Our Pentecost Novena; Day 7

Our Pentecost Novena

dallas

Northway Christian Church – Dallas, Texas
Day 7 – Thursday, May 21, 2015
The Proof of the Holy Spirit’s Presence is Faithfulness                                    ____________________________________________________________

Scripture – Matthew 25:21

Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.

Thought

There is a greatness in unknown names, with petty round of little duties, little avocations; to accept unmurmuringly a low position; to be misunderstood, misrepresented, maligned, without complaint, to smile for the joys of others when the heart is aching; to banish all ambition, all pride, and all restlessness, in a single regard to our Savior’s work; he who does this is a greater  hero than he who for one hour storms a breach, or for one day rushes onward undaunted in the flaming front of shot and shell.  His works will follow him.  He may be no hero to the world, but he is one of God’s heroes.  (F.W. Faber)

Prayer

Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire;
strengthen your children with the gift of faith,
revive your Church with the breath of love,
and renew the face of the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Our Pentecost Novena; Day 6

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Northway Christian Church – Dallas, Texas
Day 6 – Wednesday, May 20, 2015
The Proof of the Holy Spirit’s Presence is Generosity
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Scripture – Acts 10:38

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; he went about doing good

Thought

It is not the talents one has that make him great, however many and brilliant they may be; it is not the vast amount of study that gives mental enrichment to the mind and life; it is not in shining social qualities; it is not the large accumulation of wealth that secures peace and honor; in none of these, measured by God’s standards, does greatness reside.  But true greatness consists in the use of all the talents one has in unselfish ministry to others. (George Truett)

Prayer

Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire;
strengthen your children with the gift of faith,
revive your Church with the breath of love,
and renew the face of the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Our Pentecost Novena, Day 5

dallas

Northway Christian Church – Dallas, Texas
Day 5 – Tuesday, May 19, 2015
The Proof of the Holy Spirit’s Presence is Kindness
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Scripture – I Corinthians 13:4

Love is kind…

Thought

Andrew Blackwood, Jr. wrote, “Usually when God speaks He speaks through the human voice that is kind.  Nothing stops the sound of His voice so quickly as criticism, carping, unkindness.” “The greatest thing a man can do for a heavenly Father,” said Henry Drummond, “is to be kind to some of His other children.”  And Frederick William Faber said, “Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence or learning.”

Gordon M. Forgersen tells of meeting a Filipino Methodist Bishop on a Europe-bound ship.   The Bishop told of his experience when he came to North America as a student years before. The first Sunday his roommate appeared in the doorway, an umbrella under each arm.  He offered to show him the way to his own place of worship and then he planned to go on to his own church.   As they stated down the street he thought, “If this man has this kind of faith and interest in my spiritual life, surely I should find out what his faith is like.”  He asked his friend to take him to his church and he attended it for the next four years.  As a result he went on to Drew Theological Seminary and years later became a Bishop in this church.   Forgersen concluded his story be saying: “There is such a thing as a direct call rom God without intermediaries, but rarely.  Usually there’s just a man with two umbrellas.”

Prayer

Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire;
strengthen your children with the gift of faith,
revive your Church with the breath of love,
and renew the face of the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Come Holy Spirit, Come…

holy

This coming Sunday will be Pentecost.

Just like Easter, Pentecost marks the occurrence of an unrepeatable event in salvation history, the pouring out of God’s Spirit on all of His people (Joel 2:28-32) marking the dawn of a new dispensation of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:4-8). What happened at the beginning of the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13) was an event that was part of the saving work of God in Jesus Christ.  As Christ died for our sins only once and was raised for our transformation just once, so there is a similar “full, perfect and sufficient” quality to the pouring out of the Spirit on the first day of Pentecost 50 days after Easter.  But after this first occurrence of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the gift of the Holy Spirit to flowed to believers everywhere and always.  This is what happened later on the day of Pentecost after Peter had preached the Gospel in the power of the Spirit for the first time and people believed and were baptized.  They experienced forgiveness and they received the gift of the Holy Spirit themselves (Acts 2:37-39).  It is the extension and renewal of this gift of the Holy Spirit that was poured out for the first time on the day of Pentecost 50 days after Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and 10 days after Christ’s exaltation at His Ascension that is available to us as we ask God to keep on filling us with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).  This is the pattern of New Testament Christianity.

