirit.” It is the story of the first century church powered by the Holy Spirit. It is a book of stories of miracles and mission adventures, stories of conversions of every type of person in the then known world. Stories of a church on the move with Spirit-filled passion and action. I also believe that the Holy Spirit was moving upon people in the sixth century during the Protestant Reformation. I also believe the Holy Spirit was again moving upon people in the 19th century all over the world in the wake of the third angel’s message. It is reported that over one million people were converted in America. God was awakening the world to receive the third angel’s message, but the remnant church had not responded wholeheartedly to the Laodicean appeal. A deep work of repentance was needed to fit us for the loud cry of the third angel. Had our church surrendered thoroughly, Christ would have come. Ellen White wrote: “God’s unwillingness to have His people perish has been the reason for so long delay. (Testimonies, vol 2, p.194). How much longer will we be asleep in the light while we watch the world and the USA sleep in darkness? “Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?”

Our Greatest Need #1: Ask for the Holy Spirit

We are living at a time in history as never before when the Holy Spirit is working and moving in a special way. Are we taking advantage of it? Are we asking Him to fill us and our families? Are we asking Him to fill our church? Are we insisting that we be filled and fit? Jesus promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would come. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would abide with you and would be in you (John 14.16,19). Jesus promised that He would send “another Helper” (John 14). “Helper” in the Greek literally means “one alongside.” The Holy Spirit runs beside each of us and is actually God with us. But Jesus didn’t say that the Holy Spirit would merely be with us, as Jesus was with the disciples, but the Spirit is to be in us. Jesus brought up the subject of the Spirit several times on the evening of the Passover. The Spirit would teach all things and bring them to memory (John 14:26). The Spirit would bear witness of Jesus, and we would thus ourselves bear witness (John 15:26, 27). The Spirit would guide us into all truth and let us know what is to come (John 16:13). Jesus leaving was an advantage because then the Holy Spirit would come (John 16:7). Jesus expected to be closer to us after His departure because He could dwell in all of us and was not limited to being in only one place at a time like when He was here physically. But none of this could happen before Calvary. The reason is that we needed to see the full sacrifice of Christ for our lives. We needed to see how much love God has for us and once seeing and grasping the love of God we would repent, accept Jesus as our substitute, confess our sins, and be open for the filling of the Holy Spirit. How much does God love us? (See Desire of Ages, pp. 755, 756. “Ask, and it shall be given you...”  Matthew 7:7).