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Archive for August, 2014

18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:18-21).

Life is too short and God’s riches for the believer in Christ are far too rich to miss out on all He has for us — and with all we can give away to others — out of the Spirit-filled life!

??????????????????????????????????????If you’re reading this blog now, it’s very likely because you’re hungry to walk in the Spirit-filled life God has for you!

So, can we constantly be filled with the Spirit? Yes we can; Paul has made that clear to us in Eph. 5:18. Therefore, how are we to be filled with the Holy Spirit?

First, by asking God to continually fill us afresh with His Spirit; is this a prayer He wants to answer (cf. Luke 11:5-13)? I believe we should ask Him to fill us with His Spirit every single morning.

Second, we must do our part and step out in faith through speaking His Word to other believers (Eph. 5:19). Of course, this means we must be in His Word in order to share it with others.

Third, we also do our part and step out in faith through praise and worship (Eph. 5:19). Praise and worship music is abundantly available to us everywhere: Online, through CD’s or DVD’s, in our homes and in our cars.

If we really want to live in and enjoy the Spirit-filled life, worshiping the Lord in song is essential, but we must make the effort for this reason, which Paul states in Eph. 5:16: “making the most of your time, for the days are evil.”

Fourth, we should then purpose to find ways of simple thanksgiving to the Father (v.20) – from the most basic things that we take for granted to the greatest things (and why not thank Him for your spiritual blessings even in Eph. 1-3?).

Fifth, we know we’re truly living Spirit-filled lives if or when we can humble ourselves before others (Eph. 5:21: “be subject to one another in the fear of Christ”).

We’ve just discussed five ways of continually being filled with the Holy Spirit; they are simple, uncomplicated ways, and they are all biblical!

It is God who does the filling; as His partners in this life, we are always the ones who must cooperate by stepping out in faith.

Are you practicing these things, beloved? If not, I urge you to launch out now; life is too short and God’s riches are too rich not to!

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“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).

She was a genius investor, who put to great use a fortune she inherited from her wealthy family by investing it. At her death in 1916, she left an estate valued at $100 million.

She was the richest woman in America at the time of her death and today, her wealth has been calculated at $2.5 billion. She would be one of the richest women in the history of our country.

But this woman – Hetty Green — never enjoyed her wealth; she never put it to use for herself, her family or society; she lived her life as a miser, afraid to spend what she earned.

Here are some very sad examples: In her old age she developed a bad hernia, but refused to have an operation because it cost $150. She was said never to turn on the heat or use hot water; she ate cold oatmeal because she didn’t want to spend the money it took to heat the oatmeal.

She wore one old black dress and undergarments that she changed only after they had been worn out, in order to save money. To save money on soap, she didn’t wash her hands. She ate mostly pies that cost fifteen cents.

Her miserly ways were so bad, they cost her son Ned one of his legs; when Ned broke his leg as a child, Hetty tried to have him admitted to a free clinic for the poor, so as not to pay “expensive” doctor bills.

Tragically, Ned’s leg didn’t heal properly and after years of treatment, it had to be amputated.

She searched her carriage, her entire home and in the middle of the night her entire lawn because she misplaced a stamp worth two cents. Hetty instructed her laundress to wash only the dirtiest parts of her dresses (the hems) to save money on soap.

Green conducted much of her business at the offices of the Seaboard National Bank in New York, surrounded by trunks and suitcases full of her papers because she didn’t want to pay rent for her own office.

Hetty Green’s story is particularly sad because God had given this Quaker woman the talent to develop great wealth that she should have used to bless hundreds of thousands – perhaps even millions of people during her lifetime – instead of keeping all of that money to herself.

She certainly could have lived in greater enjoyment personally. Her son should never have lost his leg. But Hetty’s story is a lesson to Christians everywhere who are sitting on a spiritual gold mine, but live as if they’re spiritual paupers.

They don’t bother to investigate their vast wealth in Christ and consequently, they invalidate their wealth – denying themselves, others and even their Lord the spiritual riches He came to give them.

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians describes in great detail the Will Jesus left for every one of us, giving us an incredible spiritual inheritance – meant to be enjoyed and shared with as many people as possible!

Read Ephesians; meditate on Ephesians; pray through Ephesians and as you do, continually ask God to help you to discover, enjoy and give away your vast spiritual riches in Christ!

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Off to Kenya!

I am so grateful to so many godly people that the Lord has put into my life and into Maureen’s life: godly men and women who are sincere, genuine, faithful.

And so many of you are the people that have prayed and given financially to enable me to return to Kenya, Aug. 20-31 to train pastors and church leaders in sound doctrine and biblical interpretation!

My friend, Danny Gilbert and I are going to teach and train about 50 of these leaders — who have never had any biblical training — to help them to develop the great principles of Bible study so needed to teach God’s people His Word.

These are the same men and women we taught last February. My role this time will be to take them through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and to do somehow do this in one week, 4 1/2 hours per day :-)

Ephesians will build these leaders in a deeper understanding for who they are in Christ and in turn, to teach the same to the people they lead. We will learn principles of a healthy church and of spiritual warfare, among many other things.

The leaders themselves will come away with deeper, richer devotional lives and stirred greatly in their walk with the Lord and in their respective ministries.

In addition, I’ll be preaching at two of those pastors’ churches. This will take place about an extremely rough one hour’s drive from Kisumu, in “the bush.”

Please pray for the pastors and leaders — that nothing will prevent them from devoting an entire week to this time (eight hours per day). Please pray for spiritual protection for Danny and his wife Mary Beth and daughter Maria and for Maureen and me.

Pray for great anointing to be upon us to preach, teach, impart, bless and make a very significant, eternal impact upon everyone we come into contact with. And finally, please pray against sickness and disease, so that we can have strength and power to do all the Lord is calling us to do!

Sincerely,

Brad

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