Monday, September 01, 2008

September 2008 Devotionals: Knowing God, the Holy Spirit

A Year of Daily Devotionals: A Journal by Bill Berry … September, 2007

INTRODUCTION: Moving into September, I will be continuing to use the devotionals of John MacArthur in his book Strength for Today; and his topic for the month of August is WHAT ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT. ... So, if you come along with me as I blog my devotional journal entries, maybe you too can get to know the Third Person of the Trinity more intimately. That's my goal! ... BTW, again if you want to add your comments, I'll be putting my daily entries in the comments to this Sept. 1 blog. Feel free to join in with your comments. ... <'BB><


September 1, 2008 …

Passage of the Day: 1st John 3: 24 …
24 Those who obey His [i.e., Christ’s] commands live in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us.

My Journal for Today: I’m going to make a sweeping assumption as I begin another month of devotional journal entries here for September; and that assumption is that any reader here is in a head-long pursuit to know God and grow closer to Him (i.e., that you have a faith relationship with Christ as the Lord and Savior of your life). If you are reading this; and you don’t know Christ as your Savior and Lord or you are in doubt about your redemption, before reading onward, you simply must get that settled.

[For any who doubt their salvation, please get with a Christian who solidly KNOWS that he or she is saved; and ask that person to show you how to resolve this. If you can’t find a live Christian whom you respect to be able to help you, I’d pray that you might trust me to help and you’d be willing to contact me. I’m always available through email @ . Contact me and we’ll get this settled – FOREVER.

In the Bible the instructions are clear from Romans 10: 9 – 13 which states: …

Romans 10: 9 – 13 9… if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame." 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." [the latter is a quote from Joel 2: 32]

I know that these instructions on salvation from God’s word do not require another human. You can declare “with your mouth” your confession and contrition and your faith that Christ has saved you directly to God. However, having someone there with you, especially a strong, experienced Christian, to declare your trust in Jesus will be helpful to get you started on your true walk with Christ … and such a person may be able to help in your discipleship as a newly born-again Christian.

Well, now that I’ve had that evangelical pause, and prayerfully you now have a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, I will continue to address my comments to you and any who are saved and firmly know they are in Christ. Where I’m going this month is to promote a closer relationship with the Third Person of the Trinity – our Precious Holy Spirit. Getting to know God will always take one deeper into a relationship with each Person of the Trinity; and that certainly includes the Holy Spirit.

Yes, I know that those who would call themselves “Charismatic” as Christians most certainly emphasize an experiential understanding of God’s Spirit – and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that – IF it does not dampen a believer’s personal understanding of God’s truth, primarily found in His word. It has been my observation that some – and I emphasize “SOME” - Charismatic Christians de-emphasize doctrine and biblical study in lieu of trying to FEEL God’s Spirit moving and working in them. On the other hand some strongly doctrinally-based Christians de-emphasize their experiential understanding of God’s Spirit in their lives. Neither of these extremes can or will bring a deep and abiding relationship with Christ. However, our emphasis this month will be on knowing and understanding the Person of the Holy Spirit.

And to begin this study, I go to a salient question asked by the Apostle Paul of the church. In Galatians 3: 3, he asked, “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” And that is one great question for all Christians to ponder. Unfortunately, too many of us are seeking to experience the reality of God’s Spirit by feeling His presence and/or power in our flesh, when the truth of the Spirit’s presence, power, and His plan can be readily found in His inspired word (see 2nd Tim. 3: 16 – 17).

This month, again with John MacArthur’s help in his devotional Strength for Today, I will, through my prayer to God’s Spirit for wisdom [see James 1: 5-6] and my reliance on His word, delve more deeply into the ONE Who works in me through Christ to encourage, guide, enlighten, enable, and empower me. He is The Holy Spirit.

My Prayer Today: O, precious Spirit, help me to know You more intimately. Amen