Taught by the Empowerment of the Spirit Acts 1:2 says that Christ gave His commandments to the apostles "through the Holy Spirit." III. ICS Daily Devotions My actions had stifled any thought that others’ contributions and insights could have any value. Back in 19901 received a phone call that highlighted how familiarity can breed indifference to Bible truths. Increasingly today we hear it said, “Let’s return to the practice of the New Testament church.” As we study the range of meaning in being “empowered to serve,” what would be involved for Christians in 1995 to serve God as the first-century church served? But as the years went by, I became aware that the class had become too dependent on me as the teacher. Servanthood and leadership go together for all of us. 6. We also need to believe it can be done through the power of the resurrected Christ who lives in us. Unlike some readers who mumble, talk to fast, or speak in a monotone, this woman read with tremendous meaning. Our Savior's Lutheran Church is gathered in Christian Faith, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and sent into the community and world to love and serve. The Baptized B. Jesus’ call to take up our cross and follow him is gender-blind, and it has never struck me that cross-bearing is a protected occupation. May our strength to be servant leaders spring from the empowering scriptural promise that, because it is God’s power that is at work within us, we will together be able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine. And Ephesians 2 teaches that Christ has made us into one new humanity, no longer separated by fleshly distinctives or even placed into some artificial “separate but equal” grouping, but Christ has made us into one new humanity, so that we are being built together into the one household of God. Power to give needed help (Acts 5:16). Not according to this text. Think of Jesus’ flat statement: “The first shall be last and the last first” (Mark 10:31). No. I’ve used this illustration many times since, because it makes the point so graphically. Don’t you think there was a tremendous reaction? Our call is to joyfully worship and love God, serve Jesus Christ, share the Good News. Self-serving only ends up disempowering others, and so diminishes the cause of Christ. by Jodi Carlson, Dr. Kristin Beasley. We would certainly be freed from hang-ups about what sex gets to be senior pastor, because team ministry prevents the sort of self-exaltation that can be a sad by-product when leadership posts are appropriated by only one person or group. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. We Are Empowered By The Holy Spirit To Serve. We are a diverse and welcoming community of believers, called by God, graced by Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to serve God through worship in the Reformed tradition, compassionate service to all, and the nurturing of each other so as to grow in faith together. There will be no need of the Holy Spirit or the gifts of the Holy Spirit if we are able to fulfil the work that Christ has given us purely based on our natural abilities. Here Paul commends “our sister, Phoebe, a deacon (minister) of the church at Cenchrea” and Paul asks the Romans to welcome her, and help her in whatever she requires. Jesus “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). B. Why? Empowered in Diversity. Jesus was a leader empowered by the Spirit, and he exemplifies servant leadership. Only practicing Christ’s teaching about servant leadership will free us all from the bondage of self-serving, that human desire to grasp power, to create “our” ministries. The Holy Spirit is our Helper. In Luke 3:22, we see Jesus baptized in water and filled with the Holy Spirit at the same time. It is also true, that even though you can only be “saved once,” and “empowered once,” we are told to continually ask God to refill us with His Spirit, and to “stir up the Gifts” (2 Timothy 1: 6), so we can serve Him most effectively everyday. Let’s talk quickly about spiritual gifts. Let go of every form of bitterness, grudges, offence, immorality and worldliness that you may serve in holiness, lest you serve God and at the end be a cast away (1Corinthians 9:27). Demonstrating the Spirit’s power The same Spirit who filled, empowered and equipped Jesus at His baptism can now fill you and equip you to be … No part is worth “less” than another, and each has a place in God’s plan for the community of faith. This should help keep leaders from becoming self-absorbed. Yet today the conventional wisdom among even good “Bible-believing” Christians is that we should fit Jesus’ call into our usual routine because, after all, we don’t want to be labeled fanatics, do we? The Holy Spirit empowered the disciples to spread the gospel even through persecution. Sea Island Presbyterian Church is a family of faith formed by the grace of Jesus Christ and located in Beaufort, SC. Matthew 28:19-20 Set . TEXT: Acts 1:8 . They were all empowered — women as well as men, old and young, of all backgrounds—to witness