Sunday service, Dr Albu van Eeden, 18 Feb 2018
Do you look at life through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, the carnal man or satan?
Let’s look at the work of the Holy Spirit.
Rev 16:1, 8, 9, 11
1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.”
8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire.
9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him,
11 and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.
Is this not unbelievable – that people are exposed to such extreme pain, and yet there’s not the thought or desire to look up to God and plead for mercy and grace! Instead of the troubles and suffering making their hearts soft, it makes their hearts harder and they curse God!
First I was surprised how such a thing was possible. Friends, it is even under such circumstances that you need the Holy Spirit to work in your life to call to God for mercy when things are going difficult. Without the Spirit of God, hardship will simply make you harder against God and more stubborn. But this is not where the work of the Holy Spirit applies alone. You need the Holy Spirit right from the beginning of your relationship with Christ. Without hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit you will never become a child of God. The sins of the sinner forms a wall that separates him from God and he cannot get to God and God cannot get to him.
Have you ever heard the voice of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. He would convict you of your sins. He also convicts you of righteousness, i.e. that you can become righteous and blameless before God. The world only tells you how bad you are. Satan only condemns you and makes you hopeless. But the Comforter convicts you of sin, but at the same time he convicts you of the possibility to become righteous by the forgiveness of your sins. The Lord Jesus said that when He leaves, He will send you the Comforter, who will convict the sinner of sin. Have you ever heard that voice, because that’s where your relationship with Christ starts. Have you ever had the longing to be blameless and spotless before God? We also read that He will convict the world of judgement, knowing that one day you and I will stand before the Great White Throne.
Let’s look at 4 points from the services we had between Christmas and New Year.
1) The Holy Spirit gives us confidence and hope in God.
2) To know the Holy Spirit gives us purpose in life, that we know that our suffering is not in vain. Why does God allow certain things to happen to us?
3) The Holy Spirit makes us recognise God in different circumstances. Can you recognise God in your life, or are you just overwhelmed with difficulties or prosperity?
4) The Holy Spirit makes us realise what is really at stake. Remember that God never gives you and me the right to sin.
The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ time knew exactly where the Messiah was to be born, but they never saw Him, while the lowly shepherds visited Him. The Jewish leaders were looking for a political hero to save them from the Romans, but they were completely missing what God was busy doing, to bring the Gentiles in as well.
Often we act in a logical way but we miss what the Holy Spirit wants to do, and we disobey the Holy Spirit. Do you realise how serious it is to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and then to disobey Him! Remember Ananias and Sapphira, who sold their property and donated the proceeds to the church. But they tried to inflate their image by pretending that they brought the full amount, yet they kept back part of it.
Marriage is not just a contract between two people, but according to the Bible it is between the husband, wife and the Holy Spirit.
Mal 2:14, “the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth.”
Remember that the way you and your wife react to each other, is in the sight of God.
The Jews have the story about Saul’s harp. One day David asked to play the old harp, but Saul answered that it was a terrible, useless harp. Nobody could play a proper tune on it. But when David took it, he played the most melodious songs on it, so that everyone in the court was brought to tears. Saul asked him about it and what his secret was. David answered that all the other people tried to play their own tune on the harp, while he played the harp’s tune on it. He first played the tune where the harp was a happy tree in the forest. Then he played the tune of the day that angry men came to cut the tree down and he mourned with the harp. Then he played the tune of the day when the wood was cut into a harp where the most beautiful tunes could be played on it, and that was why the tunes he played on it was so different to the tunes others played on it.
On the Messiah’s harp, your life, you must only play the song of the Messiah with your life, else it will be a false song.
For 33 years Jesus walked in the Spirit while here on earth. When angry men crucified Him, he never uttered an ill word but only prayed for them on the cross, “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Then on the cross, while the one man was cursing, the other rebuked him and then turned to Jesus, the Man in the middle, “Remember me when you enter your Kingdom”. And Jesus answered him, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:42-43).
When you have to confess your sins or make restitution, do you turn to the Man in the Middle for mercy, or is the embarrassment too much, and you curse like the other one? May our senses be sharpened that His name be glorified through our lives.