“John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’” — Luke 3:16
My friend and I, both native English speakers, showed an interest in the Spanish language in high school. We took required Spanish courses and practiced speaking Spanish as often as we could.
I continued to be interested in the Spanish language while in college but did not pursue it as an academic study. I practiced Spanish occasionally, but my speaking was limited. My friend was a different story.
He went to college for an education major and Spanish minor and spent a year in college studying abroad. The next time I saw him and heard him interact in Spanish, it was as if Spanish were his first language! Though we were at a similar level in high school, he was now an authentic communicator in ways that allowed him to comfortably communicate with any Spanish-speaking person. How was he doing this?
The answer: His year abroad was in Spain. For an entire year, he was immersed in the language and culture of a Spanish-speaking country—so much so that his confidence and comfort level were seemingly the same in Spanish as in English. Learning Spanish in a classroom and with relatively limited interaction with native Spanish-speaking people is helpful, but it not the same as being immersed in the rhythms of the language, people, and culture.
The same is true for Christianity. This is why John the Baptist says in Luke 3 that Jesus’ baptism will be a deep immersion into the ways of God: “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
As followers of Christ, we are called to have more than just knowledge about Jesus or periodic interactions with Him. We are called to be immersed in the ways of Jesus and the Kingdom of God so that it becomes our “first language.” This is the way of Jesus, which is the way of love and holiness.
Prayer for the Week:
Gracious God: Thank you for your call to surrender fully to Jesus and to be so immersed in the ways of Your Spirit that we become true citizens of the Kingdom of God, reflecting You in all that we say and do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Charles W. Christian is managing editor of Holiness Today.
Written for Coffee Break with Holiness Today.
Who are you? What is your inheritance? What does that mean here and now?
Pastor Ann has been leading us through a dynamic series to help us understand the answers to these questions. This week she will put the last pieces of the puzzle together regarding our identity and inheritance.
In the first week she helped us to see that we live in the natural world. When we take God into account, suddenly everything around us becomes more significant, especially the concept of who we might be or become.
Week 2 brought us into the concept of Kingdom Citizenship. Since we live in a republic, we may never have given thought to what it means to have responsibilities to a King that go hand in hand with our rights.
Last week she explained that we are JOINT HEIRS with Jesus Himself! As children of God, we have been given the same rights and authority that God gave to the Son of Man.
This Sunday, at 10:55 a.m. she will bring all these pieces together so that we will be able to see what it means for us, as God’s children.
You don’t want to miss this one! Come a bit early if you like and share breakfast with us at 9:00 a.m. or just coffee if that’s too early. We’ll be having adult Sunday School class at 9:30, although there is no childcare available at that time.
Are you struggling with issues that seem to have appeared out of nowhere? Does it seem there are brick walls everywhere you turn? Do you feel like its one step forward and two steps back?
Satan is manipulating you. His greatest desire is for you to be distracted from God. Is it working?
He doesn’t need you to commit murder to win the battle. He just needs you to turn aside, to lose your focus, to disengage from the Lord.
We have the power to defeat Satan at every turn. Pray according to God’s will, command Satan to remove himself from your life and it will be done. Does this sound too simple?
It really is that easy. Seek God and His will for you. Tell Him what’s going on. Ask Him to forgive your sins. Ask Him into your life. Focus on Him. Command Satan to get behind you in Jesus’ Holy Name. Satan must step away from you.
Oswald Chambers said, “Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have.”
Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s.”
John Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
Jesus invites everyone to be a Citizen of His Kingdom. If you are curious about how to become one of His Citizen’s visit us this morning. Service begins at 10:55, but there is always coffee for those of you who would like to come a bit early, meander around and get acquainted!
We are looking forward to meeting you today!
Still have no plans for tonight?
Looking for some way to celebrate with your family?
We invite you to join us for our annual New Year’s Eve party. This is casual, clean, family fun.
Tonight we will be celebrating the end of the year with a potluck meal at 5:30. As our guests you may bring a side dish or dessert if you like, but there is no obligation. After dinner we are gathering in the sanctuary for a time of Praise. Individuals who have volunteered will be sharing music, writings, readings and/or testimonies about God and His blessings. After communion we’ll return to the fellowship hall for family games till we can’t play any longer!
Its always fun. Its always surprising. Its always a great way to make new friends and renew old friendships.
We look forward to seeing you at 5:30……… or a bit later if you’d rather eat before you come. Leave whenever you or your kids are tired.
According to Webster’s dictionary, to believe means to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so; to be fully persuaded or convinced. Mary believed Gabriel. Joseph believed the angel. The shepherds believed the angels. The wise men believed they should follow the star. All of these people took God into account.
What are we missing because we are not fully persuaded?
He has agreed to do miraculous things for us and in us when we passionately believe.
Join us Sunday to find out what God has planned when we truly believe with our hearts and not just our heads.
Wishing each and every one of you a very merry Christmas! We pray that you enjoy the day, remembering what we celebrate during this season.
Emmanuel, God With Us, was born to ordinary people in an ordinary town. But the story is really EXTRAordinary. Jesus came to us to bring us back into right relationship with God.
May His Light fill your homes and lives this Christmas and every day to come.
We don’t want you to miss out on anything! So here’s our upcoming schedule:
Join us for these times of celebration! It’s the most joyous season and we want to share it with you.
Come and sing with us! We’ll be warming up afterwards with cider, hot cocoa and cookies. Please be at the church by 6:15 pm.