Thank you for your prayers for our Haiti Missions Team! They got back safe and sound late this Monday night (well, mostly safe and sound -- Caleb apparently fell while climbing the ruins of an old fortress on Saturday and scuffed himself up a bit, but no serious injuries came from the week), and they are praising God for the ministry that they were able to perform while on the island. In fact, they’ll be sharing about that in our service next Sunday, so please come join us if you can.
It’s also Pentecost Sunday next week. And if that’s not enough to draw people in, it’s also the week of our Annual Neighborhood Church Picnic, so that means really good food eaten with really nice people. Come join us and have fun with us as a church family.
You may also notice in the bulletin that we’re asking people to give Mark feedback about worship music. Please either use the green insert or drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know what some of your favorite pieces of worship music are, and why they mean something to you. What do you listen to in your personal worship times? What songs help you draw close to God when we sing as a church family? Part of this is to help us build our base of music to choose from, but on a larger level, it’s to help Mark understand where our congregation is at, at our core, so that he knows how best to serve in his position as Worship Leader. Thank you for helping with this.
We also finished up our centuries-long “Church History” Sunday School class, so if you have any ideas about what you’d like to study when our classes start up again in September, please let me know now so that I can be prayerfully preparing. And no, we can’t do what Randy suggested and start all over again with the birth of Jesus...
In our message this week, we talked about how the Holy Spirit changes everything. See, the Bible reminds us that when we become Christians, the Holy Spirit lives within our hearts -- and He lives with us always and forever. We become Temples of the Holy Spirit, and our lives are always and forever dwelling in the presence of God. We’re mobile holy places with feet... and that means that anywhere we go, any interaction we have, automatically becomes a holy thing.
So the question isn’t whether or not we are willing to be gifted by God (since each one in the Church is gifted, for the benefit of everyone else -- see 1 Corinthians 12:7, 14:12, etc.). And it’s not whether or not we are willing to be holy (since we’re already and always holy -- see 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19-20, etc.). No, the question is whether or not we are willing to live as if we genuinely believe all of that to be true.
As we’ve discussed, God never sent His Spirit simply to convict us, or simply to empower us, or simply to encourage us. He sent His Spirit into us to give us a new heart (see Ezekiel 36:25-27). He sent His Spirit into us to change us (see Titus 3:4-5). And He sent His Spirit into us to keep changing us every day (see Romans 12:1-2).
Don’t let the world pound you into its shape every day. Let God transform you from the inside-out into His image every day….