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January 2, 2024

WONDERFUL THINGS GOING FORWARD


TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

1 Corinthians 2:9-12 NLT

 

TODAY’S THOUGHT

For several years I have enjoyed using a specific Bible software program for my personal study. I enjoy this product because it has numerous commentaries and material to help in understanding God’s Word. Recently I began to realize the software has a lot more to offer than I have ever learned how to use. I’ve paid for the product but never fully used everything it offers. I signed up for some online courses to learn more about how the product works. It was amazing to discover things I had been missing.


Many followers of Christ are the same way. The moment we become followers of Christ the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. As we open our lives to the influence of the Holy Spirit, we can receive the fullness of the Spirit in what I refer to as Spirit baptism. (Many believe salvation and Spirit baptism happen simultaneously, I am in the group that believes they are two distinct separate experiences.)


The clear teaching of scripture is that the Spirit dwells in every follower of Christ. We have within us the wisdom of God. We have divine insight. The Spirit within us wants to reveal wisdom to us that is not learned from a book, seminar, or podcast. He wants to give us insight and understanding.


I believe it is important to read the Bible, read books, listen to podcasts, and hear good solid Biblical preaching. But I also believe it is the Holy Spirit that takes that information and reveals truth to us that shows us how to apply that truth to our lives. I can know God’s Word but not understand how to apply it to my life.


For instance, I can know the Bible teaches that God loves a cheerful giver. But how does that apply to my life? How much should I give? There are several places in scripture that talks about the tithe or the first fruits—which is the first 10% of my income. But beyond the tithe Scripture talks about giving offerings. What should I be doing about giving offerings?


I can know that Jesus said that if a man looks at a woman with lust it is the same as committing adultery with her. How does that apply to my life?


Then there are the areas that aren’t covered specifically in scripture—who to marry? What job to take? What college to attend? What car to buy?


The Holy Spirit helps us apply the truths of God’s Word into every decision of our lives. When we invite the Holy Spirit to help us make daily decisions it is amazing how we develop a pattern of little decisions that lead to the big decisions being a lot easier.I have found myself whispering a prayer to ask the Holy Spirit where I should stop to eat lunch. Just recently I had a few moments between appointments and asked the Holy Spirit what coffee shop I should stop in. In the 45 minutes I was in that shop—which I had maybe been to twice in my life—I had two incredible conversations unsolicited by me.


The first was a man who years ago was in our small group and was going through some issues in his life and we visited about them. The second was an employee who came over to talk to me and shared that she just celebrated three years of sobriety that started with a series on tearing down your walls that we preached years ago when a friend invited her to church. After she shared her story with me the man told me he was a regular at that shop and had heard her tell that story. He even gave me more details of her story. I left that 45-minute stop in a coffee shop rejoicing and full of faith because I allowed the Holy Spirit to direct my steps.


God has wonderful things in store for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to show them to you.

 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Holy Spirit, I want You to be my Guide and reveal truth to my life. Show me areas where I am in error. Direct me to moments of fresh encounters with Your truth.

“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”

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I want to have every step of my life directed by the Holy Spirit.

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Lord , I have to follow your word.

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