to God’s saving grace in Christ. Watch Queue Queue He empowered us to serve. However, even among sincere Christians, familiarity with a Bible truth does not mean either in-depth understanding of that truth, or —just as important — excitement about putting that truth into action, making it an integral part of our daily walk of discipleship. As Peter later wrote, “(We) are being protected by the power of God through faith ... God’s divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness” (1 Pet 1:5; 2 Pet 1:3). Therefore, in contrast to the world’s way of rating people by their political, economic, or social power over others, the Gospel proclaims an upside-down kingdom where all persons are of equal value, and all are equally empowered to serve their Savior — men and women alike. “Empowered for Service” Acts 2:1-21. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit did not make Peter better than the other brothers in Christ but it did make Peter better than Peter! But while very few persons of good will today would still promote racism, all too many in die conservative church still teach that men are to have power over women. Power to speak fearlessly (Acts 4:13). Moriah is a dynamic spiritual organism, empowered by the Holy Spirit; to share Christ with as many people as possible in our church, community, and throughout the world. At the end of the day, the people coming to church must understand that those who are ministered to are edified, but it doesn’t mean that we should stop speaking in tongues. Empowered By the Spirit “ But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” ” ( ) In previous lessons, we have seen over and over our dependence upon the grace of God in the Christian… We are a diverse and welcoming community of believers, called by God, graced by Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to serve God through worship in the Reformed tradition, compassionate service to all, and the nurturing of each other so as to grow in faith together. This is the “supernatural inheritance” God gives to His children, so they may live the victorious, abundant, yet unselfish, miracle-filled life of a “Spirit-filled” Christian. Each one of us is on a life-long journey into learning more about discipleship, and I am no exception. I suspect there was quite a bit of consternation when these men laid down their nets and walked away with Jesus. These first-century Christians knew that following Christ was not non-controversial, ho-hum business-as-usual. The laying on of hands is just a means or a channel for God to flow into the person. Share. It can be done by speaking or praying. by bringing them into identity, empowering them with Holy Spirit fire, Teaching them to hear God, And Paul gave the added assurance that “by the power at work within us (God) is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine” (Eph 3:20). OUR PASTOR Pastor Simmons grew up in church. Our 2020-2021 school year continues! But, on a deeper and more practical level, the fact that in Scripture both women and men serve in a wide variety of roles has taught me a new and inclusive concept of leadership. Or what about pastor and congregational leader Phoebe, the apostle Junia, social worker Dorcas, family nurturers Lois and Eunice, teacher Priscilla, and Phillip’s four preacher daughters? To fully reimagine hospitality, we must be empowered by the Holy Spirit. So also in the Christian community: For too long we have been creating unnecessary divisions between the genders by compartmentalizing women believers, as if female Christians are some sort of unique species—even hot house plants. 4. Yes, you women, your primary function is a biological role in life.” No, Jesus made a response as radical today as it was then. This power is not just for preachers, evangelists, or people who work in special ministry; rather, it is available to every believer who willingly surrenders moment by moment in submission and obedience to the Holy Spirit. 5. Empowered by the Holy Spirit. They needed something more than just authority, they needed transforming power! Empowered to SHARE. Significantly, at Pentecost the power of the Holy Spirit came publicly, not in some secret room, but publicly so that those still outside God’s family could see God’s power at work in women and men alike. This was an exciting class because the Bible was new to most of the members, and it was wonderful to see their enthusiasm as they opened Scripture for themselves. 2901 Denton Tap Road Lewisville, TX 75067 972.315.5225 I needed to serve them best by empowering them to assume ownership of the class, and responsibility for their own spiritual growth. But because this does not come naturally, Scripture makes it clear that such a transformation can only be by God’s power. THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT by Francis Dixon (Scripture Portion: 1 Corinthians 12:4-21) In this study we shall see that the Holy Spirit is not only the author of life within the believer, but He is also the accomplisher of service through the believer. Empowered to HEAR. Thoughtful persons are not fooled. But among those descriptions of our Christian identity, being empowered by the Holy Spirit seems to be the most confusing and even contentious to many believers. Take Joanna, who was the wife of King Herod’s steward. No one of us is empowered to make another group our assistants. Empowered to Serve, Serving to Empower (Serving - Chapter 2) By FCA Resources October 9, 2008. ROSTERS. 