He also emphasized everything had to be done out of love regardless of the situation. With regard to Christian service, when I was younger I often felt very protective about any ministry project in which I was involved. However, when that transforming power of God enters the picture, everything changes. Yet today the conventional wisdom among even good “Bible-believing” Christians is that we should fit Jesus’ call into our usual routine because, after all, we don’t want to be labeled fanatics, do we? 1 Cor 14:2,15,39 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.15. III. But did Jesus say, “Oh, thank you for reminding me. I needed to serve them best by empowering them to assume ownership of the class, and responsibility for their own spiritual growth. Any who have been traditionally considered of no account are called God’s chosen agents, that the power and the glory may be all of God and not of us. What happened? What about Peter’s wife, or the father of James and John? As you serve in ministry, you likely humbly see yourself as a minister or a servant. They were all empowered — women as well as men, old and young, of all backgrounds—to witness to God’s saving grace in Christ. – Colossians 3:1 Before His ascension to heaven, Jesus promised His followers that He would send a Helper who would be with them forever. What a challenging example for us in 1995! I had probably read or heard 1 Corinthians 12 hundreds of times before, but when she read it the words came alive. Our Savior's Lutheran Church is gathered in Christian Faith, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and sent into the community and world to love and serve. WELCOME. Today when we take that fresh look at the Scripture record, we see that a non-controversial Gospel is a contradiction in terms. Have such persons forgotten that we do not ever need to grasp after power? James offers to us a picture of God yearning over His people, eager to dwell within our lives through His Holy Spirit, more eager than we are to be indwelt. His life is a picture of the perfect work of the Holy Spirit in man. “Empowered for Service” Acts 2:1-21. It is the Holy Spirit who distributes the gifts as He wills. Eucharist (Holy Communion) Confirmation; Marriage; Anointing of the Sick; Funeral Rite; Donations & Payments. They were all empowered — women as well as men, old and young, of all backgrounds—to witness to God’s saving grace in Christ. No. Jesus’ words were so controversial that people tried to kill him after the service. Jesus was born by the work of the Spirit; Jesus was led by the Spirit to suffer temptation and come out spotless; Jesus was empowered by the Spirit to do the ministry he did; But team ministry also fosters mutual accountability, and guards against exhaustion. At the end of the day, the people coming to church must understand that those who are ministered to are edified, but it doesn’t mean that we should stop speaking in tongues. Empowered to Serve, Serving to Empower (Serving - Chapter 2) By FCA Resources October 9, 2008. The scriptural sequence is that I am created in the image of God, God made me physically the individual I am, God’s grace has reached out to me spiritually so that I am now a new creature in Christ Jesus, and finally I now have a new servant calling as God’s agent of reconciliation—an ambassador for Christ. So Paul is able to write to the Corinthians: “We do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake .... and we do have the treasure of our new life in our human form, so that it may be clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.” And Paul also says, “Of this Gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of God’s power” (Eph 3:7). How do we stir up the gift? We need never apologize for being “only” women, or “only” a minority person, or “only” a low-income person. The primary reason why God gave us the Holy Spirit is to empower us to serve Him. This word ambassador is a strong word in the original New Testament Greek, just as it is in English. Think also of the fact that in the first-century culture, where the accepted model of government was having an emperor, Jesus set up a model of collegial servant leadership. The Holy Spirit bears witness to the true-truth. By the Holy Spirit I want to counsel you to commit yourself in your fellowship with the Holy Spirit so you can be empowered by grace to serve God faithfully. That national and international leaders may be empowered by the Holy Spirit in serving their people as Christ came to serve, let us pray to the Lord. And as they continued to witness, they had the assurance of continuing to receive all the power they needed to serve their Lord, no matter how hard the way might be. Or what about the list of women in Luke 8:2-3, who went around the countryside with Jesus? But, on a deeper and more practical level, the fact that in Scripture both women and men serve in a wide variety of roles has taught me a new and inclusive concept of leadership. Servant leadership means that, by God’s power, we each in our spheres of service use our gifts to exercise both servanthood and leadership. Scripture itself gives so many inspiring role models of women empowered by God to serve in every possible ministry role: from Old Testament leaders like Miriam, Judge Deborah, Esther, or the prophet Huldah, to the combination entrepreneur and homemaker of Proverbs 31, and also New Testament women like merchant Lydia (founding mother of the church at Philippi). Power to give needed help (Acts 5:16). Here Paul commends “our sister, Phoebe, a deacon (minister) of the church at Cenchrea” and Paul asks the Romans to welcome her, and help her in whatever she requires. III. As I sit down this morning to share with you, my thoughts on the baptism of the Holy Spirit also known as the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Empowered to SHARE. What is the conclusion then? Ambassador denotes an important, authoritative role, and it is a role all believers are called to fill. Jesus “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). B. Persons who have accepted a secular culture’s definition of leadership will attempt to control power over others, or even think that power is their property. But she put a limitation on what I was to say. These biblical truths have very practical applications on a day-to-day basis, because all the individual members of God’s family are equally important for the effective functioning of the whole. Why? Roles of the Holy Spirit. Unlike those earliest followers of Jesus, we seem reticent to let the Gospel upset our carefully-planned lives or, even more radical, abandon our comfortable way of life altogether. And we must come to see that we are to act as “bought” people who are now at Christ’s disposal. Then about ten years after that very important learning experience for me, I found myself leading a Bible class made up primarily of new Christians. This is the third part in the series on laying the foundation. In that early church, leaders were persons who—like Phoebe and Timothy— were simply fellow-believers called to use their spiritual gifts to minister together with the other members of the local Body of Christ. In 19881 was in London, and on a free Sunday visited a small storefront Anglican church. There is a compelling but often-overlooked example of servant leadership in Romans 16:1-2. It simply is not our natural reaction to want to put ourselves at other people’s disposal, which can mean quite literally being used up for others. And as they continued to witness, they had the assurance of continuing to receive all the power they needed to serve their Lord, … The text tells us that as Jesus was teaching, “a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that gave you nourishment.’ “What a natural opening that ancient formula of blessing presented for Jesus, had he wanted to teach gender roles. Yet from the beginning of human history, it has gone against the grain of human nature to be someone else’s servant, much less their slave. We are no longer our own, we are bought with a price—the price of Christ’s sacrificial death in our stead. But the controversy wasn’t limited to Jesus. Acts 1:8 – Promise of the Holy Spirit. May God’s empowered children today catch the challenge, the excitement, the practicality, the efficiency, and the freedom of joining Paul in saying: “We do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake.”. Our Savior's Lutheran Church is gathered in Christian Faith, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and sent into the community and world to love and serve. This should help keep leaders from becoming self-absorbed. 6. We Are Empowered By The Holy Spirit To Serve, Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”. Here I recall how an unknown woman ministered to me. We are constantly reminded that for a body to remain healthy and function it’s not only what they eat consume but how they exercise as well. The Holy Spirit also empowers us to do many miraculous things for our good and His glory. Do you really think the various members said, “Oh great, you men go off and find yourselves. It can be done by speaking or praying. Theologian Wayne Grudem has a helpful definition: “A spiritual gift is any ability that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in any ministry of the church.” The baptism of the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues, is a gateway into the supernatural. This has been particularly true in the areas of racism and sexism, where persons who traditionally have been culturally empowered to be over others can find it difficult to think that in God’s family circle they are now on equal footing with those they have always considered subordinates. That is a far different matter from simply trying to recapture the ancient cultural setting of the early church, a cultural setting in which women were traditionally subordinate and had limited opportunities compared to men. Power to speak fearlessly (Acts 4:13). But because this does not come naturally, Scripture makes it clear that such a transformation can only be by God’s power. Yet how hard it is for some Christians today to see themselves as only one servant among many. But while these many Scripture portions are contrary to everything the secular world holds dear, what healing, strengthening, and challenging words for women, for minorities, for disadvantaged persons everywhere. Vista Ridge United Methodist Church. Yet, Peter and the early Church had God’s favor, courage, and power to speak the name of Christ, heal the sick, and make disciples everywhere they went. Welcome to Our Savior's Lutheran Church. TEXT: Acts 1:8 . Even more, in fulfillment of Jesus’ promise that they themselves would be “clothed from on high,” these new believers “received power when the Holy Spirit came upon them” at Pentecost. The word baptize used both in conjunction with water baptism, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit means to immerse and to soak something. Persons Who Serve on Campus A. Our unity is not