The happening of long ago is confirmed by present experience.  The Christian receives first the account of something that happened in history and then experiences its effects in in the present.  Experience does not provide a substitute for the documentary evidence, but it does confirm that evidence.  The saving event no longer seems to the Christian to be merely a far-off thing.  On the contrary, it is received into the Christian’s innermost soul, and every day and hour of the Christians’ life brings new conformation of its truth. (J. Gresham Machen, Christianity & Liberalism – 103, modified)

Following the pattern of the disciples in the book of Acts who spent the 9 days between the Ascension and Pentecost praying for the promised “power from on high” to provide both direction and momentum to their ministry (Luke24:49; Acts 2:8; 14), we have been observing a Pentecost Novena (from Latin: Novem, meaning Nine) at Northway praying “Come Holy Spirit, Come.”  On the church’s Facebook page – “Northway Christian Church of Dallas” – you can find a daily Scripture, Thought and Prayer Guide for this Pentecost Novena and a short daily devotional video by one of the Northway ministry team members on what it might mean for us both as individual Christians and as a community of faith if we experienced a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost is part of the saving work of God in Jesus Christ because Christianity simply doesn’t work in our own strength and by our own efforts (Galatians 3:1-5).  E. Stanley Jones called the Holy Spirit “the adequate spiritual dynamic for the living of the Christian life,” and that’s what we are seeking when we pray “Come Holy Spirit, Come.”

frankFrank Viola, the provocative and insightful Christian author, in his book Jesus Now: Unveiling the Present-Day Ministry of Christ (David C. Cook – 2014), has helpfully written about the difference that the Holy Spirit makes in our lives and in the life of the church (http://www.christianpost.com).  As we seek a fresh filling with the Holy Spirit this Pentecost, let what Frank has written stimulate in you a spiritual appetite for that “something more” that the Holy Spirit represents in the normal Christian life.

In some denominations and movements, the Holy Spirit is overemphasized, leading to a Christless Pentecost — putting the Spirit exclusively on the throne and losing Jesus in the temple. In other denominations and movements, the Spirit is but a footnote, an afterthought, even a stranger. What follows are 50 things the Holy Spirit does according to the New Testament. If you find this list helpful, share it on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  1. The Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8).
  2. The Spirit guides us into all truth (John 16:13).
  3. The Spirit regenerates us (John 3:5-8; Titus 3:5).
  4. The Spirit glorifies and testifies of Christ (John 15:26; 16:14).
  5. The Spirit reveals Christ to us and in us (John 16:14-15).
  6. The Spirit leads us (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:18; Matt. 4:1; Luke 4:1).
  7. The Spirit sanctifies us (2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rom. 5:16).
  8. The Spirit empowers us (Luke 4:14; 24:49; Rom. 15:19; Acts 1:8).
  9. The Spirit fills us (Eph. 5:18; Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17).
  10. The Spirit teaches us to pray (Rom. 8:26-27; Jude 1:20).
  11. The Spirit bears witness in us that we are children of God (Rom. 8:16).
  12. The Spirit produces in us the fruit or evidence of His work and presence (Gal. 5:22-23).
  13. The Spirit distributes spiritual gifts and manifestations (the outshining) of His presence to and through the body (1 Cor. 12:4, 8-10; Heb. 2:4).
  14. The Spirit anoints us for ministry (Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38).
  15. The Spirit washes and renews us (Titus 3:5).
  16. The Spirit brings unity and oneness to the body (Eph. 4:3; 2:14-18). Here the Spirit plays the same role that He plays in the Godhead. The Spirit is the life that unites Father and Son. The Spirit plays the same role in the church. When the Spirit is operating in a group of people, He unites them in love. Therefore, a sure evidence of the Holy Spirit working in a group is Love and Unity. Not signs and wonders (those are seasonal and can be counterfeited).
  17. The Spirit is our guarantee and deposit of the future resurrection (2 Cor. 1:22; 2 Cor. 5:5).
  18. The Spirit seals us unto the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30).
  19. The Spirit sets us free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2).
  20. The Spirit quickens our mortal bodies (Rom. 8:11).
  21. The Spirit reveals the deep things of God to us (1 Cor. 2:10).
  22. The Spirit reveals what has been given to us from God (1 Cor. 2:12).
  23. The Spirit dwells in us (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Tim. 1:14; John 14:17).
  24. The Spirit speaks to, in, and through us (1 Cor. 12:3; 1 Tim. 4:1; Rev. 2:11; Heb. 3:7; Matt. 10:20; Acts 2:4; 8:29; 10:19; 11:12, 28; 13:2; 16:6,7; 21:4,11).
  25. The Spirit is the agent by which we are baptized into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13).
  26. The Spirit brings liberty (2 Cor. 3:17).
  27. The Spirit transforms us into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18).
  28. The Spirit cries in our hearts, “Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6).
  29. The Spirit enables us to wait (Gal. 5:5).
  30. The Spirit supplies us with Christ (Phil. 1:19, KJV).
  31. The Spirit grants everlasting life (Gal. 6:8).
  32. The Spirit gives us access to God the Father (Eph. 2:18).
  33. The Spirit makes us (corporately) God’s habitation (Eph. 2:22).
  34. The Spirit reveals the mystery of God to us (Eph. 3:5).
  35. The Spirit strengthens our spirits (Eph. 3:16).
  36. The Spirit enables us to obey the truth (1 Pet. 1:22).
  37. The Spirit enables us to know that Jesus abides in us (1 John 3:24; 4:13).
  38. The Spirit confesses that Jesus came in the flesh (1 John 4:2).
  39. The Spirit says “Come, Lord Jesus” along with the bride (Rev. 22:17).
  40. The Spirit dispenses God’s love into our hearts (Rom. 5:5).
  41. The Spirit bears witness to the truth in our conscience (Rom. 9:1).
  42. The Spirit teaches us (1 Cor. 2:13; John 14:26).
  43. The Spirit gives us joy (1 Thess. 1:6).
  44. The Spirit enables some to preach the gospel (1 Pet. 1:12).
  45. The Spirit moves us (2 Pet. 1:21).
  46. The Spirit knows the things of God (1 Cor. 2:11).
  47. The Spirit casts out demons (Matt. 12:28).
  48. The Spirit brings things to our remembrance (John 14:26).
  49. The Spirit comforts us (Acts 9:31).
  50. The Spirit makes some overseers in the church and sends some out to the work of church planting [through the body] (Acts 20:28; 13:2).