1 Corinthians 12:18 states: “God arranged every part of the body, each one of them, just as God chose and planned them to be.”. Jesus said that one day Christians would do even greater ministry than He did ( John 14:12 ). Starting with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues through the laying on of hands, there are impartations of the gifts through the laying on of hands by the fivefold ministry ministers. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit doesn't make us better than other Christians, but it does make us better than ourselves! Scripture always refers to the power of the Holy Spirit in relationship to witnessing and glorifying God. Have a wonderful spiritual retreat, and if it lasts a couple of years — so what?” Hardly. Unlike those earliest followers of Jesus, we seem reticent to let the Gospel upset our carefully-planned lives or, even more radical, abandon our comfortable way of life altogether. I wonder if folks who do not want to be controversial have ever thought what a controversy must have resulted when people responded to Jesus’ call “Follow me” and immediately left their fishing and tax collecting businesses and took off after this unknown itinerant rabbi? God has created us as God wants us to be, with our physical, mental, and spiritual make-up. They may not say it that bluntly, but by teaching that men are to retain the final decision-making role in home, church, and society, then men do in fact have power over women — not only setting the parameters of women’s lives, but also preventing women from growing up—from joining the family circle as equally-adult persons who are fully responsible to God, not to man. As long as a group or an individual is unwilling to submit to another, unwilling to serve another by letting that “other” join the adult decision-making circle and even letting that “other “lead them when appropriate, then the first group does not in practice consider themselves to be equal fellow-servants of our one Lord. Rather, God’s power comes to show us we are to serve others by putting their interests above our own and putting ourselves at their disposal. The Holy Spirit is not a person to be used to get what you want or to puff up yourself. Your fulfillment comes in using the gifts and skills He has blessed you with for His glory. The Uniting Church believes that in the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ sustains his Church through the changes of history, commanding people’s attention and awakening faith (Basis Par 4). 23 were here. The sort of mutual submission exemplified by mutual servanthood promotes cooperation and a feeling of joint ownership in God’s work, encourages complementary use of spiritual gifts, and thus leads to full participation by the priesthood if all believers. In that early church, leaders were persons who—like Phoebe and Timothy— were simply fellow-believers called to use their spiritual gifts to minister together with the other members of the local Body of Christ. How do we stir up the gift? He empowered you to serve. But while these many Scripture portions are contrary to everything the secular world holds dear, what healing, strengthening, and challenging words for women, for minorities, for disadvantaged persons everywhere. Jesus was a leader empowered by the Spirit, and he exemplifies servant leadership. We are limited to helping others with our natural abilities. Our Thanks for Your Gift. I cannot believe first-century folks found this behavior any easier to take than people would today. But our churches Logo speaks of the spirit ‘burning and not being consumed’… the call of God on us, is to be empowered to serve each other in love. Paul is not only commending a woman who was in an ordained post, a diakanos, but a woman who was a prostatis. I found a wonderful quotation this week in J. I. Packer’s book Keep in Step with the Spirit, one of the best books, by the way, on the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.He quoted Robert Murray McCheyne, who was a pastor in the 1800s in Scotland and who was renowned for his passionate preaching, his yearly Bible reading plan, and his early death at age 29. Gifts of Stock, Mutual Funds, and Retirement Accounts, CBE International’s Favorite Books of 2020, Sign Up to Get CBE’s Academic Journal Online. Likewise, only when we embrace the empowerment of the Holy Spirit can … May God’s empowered children today catch the challenge, the excitement, the practicality, the efficiency, and the freedom of joining Paul in saying: “We do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake.”