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Archive for April, 2009

Past Uncovered

Memories, can just do that much
Too much, sometimes..
The pleasant ones, they bring hope
The painful ones bring regret

But what happens when the pleasant ones bring pain?

I once said I know not to be affected by the things of this world, but I never said I wasn’t human ๐Ÿ˜€

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The Holy Spirit

Have you ever wondered who the Holy Spirit is? I know I have, some time ago. My first impression of the Holy Spirit was a ghost-like thing wandering around the Earth. After a while I decided God needed to be omnipresent, so the Holy Spirit must be like the air! A large, invisible figure that covers the whole Earth.

Well, I wasn’t that far off ๐Ÿ˜€

The Bible always speaks about receiving the Holy Spirit, being filled, being taught, being anointed, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit… and the list goes on. I will soon explain what all these mean later on. If you have read the Bible, you might have realized that the phrase, Holy Spirit rarely occurs in the Old Testament. Probably only twice in a prophecy and once in the book of Psalm, which I feel I should not elaborate on now. In the Old Testament, God, to His people was a God. Someone they revere, worship, and fear. This was because humans were unclean, as they had sinned, and cannot have any closer forms of contact with God. That’s why only the priest in those times could enter the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence would really be. And he had to go through some procedures before he went in.

In the New Testament, however, we see the phrase many times, that I wouldn’t even bother to count. As Jesus had died on the cross for our salvation, He had removed all sin from our bodies, that we may be united once again with God. And this was why the purple veil in the temple tore when Jesus died that Good Friday many years ago. It signified that men now, have access to God. That we would not be separated by sin and death any longer.

Now, a term ‘Trinity’ exists. God the Father, God the Son, and God as the Holy Spirit.

“I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Mark 1:8

Once we become Christians, we may ask for the Holy Spirit to fill us because we have been made clean by death of our sinful bodies. As Jesus had left the world after His resurrection, He left with us the Holy Spirit, to guide us in our lives.

And now it’s back to a point by point format, which I kind of dislike. It is rather inevitable I suppose..

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

As you would probably have guessed, if you have been reading my entries long enough, that I would start with this point before anything else. When we have the Holy Spirit in us, we have hope in our future, because God reassures us that He has a plan for us. The Holy Spirit is the one who keeps you calm, or in other words, give you joy and peace in life, assured of your future, and more importantly, assured of eternity. I am able to live by peace each day, not worrying because the things of the world do not matter to me. Of course, I do care about how well I do in school, and about my family and friends, and so on. We can thank God for these things that He has given to us. But in the light of Jesus, who had guaranteed eternal life, all other things just fade away. The Holy Spirit will therefore, always reassure you of your salvation, and then, make us realize the existence of eternity, giving peace, joy and hope.


But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 14:26

The Word of God was written by man, but God inspired. Similarly, the Holy Spirit inspires what we learn everyday from our pastors, leaders, and maybe even friends. Before someone preaches or teaches, we would ask for the Holy Spirit to fill us that we may speak the inspired Word of God. It it crucial that we give the knowledge of God, and not the reasoning of man. When I was intending to type this post, the phrase ‘Holy Spirit’ didn’t even come to mind. I was intending to post on something else. But the Holy Spirit led me this, which somehow suddenly seems quite appropriate. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sure, sometimes we may say that the pastor is good, or the cell group leader teaches well, but we have to always remember that God is good, and He teaches well. And indeed, He does.

1In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach
2
until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
3
After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
Acts 1:1-3

The Holy Spirit in us may sometimes give us instructions. As we acknowledged earlier that God has a plan for us, God may also sometimes instruct us in some of the things that we do. In this way, the Holy Spirit also acts like our conscience. He prompts us of the right and wrong things that we do, according to God’s Word, so that we may not turn from it easily. Even in trials and temptations, God will provide a way out for you, and the Holy Spirit will certainly not ‘desert’ us just to test us. God will be there when you need Him, just ask. I know many people would wonder how the Holy Spirit actually ‘talks’ to you. It may be quite scary to suddenly hear voices in your head. I’ll just say here that God speaks to us in many ways, and they may differ from one person to the other. But be still, and you will hear Him.

I’ll just touch on one more point that I consider relevant- Evangelism

16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:16-20

God had instructed us to share the gospel with the world, and to teach them. I have earlier mentioned teaching, but we’re not alone in evangelism either.

7He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:7-8

Even as we have been commanded to share God’s Word, and the good news of salvation, we again, have the Holy Spirit to help us. In my experience doing street evangelism, one thing that we would always do before we approached anyone would be to pray. In our pairs, we would pray to be clean in God’s sight, and to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that God’s Word may be brought to the non-Christian through us. With the Holy Spirit, we then knew how to share. Being sensitive to what God tell us, we could then direct the sharing in the way that the people would be touched. I’ve heard many excuses about why people do not evangelise. The lack of knowledge, the fear of sharing, not knowing what to say, etc. Of course we need to have some knowledge first, so that we may have a direction. But with the Holy Spirit, we would know what to say, and then we may speak boldly, as we are guided.


15“If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you foreverโ€” 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
John 14:15-17

After such a long post about what the Holy Spirit is, let us now not hesitate to receive what God wants us to have. We may be called to serve in church or in school, even perhaps some place else. But Jesus has promised us the Holy Spirit, and we will then be empowered to carry out good works.

Just ask!

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

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Joy

I haven’t been posting in a while, perhaps from the lack of inspiration, or just the lack of time to. Well, I’ve been catching up with school work since exams ended. All this stress never seems to end doesn’t it? Ah well, students like me would know.. Meanwhile, here are some updates.. I did quite well for term exams, which was, I must say, totally becasue of God’s strength, and His miracles that never seem to stop. Especially for math. haha. And I got an A for PW! I wasn’t exactly surprised, but more of happy for my PW group mate. She’s a Chinese scholar, and had some difficulty with the presentation as she couldn’t speak English well. But she really did put in the effort and got her A as well!

Just today, choir rehearsal ended at 4:30, and by the time I could leave, it was about 5. So I had to cab down to Marine Parade for the youth service at my church. I tell you, taxi fares are painful. Especially when you’re travelling from one end of Singapore to the other. It always has been I guess. But I told myself that it was for the Lord, and He is my Provider anyway. When I stepped into the hall, praise and worship had just begun, and I felt really blessed to be there. Indeed God had given me back that $16 cab fare, and even more. Being in His presence, worshipping with fellow believers. That was pure joy. No way can my cab fare make up for that.

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