This scripture from First Corinthians gave us a new perspective in how we ought to live. In our study about ‘Self-Control Versus Intemperance’, we are motivated to live right in order to provide a more hospitable environment for the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us.
One definition for self-control is refusing that which is harmful and using what is good with moderation. Typically, we think of self-control in relation to food and our appetites. But it goes beyond that. There are many seemingly good things that become harmful when we overindulge in them.
A thought-provoking analogy that came from our discussion was that the Holy Spirit is lives in a space that is in a continual state of renovation. Most of us have experienced the inconvenience renovations can cause; whether it’s to our homes, workplaces, schools, road construction and more. When something is being remodeled or repaired, the environment is messy and chaotic. Being unsettled causes extra stress as tensions are heightened. Regardless of this, the Holy Spirit chooses to live in us. He is with us throughout each stage of our spiritual journey. We are His sacred place. Furthermore, we have the option of whether to use the DIY approach and renovate ourselves by ourselves, or to let a professional–God–handle things.
The study ended with the assurance that despite our temptations, God is faithful! He has promised to never let us be tempted beyond our limits (1 Corinthians 10:13). What a glorious thought! Even when we’re pushed to the edge, God won’t let it get out of control. And He has a way out. We can take Him at His word because He always keeps His word.
We begun our prayer time with this sentiment:
By God’s mighty power, I choose to receive the healthiest types of food and drink into my body. I will speak and act after thinking about what Jesus would do in the same situation. I will use my energy, body, and mind to love God and serve people.
Next week, we’re studying part 8 of this revealing series, ‘Integrity Versus Deception’. As always, our Wednesday night prayer sessions are open to everyone. If you’re too shy to come alone, bring a friend with you. See you next Wednesday, May 31 at 7:00 pm.
Why is purity important? Why does it factor into our relationship with the Holy Spirit? Because an impure heart gives the devil an entryway into our lives, disrupting our connection with God.
As we recapped our study for part 6 of our series, ‘Purity Versus Sexual Immorality’ , we see how this topic also matters to God. Anything that hinders our intimacy with Him is a big deal. Like in our previous studies, we went into the Bible for scriptural evidence of God’s standard.
We appreciated that God and sex are linked together here. In the church, we fail to unite them as they should be. Most times, we’ll discuss one without the other as though they have no business being linked in the same breath. Or we go to the other extreme and only link God with sex when we’re taking more of a punitive or negative stance on the topic.
This is not God’s intention. We have tainted His perfect ideal when it comes to this sensitive topic. What was once an element of worship has shifted to something taboo.
Thankfully, God restores! When we ask Him for forgiveness, God forgives. His forgiveness also applies to the area of purity and sensuality. The sins that have been forgiven are gone, stricken from the record and we’re covered with His robe of righteousness. God erases forgiven sins from our record. If He doesn’t keep a tally, then we too should keep no tally. We need to treat and love each other as God loves us.
Our prayer for this topic was a simple request from our hearts:
I receive a clean, pure heart from God and a faithful spirit. I will focus my mind on pure and loving thoughts. I will keep sexual pleasure only for marriage. I will live to bless others instead of pleasing myself.
Join us next Wednesday at 7:00 pm as we dive into study #7: ‘Self-Control Versus Intemperance’.
Imagine if this phrase became as trendy as ‘selfie’ or ‘bff’? That’s why the build up has already begun.
Under the direction of Pastor Elmer Manzanares, Impact Winnipeg’s inaugural event was in February 2017. Events and training will be ongoing, leading up to the main event in November 2018. But Impact Winnipeg doesn’t end after this; we cannot stop sharing the gospel message to the city of Winnipeg and its surrounding communities.
Training was held recently at the Silver Heights Church, from April 28 to May 1. Pastor Chris Holland, It Is Written Canada speaker and upcoming Impact Winnipeg speaker, conducted this training in person. Over eight sessions, he focused primarily on how to give Bible studies. The information and vivid testimonies he shared helped to emphasize the importance of studying the Bible with someone. Before we can lead a study, we ourselves must be in a relationship with God. We need His Holy Spirit to guide and direct us while studying with others. We must be familiar with the Bible for ourselves so that we’re equipped to lead a study.
Overall, the goal of Bible studies and of Impact Winnipeg is to introduce people to Jesus Christ, encouraging them to live life with Him.
The next event is planned for October 18-23, 2017, with an emphasis on Health Ministry. Please keep Pastor Manzanares and his team–the Winnipeg pastors– in your prayers. Spend time asking the Lord what role He has for you as we work together to Impact Winnipeg.
Oooh, this series is good! As we met this past week, our discussion focused on ‘Forgiveness Versus Bitterness’. Jesus is the focal point as the ultimate example of forgiveness. For One who was frequently and unjustly wronged, Jesus had to repeatedly decide whether or not to forgive. He always chose forgiveness. Willingly. It was clear to us that in striving to be like Christ, it goes deeper than just being friendly, likeable and popular with some masses. We must also be ready to forgive with no strings attached.
One question from the study was: when a person chooses bitterness and revenge, who all gets hurt? Usually when bitterness and revenge are the focus, it’s because we’re hoping to attack the other person. To inflict pain or to retaliate because of how we were wronged. Except that it’s not just the other party that is affected. There is damage done to us as well.
A second question from this week was: how can we have the kind of love necessary to forgive those who have hurt us? Romans 5:5 has the answer–by being filled with the Holy Spirit.
During our prayer time, as we looked at repentance, one of the suggested activities was to get specific in seeking forgiveness. Tell God exactly who has wronged us; what actions and attitudes they had towards us that were hurtful and how we feel.
But it doesn’t stop there. May we all choose to be as thorough in our forgiveness as we were with listing our hurts.
Father in Heaven, I choose to forgive ______________ (person’s name) for ________________ (actions & attitudes that were hurtful to us). I am willing to suffer the emotional pain of ___________(our feelings), as well as the consequences that their actions and attitudes caused. I surrender all these things to You, to transform them and use them for good. I choose to pass on the mercy & kindness You have given to me as soon as I have opportunity. Forgive me for allowing wrong feelings, attitudes, and actions into my life.
We’re back to our regular Wednesdays next week, May 17 at 7:00 pm. As we continue to clear the way for the Holy Spirit, we’ll be studying ‘Purity Versus Sexual Immorality‘.
Today, we deconstructed our current understanding of the 3rd commandment and rebuilt it based on the premise that our life is a reflection of God’s love to us. We saw how “Don’t take my name in vain” can be paraphrased into “The way you love me causes me to appreciate you, and to not take you for granted.”