Christianity 201

April 1, 2012

The Spirit Gives Life

Today marks the beginning of Year Three here at Christianity 201. As I’ve stated before, I began writing this for purely selfish reasons: To keep my personal devotional life grounded and accountable, and to keep from being distracted by the issues, controversies and news stories that characterize tens of thousands of other Christian blogs, including Thinking Out Loud.

I am learning so much in the process of doing this, and I thank all of you who read regularly for your support and comments, and especially those of you whose writing has been “borrowed” to be part of the collection here.


I’ve just started reading Spirit Rising: Tapping Into the Power of the Holy Spirit by Jim Cymbala (Zondervan). His first book, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire was a unique reading experience simply because the story of what God did and continues to do at the Brooklyn Tabernacle is a very unique story. It’s a church that was birthed into existence through prayer. I’m only a chapter in, but I hope I can whet your appetite for Jim’s writing through this and a couple of other excerpts I’m sure will run here.

First, from the introduction by Francis Chan:

It is the Spirit who gives life. The flesh is of no help at all. (John 6:63)

The Holy Spirit is not merely helpful. He is our only hope. He is the one who gives life. Yet when people lack life, the church often points to other solutions. When church services lack life, we grasp at so many other methods to gry to generate excitement. This is not true at Brooklyn Tabernacle, where Pastor Jim has served faithfully for decades. Their solution to everything is prayer. And it shows…

…We all see problems in the church. We don’t need another book to point those out. We need the faith to believe that the solution is really quite simple: The Holy Spirit.

And from the first chapter by Jim Cymbala

The Holy spirit is God’s agent on earth, yet ye is the least understood, least preached about, and least discussed member of Trinity. And that is sad, because without him, our spiritual lives will always become a dry, mechanical struggle… I can’t think of anything else that will change your prayer life, your study of God’s Word, and your experience during worship in church more than inviting the  Spirit to join you in a new way…

…If you want power, confidence, joy, peace, and more love in your life, ask the Spirit to come in and do something new in you… I promise you that when he does, your spiritual life will cease to be dry and mechanical. Instead, it will be filled with awe at the power of the Spirit and the wonder of God’s goodness.

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