about sameness, but unity in diversity. One verse in particular leapt out at me as especially apt in promoting biblical equality. GROUPS & ACTIVITIES. You’ll learn how to be filled with the Spirit’s power and why that’s so important in today’s world. They needed something more than just authority, they needed transforming power! No one of us is empowered to be over others by making the final decisions for them. The Baptized B. Think also about the controversy Zaccheus must have generated when he had a conversion experience and suddenly gave back all the money he had embezzled and extorted, not to mention the controversy among Jesus’ own followers when—in her complete devotion—Mary of Bethany lavished precious ointment on him. These spirit empowered gifts were to be used to build up the church for the work of the ministry. Empowered by the Spirit If you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Sign up for our newsletter to receive our most up-to-date news, articles, and information. The gifts from God are always for the good of other people, so that they will benefit through our ministry to them by operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When will we accept the fact that we are not “women” Christians or “men” Christians, but we are equally empowered servants who are all equally challenged to move out in that God-given power and use our many diverse gifts to serve the good of the one Body? When Paul was afraid, he says in Corinthians that his weakness was proof that the power of … Servant leadership does not mean filling a slot on an organization chart, or being in a position of benign power over others. The Holy Spirit is our Helper. One of the greatest lessons I have learned over the years is to let others use their gifts to teach me. Spiritual Gifts. We can profit from taking a fresh look both at the overall concept of being empowered to serve and at how it affects Christians who stand for biblical equality. The Gospel turns human notions on their head, and the Gospel certainly turns traditional teaching about “who gets to do what” upside down. Although it was Christ--the second Person of the Trinity--who came to earth to minister to mankind, His ministry was accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit empowered the disciples to spread the gospel even through persecution. It will help us to tune into the Holy Spirit regarding what He wants us to do. The Holy Spirit gives us boldness to testify to God’s greatness and the ability to prove that Jesus is who He claimed to be. Yet, all too often, even in the Church we have been guilty of thinking: “The most visible person, the most educated, the one with the title—that person is ‘first among equals’,” failing to see that “first among equals” may sound fine but in reality means inequality. Through the fruit of the Spirit, God's power and only God's power enables us to exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, which reveal the character of Christ in us. 6. Thereafter, we are instructed to stir up the gift of God in us. Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”. Empowered by the Holy Spirit. When I am free enough to let them use their gifts to lead me into greater knowledge and awareness of the breadth of discipleship, I am indeed submitting to them and they are indeed both leading and serving me. What would it be like to have a similar emphasis on team ministry today? As Peter later wrote, “(We) are being protected by the power of God through faith ... God’s divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness” (1 Pet 1:5; 2 Pet 1:3). The Holy Spirit also empowers us to do many miraculous things for our good and His glory. We can desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Uniting Church believes that in the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ sustains his Church through the changes of history, commanding people’s attention and awakening faith (Basis Par 4). As long as one group holds to the notion that there is another group that is always under them, the Dominant group cannot understand the biblical meaning of servanthood. The statement further declares that because all persons are created in the image of God and each has essential equality and dignity, we Christians are called to reflect that image by using our God-given gifts for the good of others. Therefore, it is important to teach and lay the right foundation!! Professional Campus Ministers A. And we need a fresh appreciation of Jesus’ radical teaching in Luke 11:27-28 where Jesus himself taught there was nothing to be gained by concentrating on gender; rather, our concentration is to be on serving God. Ron Mentzer. James offers to us a picture of God yearning over His people, eager to dwell within our lives through His Holy Spirit, more eager than we are to be indwelt. But we are one in our origin as equally created in the image of God, we are one in what Jude calls our common salvation, we are to be one in obeying the command to be mutually submissive one to the other out of reverence for Christ, and we are one in our appointment as equal servants of Christ. The English word benefactor does not give the full range of meaning, but Phoebe was someone in a position of trust, leadership, and even authority. But when the person with a gift of helps exercises that gift, that person is indeed taking leadership in his or her own sphere of compassionate care. Or what about pastor and congregational leader Phoebe, the apostle Junia, social worker Dorcas, family nurturers Lois and Eunice, teacher Priscilla, and Phillip’s four preacher daughters? Empowered to DREAM. 