The Holy Spirit – From Jesus with Love May 26, 2016 – Posted in: Design Stories
I went to Darren’s Church on Pentecost Sunday morning to hear a friend of mine speak, Tim Hodge. He works for TSCF in New Zealand with his family. He was talking on Acts 1:1-12 and was encouraging the congregation to think about mission. What I liked about Tim’s sermon was that he was talking about all the different ways that people can do mission. Some people travel to different countries, some people support through prayer and finances and some people do it through their local communities. Afterwards someone felt inspired to pray for the empowering and enabling of the Holy Spirit so a few people gathered to pray with him within the church whilst the rest of us drank coffee and I chatted to old friends. Those that prayed did so out of a heart felt need for the Holy Spirit to move us for mission.
During the talk Tim mentioned our Dove design which was inspired by Acts 1:8. The Holy Spirit dove was the first design that Darren ever created. He nearly didn’t think it was good enough to add to the collection because the idea and creation of it came to him so quickly. You know what these creative types are like; if it wasn’t tortuous it’s not art! (Insert comment from Darren here?)
One of the things that we did wrestle with was what to put under the design. I felt that what Darren had originally written could be misunderstood. Sometimes when mission is talked about in Church it leaves people feeling guilty. They feel like they should be in a far flung country proclaiming the gospel or working full time for the church. However, this is never what a preacher intends (at least I hope so) and definitely not what God intended.
For every person in your church that seems to make sharing their faith seem so easy (and you know you have at least one person like that in your church!) there are a hundred who really struggle. Maybe you don’t know how to start the conversation without it sounding forced, struggle with the right words to say when people ask you questions or maybe you are embarrassed to admit that you go to church.
Whatever your fear is, know that you are not alone. God sent his son to earth to defeat evil and he sent his Holy Spirit to help us out. God knows we struggle which is why he gave the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit!
I personally think that it is absolutely fine to pray to God this way, “OK God if you want me to share my faith with people who don’t know you then let me know what I need to do and say”. Or “God, if you want me to speak to my friend about you, then naturally bring the conversation around to you.”
I don’t know how long you have been going to church for, so this might not have happened to you, but sometimes Church can seem really boring and irrelevant. I remember when I was eighteen, and I found church really boring. I was attending less and less and was coming close to giving up completely.
Then some of my friends organised a youth event for Non-Christians teenagers in the area. I got involved and loved it. Afterwards the people that set it up went back to university and somehow my two other friends and I ended up setting up a monthly youth event. I don’t remember quite how it happened but I do remember thinking “how on earth did I end up agreeing to do this! God I can’t do this on my own; you’re going to have to help me out here! “
As a consequence of those panicked prayers I ended up in a prayer triplet and doing things for God waaaay out of my comfort zone. But when I realised that God could use even me, my faith truly came alive. I realised that God not only loved me, but actually wanted me to get involved in sharing his love with others. For me that was a lifelong love of working with teenagers. Following Jesus never felt boring after that! (although I have still attended a few boring church services in my time but that’s another story!!!)
I guess what I am trying to say is that God loves you and thinks you are amazing. He wants you to get involved in sharing his love (or kingdom) with others. Not as a penance or out of guilt but because he loves you so much. He wants to show you how awesome you truly are and how gifted you are. He can transform your life if you only let Him.
To prove it he gave his people the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s a gift for you and all you have to do is accept the gifts of the Spirit and use them. The Holy Spirit – from Jesus, with love!
There’s not too much to add to what Del has said above, however I think he’s missed one obvious point! The title of the piece ‘From Jesus with love’ I think was inspired. The Holy Spirit is a gift from Jesus sent with His love for the purpose to enabled us to be sent out from Jesus with love into the world….you see there’s two meanings in one (and that comes with no additional charge)! How great is our need for the Holy Spirit, for followers of Christ to love God and the lost.