Walking in The Holy Spirit’s Stunning Power

Gate Beautiful

The Beautiful Gate or Eastern Gate where the lame beggar sat was the largest gate to the temple and the most beautiful. In Hebrew, the name of the gate means “Gate of Mercy.” It took 20 men to move the gate. The gate faces the Mount of Olives across the Kidron Valley. It was sealed shut, and a cemetery was placed before its entrance to render anyone who walked through the cemetery unclean. Jewish tradition says that the Messiah will come through the Eastern Gate when He comes to reign. Ezekiel writes of the glory of God entering the temple through the Eastern Gate.

Look at him! He’s walking. He’s jumping. He’s prancing around and praising God. Wait … he’s going into the temple with those men. He can’t do that; he’s unclean. Hasn’t he been lame since birth? I’ve seen him begging every day for decades. What happened?

Continue reading Walking in The Holy Spirit’s Stunning Power

Let Freedom Reign in America

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My Prayer

Jesus, You preached and set the captives free. Holy Spirit, You set us on the right path of liberty. Father, in You, we live, and move and have our being in freedom and truth. We need an awakening in America, Lord. Holy Spirit breathe on America and fill us with a burning desire to return to Jesus with an urgency. Make America great in Your eyes. We want to please You. Lord, quicken Your people to remember Your words: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” We call upon You Lord, heal our land, for Your name’s sake. Amen

Authentic Christianity Begins …

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In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:1-8

For 52 years, King Uzziah ruled Israel, and the people loved him.
“And as long as he [King Uzziah] sought the Lord, God made him to prosper” (II Chronicles 26:5).
Who could fill the throne as well as King Uzziah? What would become of the nation?
An empty throne. A failing Northern Kingdom. Confusion and despair.
In a time of hopelessness, Isaiah sees the Lord of Hosts on the throne. Holy. Exalted. Worshipped.
I love the song, “I Can Only Imagine.” “Will I sing ‘Hallelujah’? Will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine.”
Isaiah’s response was different. When he saw the holiness of God, he realized his depravity.
He was unable to remove his guilt and his sin, but when the altar’s burning coal touched his lips, he was cleansed.
Then, the call to an authentic walk with God.
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
“Here am I. Send me!”
And the Lord sent him to warn the people to turn from their sin.
Most of us don’t have a dramatic encounter with God like Isaiah did. However, we have glimpses of God’s glory in each day’s sunrise and sunset, the unfolding of a rose, or the birth of a baby.
We have a love letter from God, the Bible, that shows us God’s nature, and we have the Holy Spirit to teach us.
God is at work in us, and we may recognize it in the small things: a prompting to pray for a friend – later, you find out that the friend was just diagnosed with cancer, a “yes” to a prayer, a door closed and a better opportunity opened.
Authentic Christianity begins with the recognition of God’s holiness and our depravity.
As we think about God’s nature, His holiness, His love for us, our initial response is “Woe is me! I am unclean.”
The altar’s burning coal, Jesus’s death on the cross, cleanses us. Jesus paid the price for our sin, and He conquered death by rising from the dead three days after His crucifixion.
After the burning coal’s touch, Isaiah never said “Woe is me! I am unclean.” He went where God sent him, and he served the Lord and the Lord’s people.
An authentic Christian’s response to glimpses of the majesty of the Lord God Almighty is “Send me.”
God equips.
We go.
We serve.
Remaining authentic is the key.

My prayer:

Lord God Almighty, we are humbled that You would share glimpses of Your holiness and exalted nature with us. Great are You, Lord. Holy, Holy, Holy are You, Lord God Almighty. We praise You and give You honor. Bless Your people as we study Your Word and learn how to follow You authentically. Amen.
Let’s study authenticity together in a series of posts.
Please share your insights or questions about the authentic Christian
in the comment section.

How are you honoring your body?

Mama's flowers

Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.” Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones up from here. Genesis 50:24-25

We buried Mama yesterday. She traveled from The Woodlands near Houston, Texas to Tulsa, Oklahoma and was buried with Daddy. Most of the family traveled from Texas. I traveled from California.

I considered not going. I rationalized that she wasn’t there, just her body.

… absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8

I prayed for wisdom. Joseph came to mind, and I read Genesis 50.

Mary’s anointing the feet of Jesus with the costly perfume of nard and Jesus’ response came to mind.

Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. John 12:7

The body is important to God. In the story of creation, “God said,” and the light was created, the waters were separated, and vegetation sprouted.

But God “formed” and “breathed into” man.

Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

God “fashioned” the woman.

The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. Genesis 2:22

There’s something special about the body, even when the spirit has left it. The body is God’s “poem,” His cherished handiwork. We honor the body in many ways. We decorate the body with clothes and jewels. We workout to shape it into today’s idea of beauty, and we use makeup to paint it.

The honor I was not giving to the body, and particularly to Mama’s body, was that the Holy Spirit had considered her body His temple. Yes, I had acknowledged that many times … read the Scripture and interpreted it to mean that we should take care of our bodies and avoid joining them in immorality.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19

When God formed and fashioned the bodies of man and woman, He breathed His life into these temples that would house the Holy Spirit. Our God of artistry and love created them in His image, something to honor and cherish.

The Holy Spirit’s temple! Not St. Peter’s Basilica. Not Cathedral Notre Dame. The Christian’s body.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Mama’s spirit is in heaven now, and her body is in the earth waiting for the trumpet of God to sound. I know that her new body will reflect God’s artistry and love.

My Prayer

Father, thank You for creating our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for giving significance to every part of our lives. You took such care in creating bodies with the senses that could give pleasure and richness to this earthly life. Thank You for Your gentle lessons and guidance. I am glad that You have given honor to our earthly bodies and that You have new bodies for us.

How are you honoring your body?

Lord, I don’t know what to pray!

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:26-28

Breast cancer, fall, cracked head, staples, bleeding in the brain, pneumonia, bowel obstruction … this week!

God! What more can my mother take?

I don’t know what to pray. Take her?

I don’t think she wants me to pray for her healing. She wants to be with Daddy.

She’s tired, Lord.

STOP THIS TORTURE!! That’s what I’m thinking. It seems irreverant. But, Father, that is my cry. But do I dare?

I don’t know what to pray.

Wisdom, Father. Your perfect wisdom. That’s my prayer.

Thank You.

Take her, if that’s Your will. But, nevertheless, please, relieve her suffering.

Relieve my brother’s suffering, my family’s suffering.

God, have mercy!

Thank You that the Spirit is praying for us and interceding for us.

We don’t know what to pray.

My prayer

Father, there are so many people who feel like they are being tortured. Please lift them up. Let them feel Your precious presence in their lives. Oh Holy Spirit, thank You for praying for us when we don’t know what to pray. You sustain us when we feel the bottom falling out from us. Oh, Lord my God, Holy are You. I adore You. You will keep my mother in Your presence forevermore.