Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Spirit Comes To The "Shed" Bible Study

Acts 1:8
But you will receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.....

If you hang around recovery long enough......at some point you will hear this word.
It might be at a meeting....
Conversation with someone who has embraced the lifestyle....

Or you might read it in the big book....
But you are going to run across the word "POWER". Lot of opinions and thoughts as to who or what this power is.

Now in our case, at Vineyard ReCovery, the Power is delivered to us when we receive Christ, and make Him our Lord and Savior. The Power is found through the presence and work of the Holy Spirit. I can't explain it....I just know that's the way it works. Just like the verse from Acts....you WILL receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. Not you might receive....or if you're really good, then you'll get a little bit. No! You will be transformed by the daily working of the Holy Spirit, through the Power of God in you.

But to talk about power, and never experience it, is a hard road to walk if you're trying to move forward in you life. This power that is available through the presence of God in our lives becomes nothing more than a mental thought, if you have never run into Him. Well, last night at the "Shed" bible study, some of those present had an encounter with the Spirit of God.

Seth Barber spoke on the disciples that followed Jesus. He took a look at their lives before Acts 2 (Day the Spirit came in fullness to all mankind) and afterwards when they became emboldened to speak the gospel. Big difference between a group that ran away when times got dark, and that same group dying for the message they carried. What made them different? The Power of the Holy Spirit. As Seth taught, and I sat there listening, I felt an urging from God...."Hey! This needs to be demonstrated. These men need an encounter with the Holy Spirit." That urging only got stronger and stronger as the teaching went on. Finally at the end, I asked if it would be o.k. if we prayed for God to come and touch those who wanted to experience this power that we'd heard in the teaching. I was given permission to pray.

I asked for one person who would like to have an encounter with this power. A man jumped up and came forward. Now, you've got to know that at this point I have no idea what is going to happen. All I know is that God wants to demonstrate what we had just heard. So, I began to invite God's presence to come and manifest for this man. it wasn't long after wards, the man began to wobble....he began to tremble......he went down like a sack of wet cement. I've always made it a practice to never put my hands on anyone when we are praying for God's Spirit to come, that way no one can ever say that I pushed them down. This man sat there on the floor looking around like "What happened?" He was laughing, crying, shouting, all with a puzzled look on his face. I assured him that what he'd just encountered was God coming to touch Him. I also pointed out that "falling down" was not a prerequisite or a requirement for having an encounter with God.

Next man up followed the same behavior as the first one. Only this guy had a kind of "you can't make me fall down" attitude about him. I do believe he wanted to meet God, but there was a little stubbornness in him. Down he went. Only he didn't just go down, he fell. He fell, trying to keep himself righted, but it didn't work. Stumbling backwards, falling onto the coffee table there in the room, and then down to the floor. He too sat there with that same puzzled look on his face. He knew what had just happened, but he was trying to make logical sense out of it.

This went on with different men for some time. Now hear me in this. What took place in that shed had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with God.

I found it amazing that there in that run down, windows boarded up, old couches, chairs and a church pew, shed....the God of the universe came down to meet with some men who have been trapped in a life of spiritual darkness. Why would He do this? Because He cares and loves them all.

How else can you make heads or tails out of a belief in God unless you have an encounter with Him.  Saul had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, and he was never the same. Moses had encounter with God in the wilderness, and he was never the same. And on and on and on, all through Scripture we read of people who had encounters with God....
So why not today, in our time and space?
Has God changed the way He approaches people?
I think not....

God on you...


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