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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - The Spirit of God

James Meehan - The Spirit of God

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    James Meehan - The Spirit of God
TOPICS: Culture Makers, Holy Spirit

Well, hello there. Welcome to this week's episode of Switch Uncut. My name is James and this is Caitlin.

Yes. That's who I am.

And today we're talking about the Bible and we're gonna learn some things about it. Caitlin, take it away.

Wow, that was one of my favorite intros.

Thank you. Pretty proud of it.

Of all time.

You know what they say about pride, comes before the fall.

Well, I felt like we were falling as you just...


Carried that note for like a really long time. Anyways we are gonna talk about what we talked about for our final week of our six week series. Who am I? Because what we've been doing this semester is looking at first, who is God, and how does knowing who our God is define who we are.

Come on. That's good. And so we are in the last week of that, who am I series? And we are talking about what it means to be a temple of the living God. And what I wanna do with our time together is it's gonna be a lot. We're gonna talk through a lot of scripture, but we're gonna look at what it looked like for Jesus who is our example. Who's the one that we're following to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Come on.

Then we're gonna see what it looked like for the early church, those first believers to be filled with Holy Spirit. And then what does that mean for us today? What does it actually tangibly look like to be filled with the Holy Spirit in our day to day lives?

Come on. Short answer means you're stacked cause you stack bricks on top of each other. Stacked.


That's where we're going.

That's what I'm gonna read. So we're gonna start with Jesus.

Oh, what a great place to start.

Right? Because when we know who God is, then we can know who we are.

Come on.

Anyways, so Jesus, when He was Baptized we see this really cool moment where the Holy Spirit comes and rests on Him. So we'll read Luke 3.

Luke 3:21-22, when all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as He was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove and a voice came from heaven. You are my son whom I love, with you I am well pleased.

Yeah, love that. So the Holy Spirit comes, descends on Jesus. The voice of God speaks, says this is my son in whom I'm well pleased. What I love to point out here is like Jesus hasn't done anything yet. Like no miracles have been performed at this point. No sermons have been preached, but before any of that, God is reminding Jesus, hey, you're my son. And I love you. And I'm proud of you before you did anything.

Come on. That's unconditional love right there.

Come on somebody. So then Jesus, this really interesting thing happens right after the Holy Spirit comes and rests on Jesus. And we see that in Luke 4:1-2.

Yes. Says Jesus full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the spirit into the wilderness where for 40 days He tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days. And at the end of them, He was hungry.

Kinda states the obvious, hasn't eaten anything for 40 days, He's a little bit hungry. But the thing that I actually wanted to point out was that full of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was led into the wilderness to literally be put trial by Satan.


That seems a little weird.

Right. Right.

Like why is the Holy Spirit leading Jesus into a situation where He's gonna undergo some rough stuff?

Yeah. Yeah.

And I think we see the answer later down in Luke 4.

Yes. So 17 through 21 tells us that the scroll the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him, unrolling it, Jesus found the place where it is written. The spirit of the Lord is on me because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Then He rolled up the scroll, give it back to the attendant and sat down the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on Him. He began by saying to them, today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

Yeah. So Jesus at His baptism, the Holy Spirit descends on Him like a dove, then He's led into the wilderness to be put on trial by Satan. And this really interesting thing happens. He comes out of the wilderness having passed these trials and these temptations and now He has this authority to proclaim that the kingdom of God is coming, that there is a freedom for captives, that there's recovery of sight for the blind. And that the year of the Lord's favor is here.


But here's the thing, He wouldn't have had the authority to make those claims if He hadn't first passed the test in the wilderness.

Interesting. Why is that?

And that is why the Holy Spirit led Him there. We talked about this in a previous episode actually it's like that our authority is born out of our integrity. And what we see through Jesus' temptation and trial is that Satan was offering Him a lot of shortcuts.

Wow. Yeah, yeah.

To get around actually living with integrity, the plan that God had sent Him to earth for. And instead of taking those shortcuts, instead of taking those easy way out, Jesus passed those tests in the wilderness. And so He had this authority that was born out of His integrity. And so He was able to come out and proclaim boldly.

Yeah, yeah.

Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

That's so interesting. Cause it is like Jesus proving that He would always remain faithful to God. And because of that, we can follow Him.


Dang, that's super good. I love that.

Yeah. So that's what it looked like for Jesus to be filled with the Holy Spirit.


Then He was led into the wilderness and He came out with this authority born out of a his integrity to proclaim the kingdom of God.

Yeah. Now we're gonna look at what it looked like for the early church, those first believers who were following in the footsteps of Jesus to go on that same journey.