. It simply is not our natural reaction to want to put ourselves at other people’s disposal, which can mean quite literally being used up for others. Empowered to REPENT. She said, “Our group is very conservative and we want to avoid anything controversial. Empowered to SERVE. The primary reason why God gave us the Holy Spirit is to empower us to serve Him. But spiritually healthy persons are those who know that it is God who gives us power, and that God’s power to serve multiplies, expands, and transforms when it is shared. And what about that amazing passage in 1 Corinthians 1:27-28, telling us that God chooses to channel his power through the weak, foolish, and despised of this world? Watch Queue Queue. Genesis 1:1 speaks of the “Spirit of God hovering over the waters” at the creation. Copy. Of course whether we are a female Christian or a male Christian brings diversity to God’s family, just as sons and daughters bring diversity to human family life. What did I find? There is a compelling but often-overlooked example of servant leadership in Romans 16:1-2. Yet, all too often, even in the Church we have been guilty of thinking: “The most visible person, the most educated, the one with the title—that person is ‘first among equals’,” failing to see that “first among equals” may sound fine but in reality means inequality. As long as one group holds to the notion that there is another group that is always under them, the Dominant group cannot understand the biblical meaning of servanthood. Would Paul have felt diminished to be under a woman’s ministry? More exciting, as some of these newly empowered leaders were transferred to new locations, they had the joy of beginning new classes themselves. Because the servant leader is not someone whose title denotes “I’m in charge and you are under me.” Gifted people are not empowered to be over others, but empowered to serve others by offering up their gifts for the good of the entire faith community. These families depended on fishing to live. Genesis 1:1 speaks of the “Spirit of God hovering over the waters” at the creation. The Holy Spirit is not a person to be used to get what you want or to puff up yourself. First, power to become children of God, and then power to act as God’s children. The power of God was in evidence at all times but in a different way during the Old Testament times. Theologian Wayne Grudem has a helpful definition: “A spiritual gift is any ability that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in any ministry of the church.” “Be my witnesses.” Redeemed women and men together both have equal responsibility to proclaim the Gospel in word and deed. Team ministry was prominent in the early church: Peter and John, Paul and Silas, Priscilla and Aquila, groups of elders and deacons, teams of women and men serving together in their local congregations. But did Jesus say, “Oh, thank you for reminding me. Because, Paul states, “Phoebe has been a benefactor of many and of myself as well.” Although most English translations do not do these verses justice, this is a remarkable passage in the original Greek. In contrast, when we recognize that leadership roles are service opportunities and not power bases we are free to accept our own humanity, grateful for the power of God at work within our frailty, and unafraid of the gifts of others, un-threatened by their gifts, and free to receive the gifts they offer us as they take the lead in serving us. You’ll learn how to be filled with the Spirit’s power and why that’s so important in today’s world. That is a far different matter from simply trying to recapture the ancient cultural setting of the early church, a cultural setting in which women were traditionally subordinate and had limited opportunities compared to men. We invite you to worship with us, and we hope to meet you soon. And as they continued to witness, they had the assurance of continuing to receive all the power they needed to serve their Lord, no matter how hard the way might be. Acts 2:1-4 – Fulfillment at the day of Pentecost. Watch Queue Queue 关注以下ICS每日灵修微信账号,获取中文版灵修信息推送. 6. Scripture itself gives so many inspiring role models of women empowered by God to serve in every possible ministry role: from Old Testament leaders like Miriam, Judge Deborah, Esther, or the prophet Huldah, to the combination entrepreneur and homemaker of Proverbs 31, and also New Testament women like merchant Lydia (founding mother of the church at Philippi). Updates on changes to restrictions: From 2 December 2020, churches are … Yes, it is the Bible itself that contradicts any notion that women are restricted, on account of their gender, to some narrow “female” area of service. There is always more of God to be revealed and experienced. A person can be very loving, but does not truly serve others unless he or she allows others, encourages others, and empowers others to use their God-given gifts to the fullest by giving them every opportunity to obey the biblical injunction to grow up into the fullness and stature of Christ. 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