And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
SEND US OUT
I believe you know that one of my favorite closing songs for Worship services is SEND US OUT. Are you thinking of tune and words? I find that this little song has some of the most appropriate words for ending a Community Worship Time and transitioning to our life in the world.
1. Send us Out in the POWER of Your SPIRIT Lord
2. May our LIVES bring JESUS to the World
3. May each word and thought bring GLORY to YOUR NAME
4. Send us out in Your SPIRIT Lord we PRAY.
Aren’t those great words for concluding worship? Maybe these words are also a good prayer for us as we start our day, everyday.
Because of the Holy Spirit’s dwelling in us, we can know we are children of God, and as God’s precious children we are set apart, holy, and distinct from the norms of our culture. This distinction is not our work alone, but an outcome of God’s work in us and our saying “Yes” to him. We certainly see that in Daniel, and in Shadrach, Meshach and Abedigo.
Daniel was God’s voice to the Gentile and Jewish world, declaring God’s current and future plans. He was called to be set apart, differentiated. As you read Scripture, you can feel the extraordinary gifts of God flowing through Daniel’s veins and out into the world. Daniel effectively exalted God through his character, service, faith and unwavering proclamation of God’s sovereignty, all while in exile. How did he accomplish this while living in exile, away from home, family, friends, living away from all that was comfortable to him? How do we accomplish this today?
Nebuchadnezzar recognized on three occasions that the “spirit of the holy gods” was in Daniel. It was not until later that Nebuchadnezzar understood that it was the Holy Spirit of the one true God that was present in Daniel. We too have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us because of Christ’s life and death on the cross. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit teaches us, groans on our behalf, and prays for us. He is the One that moves us from the spiritual milk of babes in Christ to the spiritual meat (vegetables in Daniel’s case) we now crave.
With the help of the Spirit, we are called and equipped for this mission. We are created in God’s image to be His image bearers. Are we in tune with the Spirit, listening for God’s still small voice? Daniel and his friends trusted their God and yielded their bodies rather than serve any other god than their Covenant God. Are you in that place of trust?
God created His people to be in community, as His ambassadors to a hurting and struggling world. He also created His people to be in community to speak the gospel to others. If you feel distant from God, hurting or confused, do not isolate, for this is what the enemy wants. Instead, find a trusted friend and let them speak God’s gospel hope into your life.
In Our Contemporary Testimony, OUR WORLD BELONGS TO GOD we say this,
In our world, where many journey alone, nameless in the bustling crowd, Satan and his evil forces seek whom they may scatter and isolate; but God, by his gracious choosing in Christ, gathers a new community— those who by God’s gift put their trust in Christ.
In the new community all are welcome: the homeless come home, the broken find healing, the sinner makes a new start, the despised are esteemed, the least are honored, and the last are first. Here the Spirit guides and grace abounds.