22. At Spirit Empowered Ministries Our vision and mission is to help connect people to Jesus. Even more, in fulfillment of Jesus’ promise that they themselves would be “clothed from on high,” these new believers “received power when the Holy Spirit came upon them” at Pentecost. Each one of us is on a life-long journey into learning more about discipleship, and I am no exception. 关注以下ICS每日灵修微信账号,获取中文版灵修信息推送. Sea Island Presbyterian Church is a family of faith formed by the grace of Jesus Christ and located in Beaufort, SC. Spirit Empowered Ministries looks to serve the Church community through building relational bonds with ministry partners, seeking God in prayer, and equipping the Saints to advance the Kingdom of Heaven. He empowered us to serve. #4 SERIES ON THE HOLY SPIRIT "THE HOLY SPIRIT EMPOWERS!" So it has been not only through my own intellectual study of these many issues as I have searched Scripture to find God’s plan for human interaction in Christian service, but it has been through some painful and eye-opening personal experiences that I have come to see more clearly what “empowered to serve” is all about. This is the “supernatural inheritance” God gives to His children, so they may live the victorious, abundant, yet unselfish, miracle-filled life of a “Spirit-filled” Christian. Empowered for Purpose, Part 6. Jesus “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). Leadership power was multiplied when it was shared. RESOURCES. My caller represented a conservative women’s religious group, and invited me to speak at their annual meeting. Let go of every form of bitterness, grudges, offence, immorality and worldliness that you may serve in holiness, lest you serve God and at the end be a cast away (1Corinthians 9:27). Holy Spirit is the One who empowered Jesus and is also the One who empowers us. The Spirit empowers us to serve the Church which brings glory to the triune God—the Giver of those gifts. All Rights Reserved, Experiencing God – Is Our Faith in God Still Relevant Today, From the Closet to the Board Room (Part 1) – Listening to God, Our Church Experiencing God Together (CG Campaign 3), Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow. There was no shared ownership. Furthermore, Phoebe had been a prostatis in relation to Paul! And so the servant leader has been transformed by God’s power into someone free to serve and also free to let others serve in their turn. Empowered in Diversity. Back in 19901 received a phone call that highlighted how familiarity can breed indifference to Bible truths. God gives us power! Why? Gifts of Stock, Mutual Funds, and Retirement Accounts, CBE International’s Favorite Books of 2020, Sign Up to Get CBE’s Academic Journal Online. We planned an organized transition, and I let go by removing myself—completely so no one would be inhibited as they took their first steps into leadership themselves. This video is unavailable. First | Prev | Next | Last. For example, in the forty-three years my husband has practiced law, I have never heard him referred to as anything but a lawyer, but my daughter-in-law is termed a “woman” lawyer, with that qualifier conveying the notion that she might practice law in some sort of peculiarly “female” manner. Mothers’ Day Out and Preschool 865/671-4616. Only practicing Christ’s teaching about servant leadership will free us all from the bondage of self-serving, that human desire to grasp power, to create “our” ministries. He chose twelve disciples who functioned together, and he also sent out his disciples in teams. Empowered By the Spirit “ But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” ” ( ) In previous lessons, we have seen over and over our dependence upon the grace of God in the Christian… 2901 Denton Tap Road Lewisville, TX 75067 972.315.5225 Nor does it mean empowering others to serve merely as your assistants, or even as your second-in-command — which is what so-called “loving leadership of men over women” promotes. The way I had handled power not only did not empower others, it disempowered them by making them feel weak and inadequate. Genesis 1:1 speaks of the “Spirit of God hovering over the waters” at the creation. OUR PASTOR Pastor Simmons grew up in church. Acts 2:1-4 – Fulfillment at the day of Pentecost. It means the highest official envoy, someone accredited to go to a foreign government as representative of his or her own government. Subscribe. As she expounded on how I was to give a “simple” Gospel message, I thought: I wonder what she makes of Jesus’ remarkable words in Luke 4:18,19 where at the beginning of his public ministry Jesus presented himself as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, come to bring healing and liberation. The thinking is: Of course we Christians are called to serve God first and then to serve our fellow human beings, and obviously if God calls us to do something God will give us the power to do it. But while very few persons of good will today would still promote racism, all too many in die conservative church still teach that men are to have power over women. The Baptized B. The person in servant leadership not only shares expertise, but also models putting that expertise at the disposal of others, never wielding that expertise over others. Taught by the Empowerment of the Spirit Acts 1:2 says that Christ gave His commandments to the apostles "through the Holy Spirit." 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