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Radically changed.


Change is possible. >We all know people who were crippled with worry and fear, and then they began to really trust God, not just say they did. Mental peace. >We all know people who lived totally for themselves, and then they started thinking about other people. What could account for that? >We all know people who stopped praying, stopped believing God for things but then they acted on the little faith they had, and it changed them-- first in small ways, and then much bigger ways. Changed by faith. >We all know people who were so filled with their own pride, thought they knew more than everyone else, and then they became humbler, gentler, more open. What . . . how? >We have all heard of people trapped in addiction, but who through prayer, were set free! Sweet release. Often it is the power of the Holy Spirit that caused such transformation in the lives of our loved ones, and in our own. My dear friend who had been caught up in addiction, told me, 'before I was sober and before I was a born again Christian, the inside of my mind was very different. I remember that mind. I remember the choices I made and how I spent my energy. It was very different than who I am today. ' Hmmm....the mind before the Holy Spirit. Then he comes and does what only he can do, redeeming the mind and transforming it into something new. The first example of the change the Holy Spirit made was in Jesus' disciple, Peter. Think of it--he went from Peter-the-Denier to Peter-the-Powerful Preacher. No one besides the Holy Spirit could have changed the impulsive, compulsive Peter into an impassioned proclaimer of truth who influenced those present so dramatically they repented of sin in the name of Jesus Christ, and were filled with the Holy Spirit themselves! Acts chapter two. The change in Peter was clear, how about in us? How does being filled with the Holy Spirit change a person today? When filled with the Holy Spirit, we are transformed... -we want to honor God with our words and actions -we want to know God more deeply; the superficial does not cut it -we desire to know what it says in his Word When filled with the Holy Spirit, -priorities change. It is much easier to let old ways go, and develop new ones, including giving of ourselves to others. -faithfulness increases, as does our faith increase -there is evidence/fruit; often there is a change in our character When filled with the Holy Spirit, -there is thought about Heaven and the eternal, not just today -there is power! Paul said, 'the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us.'1 [stop and think about that for a minute] When filled with the Holy Spirit, -there is no room for guilt -there is a desire to worship God So Peter preaches, " Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."2 And three thousand did!!!! At the time we place our faith in Jesus or perhaps turn back to him, we are individually given the gift of the Holy Spirit. He changes us . . . and always for the better. This poem captures one soldier's changed heart and mind: "Lord God, I have never spoken to you, but now I want to say how do you do? You see God they told me you didn't exist, and like a fool I believed all this. Last night from a shell hole I saw your sky, I figured right then they had told me a lie. Had I taken time to see the things you made, I would have known they weren't calling a spade a spade. I wonder God if you'll take my hand, somehow I feel that you'll understand. Funny I had to come to this hellish place, before I had time to see your face. I guess there really isn't much more to say, but I'm sure glad God that I met you today. I guess zero hour will soon be here, But I'm not afraid since I know you're near. The signal, well God I'll have to go, I like you lots, I want you to know. Look now this will be a horrible fight, who knows I may come to your house tonight. Though I wasn't friendly to you before, I wonder God if you'd wait at your door. Look I'm crying, I'm shedding tears, I'll have to go now, God, goodbye. Strange now since I met you, I'm not afraid to die."3 Penned by an American soldier in Viet Nam, it shows how an understanding of who Jesus is, even a very simple one, can change us radically. "Faithful God"- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUaS1Y-jyMk Christine 1 - Romans 8.11 2 - Acts 2.38 3 - http://ecclesia.org/truth/soldier.html


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