dove

Come Holy Spirit, Come… DBS+

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Our Pentecost Novena; Day 4

 

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Northway Christian Church – Dallas, Texas
Day 4 – Monday, May 18, 2015
The Proof of the Holy Spirit’s Presence is Patience
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Scripture – Romans 2:7

To those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life…

 

Thought

In some ways patience is the greatest virtue of all.  It is not clad with romance and glamor; it has not the excitement of sudden adventurous action; but it is the very virtue of God Himself.  God in His patience bears with the sins, the refusals and the rebellions of people.  God in His patience refuses to abandon hope of the world which He created and which often turns its back on Him. (William Barclay)

An old legend says that one day Abraham was standing by his tent door when he saw an old man coming along the way, weary with his journey, and with bleeding feet.  With true hospitality Abraham invited the old man in to share his meal and lodging for the night.   Abraham noticed that the man asked no blessing on the meal, and when he asked about it, the old man explained that he did not pray to the God of heaven because he was a fire worshipper and did not acknowledge any other gods.  This enraged Abraham who threw the old man out of his tent and sent him on his way again.  Then God called Abraham, “Where is the old man who came to you?”   And Abraham answered, “I threw him out because he did not worship You.”   Then God said, “I have suffered him all these years even though he dishonored me, and you could not endure him for a single night?”

 

Prayer

Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire;
strengthen your children with the gift of faith,
revive your Church with the breath of love,
and renew the face of the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Our Pentecost Novena; Day 3

dallas

Northway Christian Church – Dallas, Texas
Day 3 – Sunday, May 17, 2015
The Proof of the Holy Spirit’s Presence is Peace

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Scripture – John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

Thought

Love and peace are not tested by rhetorical phrases from pulpit or platform.  They are tested by the way we behave toward others who continually go astray and are at odds.  The test of our love and peace for another is in our behavior toward particular persons with whom we talk, walk, and work. To be concerned for these is the test of our love.  At the heart of that which makes for peace is a tender, forgiving love as Christ forgave and loved. (John M. Drescher)

Prayer

Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire;
strengthen your children with the gift of faith,
revive your Church with the breath of love,
and renew the face of the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Our Pentecost Novena; Day 2

dallas

Northway Christian Church – Dallas, Texas
Day 2 – Saturday, May 16, 2015
The Proof of the Holy Spirit’s Presence is Joy
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Scripture – I Peter 1:8-9

Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Thought

The late Bishop Otto Dibelius of Germany, several years before his death, looked over his church conference program and wrote the general secretary, “When I scan the topics you have announced, I wonder if your New Testament hasn’t revised Luke 2 to read, “Behold, I bring you good problems of great moment which shall engage you for the next 2,000 years.”

Leon Bloy writing in a letter dated November 3, 1889, said, “For the people who know the Bible and tradition and the complete history of humanity, joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God.”

Paul Tillich asked, “Is our lack of joy due to the fact that we are Christians, or to the fact that we are not sufficiently Christian?”

Prayer

Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire;
strengthen your children with the gift of faith,
revive your Church with the breath of love,
and renew the face of the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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