Top 10 Countdown: #8

We’re counting down the top ten Bible verses of all time, as determined by researchers with very large brains who analyze how often each verse is referenced.

Here’s VERSE #8. These were Jesus’ last words before leaving Earth. Pray through ’em. Memorize ’em. And then LIVE ’em.

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

LOVE Power

It’s LOVE-O-RAMA 2019 here on GUWG.

To me, the freakiest part about being a Christian is that God — the creator of the universe — comes to live IN you. The Bible says:

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? (1 Corinthians 6:19)

Fill Up

workout-newI will ask the Father and He will give you another counselor to be with you forever. (John 14:16)

Yesterday we unveiled our official 2019 Spiritual Workout Plan to help us all train for the Big Race.

Today we’ve included a handy graphic suitable for framing, posting on your fridge, tattooing on your biceps or anything else that will help you shun spiritual flabbiness.

The first step? It all starts with the  lit up by the flame in the center. Before we even think about moving a muscle, we need to plug into our power source: the Holy Spirit.

The Bible tells us to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). It’s the only way to live:

What Are YOU Full Of?

It’s WORDS WEEK 2013 here on GUWG, where we’re examining what God says about communication.

We started off yesterday with our key verse, words straight from the mouth of Jesus:

The mouth speaks what the ♥ is full of. (Luke 6:45)

So, here’s today’s question:

What’s YOUR ♥ full of?

Spirit Test

For the past couple of weeks here on GUWG, we’ve been discussing the Holy Spirit and what He means to us today. Here’s a little test just to make sure you were paying attention.

1.  The Holy Spirit . . .
a. Is a person
b. Is God
c. Lives in all Christians
d. Guides, helps, teaches, comforts, warns and prays for us
e. All of the above

2. The Holy Spirit is NOT . . .
a. An “it”
b. An impersonal force that we can manipulate
c. A ghost that haunts our attics and only comes out at night
d. Someone we should ignore
e. All of the above

3. Which of the following is NOT a fruit of the Spirit?
a. Love
b. Joy
c. Peace
d. Patience
e. Kindness
f. Goodness
g. Faithfulness
h. Gentleness
i. Self-control
j. Bananas

4. Which would you rather have more of in your life: the fruit of the sinful nature (hatred, jealousy, discord, etc.) or the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, etc.)?
a. The fruit of the sinful nature — I love being miserable and despised
b. The fruit of the Spirit

5. In John 15, God is the gardener, Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. In that picture, what is the Holy Spirit like?
a. Pesticide
b. The dirt
c. A cute little bunny hopping to and fro
d. Sap running through the branches, helping them produce good fruit

6. True or False: Christians should be grumpy, grimace and grit their teeth a lot as they serve God.
a. True
b. False — joy is a fruit of the Spirit

7. Complete this phrase: Blessed are the _______________.
a. Cheesemakers
b. Pacemakers
c. Green Bay Packers
d. Peacemakers

8. Christians should be faithful even to the point of ___________.
a. Mild discomfort
b. Embarrassment
c. Potentially negative financial consequences
d. Death

9. True or False: It’s OK for Christians to yell at telemarketers and/or customer service reps on the phone.
a. True
b. False — we should let our gentleness be evident to all

10. Which of the following is NOT a spiritual gift?
a. Serving
b. Teaching
c. Administration
d. Encouragement
e. Excellent karaoke skills

EXTRA CREDIT: What happens to trees that don’t bear good fruit?
a. Nothing — all trees and fruit are basically good
b. They wither, die and are reincarnated as ugly shrubs
c. They’re ground into paper pulp and turned into church bulletins
d. They’re cut down and thrown into the fire

Answers:  1(e), 2(e), 3(j), 4(b), 5(d), 6(b), 7(d), 8(d), 9(b), 10(e), EC(d)

I hope you enjoyed the past two Spirit-filled weeks. Always remember . . .

KEEP IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT

Happy Pentecost!

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what appeared to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4)

Pentecost is a huge deal. In my book, it should rank right up there with Christmas and Easter as big-time Christian celebrations.

Before the Holy Spirit came, the disciples were frightened, confused and ineffective. After they were filled with the Spirit, they did miracles, led thousands to Jesus and were willing to die for their faith.

What’s life like without the Spirit? Here’s just some of what you get:

sexual immorality
impurity
debauchery
idolatry
hatred
discord
jealousy
fits of rage
selfish ambition
dissensions
factions
envy
(Galatians 5:19-21a)

Yikes. So what’s life like with the Spirit? The fruit of the Spirit is:

love
joy
peace
patience
kindness
goodness
faithfulness
gentleness
self-control
(Galatians 5:22-23a)

Maybe it’s just me, but the second list sounds a tad better than the first. If you agree, ask the Spirit to fire you up today so that you can help fill the world with God’s love.

GET FIRED UP

Faith and a Fig Tree

This week, we’re walking in Jesus’ footsteps to the cross and beyond.

It’s Tuesday. Jesus is on his way back into Jerusalem. According to eyewitness reports:

Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.

When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:18-22)

Jesus doesn’t have much time left so he packs two powerful lessons into one.

A tree without fruit is useless. We’re Jesus’ branches in this world (John 15:1-5). Our job is simple: let the Holy Spirit produce fruit through us. What kind of fruit does Jesus want to see growing in our lives? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22).

Faith can move mountains. Jesus wants the disciples to understand the incredible power of God unleashed by prayer in the lives of those with faith. As John the disciple put it, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).

WALK WITH JESUS:
HAVE FAITH, PRAY AND BEAR FRUIT