And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit… Ephesians 5:18
There’s a man I know who’s lived for the Lord many years now. When he was about 26 years old, he had a real tragedy in his life and he didn’t know what to do. So he went to his boss who wasn’t a believer in Christ, described the terrible event that had happened, and said, “What should I do?”
And the boss replied, “Go out and get drunk. Get really hammered. Then you’ll forget about it.”
So that young man went back to his empty house. He was all alone. And rather than taking his boss’ advice to get drunk. He fell on his face and begged God to take control of his life. He was filled with God’s Spirit! And God ministered to him and gave him the strength to carry on. He didn’t need to get drunk because he gave it all to the Lord!
To be filled with the Spirit means that you give yourself over to God’s will, not your own. It’s saying, “God, I’ve had enough of trying to figure life out by myself. I trust in you fully because you know what’s best for me.”
And believe it or not, that’s the most secure prayer you could ever pray. So be filled with God’s Spirit by giving Him control over every aspect of your life today!
TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT MEANS GIVING EVERYTHING OVER TO GOD AND ALLOWING HIM TO CONTROL YOUR LIFE. SO SURRENDER YOURSELF TO GOD TODAY AND ALLOW HIM TO MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT.
But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant…”
An old gold prospector came out of the mines one hot afternoon, and he came across some younger cowboys. Well, these young cowboys thought they’d have a little fun with the old man, so they pulled out their pistols and said, “Old man, have you ever danced?”
He said, “No, I don’t believe I have.” So they just filled the ground with bullets and the old man danced a jig. The young cowboys got a good kick out of it, but they hadn’t noticed the old man had turned around to his mule and pulled out a shotgun. Once the pistols were empty, the prospector pointed it right at the lead cowboy and he said, “Young man, have you ever kissed a mule?”
A lot of people today think they are good and motivating to others, simply because they hold something over their heads. It could be a paycheck, attention, or emotional connectedness. But that’s not leading—it’s the equivalent of pointing a gun at someone and making them do what you want!
True commitment exists only when there is the option to not be committed. So instead of controlling others by manipulation and force, lead them gently. When you do, you’ll increase your effectiveness and the influence you have on the world!
INSTEAD OF MANIPULATING OTHERS, LEAD THEM IN, THROUGH GODLY INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION.
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
Perhaps one of the most well-known stories in the Bible is that of Noah and the ark he built. God told Noah that He was going to send judgment upon the earth in the form of a flood. But because Noah and his family were righteous, God told Noah He would save them and gave him plans to build a boat.
So on the day that the flood was to come, God said to Noah, “…come into the ark” (Genesis 6:18). And that tells us, of course, that God was inside that ark. The only way Noah and his family were going down was if God went down. And God wasn’t going down!
I’m so glad God didn’t say, “Noah, I’ll put a few pegs on the outside of that boat for you. And if you hang on faithfully until the end, you’ll be secure through the storm.” No, He said, “Come into this ark.” And Noah may have fallen down many times in the ark, but he never fell out of the ark!
Now Peter tells us that Jesus is our ark of safety (1 Peter 3:20). And if we are in that ark—in Christ—we can never fall out. So if you’re in Christ, rest assured that though you may stumble, you can never fall out of His grace, and you have eternal life forever!
REST IN THE ASSURANCE THAT IF YOU’RE IN CHRIST, YOU CAN NEVER LOSE YOUR SALVATION!
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
It’s funny how much people love guarantees today, isn’t it? If you buy an appliance, an automobile, or make an investment, you want a certain guarantee that you’re going to get what you expect. That’s because it’s in our nature to minimize our risk.
Well, in the greatest investment of all time—the investment of your life—you have a guarantee as well! God has given those who are in Christ Jesus a permanent pledge to ensure they are His forever… a guarantee that He will fulfill His promise of salvation. And that guarantee is the Holy Spirit.
Now, many today think of the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force rather than the personal member of the Trinity He really is. And when He comes into your life, the Spirit imparts to you the fullness of our personal God who loves you deeply and seals you for the day of redemption.
God loves you so much that He sent His Spirit to live in you and guarantee your position in Christ. So as you live your life, remember that through your faith in Christ, you have access to God’s full resources in the Holy Spirit and a permanent guarantee of your eternal inheritance!
REMEMBER, IN CHRIST GOD HAS GIVEN YOU HIS HOLY SPIRIT AS A GUARANTEE OF YOUR ETERNAL INHERITANCE.
“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24
I heard about a pastor who was taking over a church and his predecessor told him, “I’ve left you three envelopes in the top desk drawer. If you get in trouble, open the first envelope. If you get in trouble again, open the second envelope. And if you get in trouble again, open the third envelope.”
One day he found himself in trouble and he pulled out that first envelope and read a little note that said “Blame it on your predecessor.” So he blamed everything on his predecessor and things smoothed out for a while.
But later on, he was back in hot water again. So he reached into that top drawer and pulled out the second envelope and the note said, “Blame it on the people.” He got up and tried that for a while. But really it just made matters worse!
So he reached into that drawer, pulled out the third envelope, and with quivering hands, he opened it to read. “Prepare three envelopes!”
Blaming others for your problems only leads to more blame. So if you make a mistake, own up to it. Admit when you’re at fault with someone else and allow God to restore you back to fellowship!
DON’T BLAME OTHERS FOR YOUR FAULTS. INSTEAD, ADMIT YOUR WRONGDOING AND SEEK FORGIVENESS AND RESTORED FELLOWSHIP!