Okay, great. And starting in Acts 2.

All right. Acts 2. When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place, suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them, all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the spirit enabled them.

Yeah. So here we see Jesus had promised that the Holy Spirit was gonna come and this is the fulfillment of that promise. The disciples were all together hanging out in this room. And then all of a sudden this wind, this rushing wind sound happens and the Holy Spirit descends and rests on each one of the disciples of Jesus. But really shortly after this happened, they get put on trial in much the same way that Jesus did.

Yeah, yeah.

And that's in Acts 4.

Five through seven tells us that the next day, the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem and as the high priest was there and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them, by what power or what name did you do this?

Right. So they're being questioned for this thing that they did which was they healed this crippled guy.


And they did it in the name of Jesus who these guys, these priests that they mentioned had killed. So they were a little upset, but, yeah, Peter and John were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. And they went out and started proclaiming the good news and operating in that power. And these guys were not stoked about it.


So they put 'em on trial and started questioning them. And here's what happened when after that trial when they got released. And that's also in Acts 4 further down.

Okay. Picking in verse 23 we'll read through verse 30, tells us that on their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the others had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God, sovereign Lord they said, you made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father, David, why do the nation's rage and the people's plot in vain? The Kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against His anointed one. Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant, Jesus whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness, stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.

Yeah. So here we see the Holy Spirit descends like tongues of fire on the disciples. Then they're put on trial before the Sanhedrin and they come out praying and proclaiming the good news about Jesus with boldness. And what I love is that we see this continuation of this pattern that Jesus laid out for us of the Holy Spirit comes and that doesn't mean we're immune from hard things.

Right, right, right.

They're literally being put on trial. But out of this and through relying on the strength and the power that the Holy Spirit gives them, they come out actually praying and proclaiming with more boldness the good news about Jesus.

Come on.

And I think we are actually being invited to live into that same story.


We have been given the spirit of God.


And that doesn't mean that we're immune from hard things.


But it does mean that when we go through hard things, we have a power that is not our own that we get to rely on that can actually allow us to move through those trials and come out stronger instead of weaker.


Bolder instead of more afraid and like more whole instead of more broken.

That's so good.

And like that's what the Holy Spirit does. So we're gonna read a couple of verses to to illustrate that the first one is in 1 Peter.

Yes. Chapter four versus 12 through 14 tells us this, dear friends do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you as though something strange were happening to you, but rejoice and as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. If you're insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed for the spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Yeah. So what I love about that verse is the kind of the snarky comment of like don't be surprised when hard things happen as though something strange were happening to you.


It's like you should expect this.

Right. 100%.

Cause you watched what Jesus went through.

Come on.

And He's the one that you're following. So why are we shocked when bad stuff happens to us?


But the beautiful thing is is that when those things happen, we can actually be counted as blessed because the spirit of God is resting on us.

Come on.

And here's a great reason why and it's in James 1 four through two.

Yes. Starting in verse two, consider it pure joy and my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.

Right. So the spirit of God rests on us, and we are literally told that we will face trials of many kinds. But the beautiful thing about it is that when we do, we have the opportunity to come out strengthened, more mature and more complete, not lacking in anything because the same spirit that was at work at Jesus in helping him in the wilderness. At work in the disciples when they stood on trial before the Sanhedrin, is at work in us when we go through trials of many kinds, helping us to produce perseverance.


And actually look more like Jesus through that process.

Come on. That's so good. And I think that's such an important reminder for us because we will experience crud.


Like there are times where life will be really, really hard and difficult and tragically, there's a lot of people who will see that as evidence against the goodness of God or evidence that God has left them or doesn't care. And that's not the case. God never left Jesus.


He never stopped caring for Jesus, every step of the way God is with us.

Yeah. Actually His spirit is alive in us and when we can keep that truth front and center.


Then I think it helps us to walk through crud with way more confidence.


Knowing that on the other side of it, we're becoming more and more like Jesus. for the sake of others.


And so maybe you are going through something really difficult right now, take heart, know that you are not alone. What you're walking through now, it's probably really similar to what Jesus walked through then.


But the good news is that Jesus is walking through it with you because the spirit of God is alive in you.

Yeah. That's so good. So what we've done is we have traced what it looked like for the spirit of God to be alive in Jesus, to lead Him through the wilderness and for Him to come out with the authority to proclaim the good news about the kingdom.


Then we followed what that looked like for the early church, for the spirit to descend on them, for them to go on trial before the rulers of their day and then proclaim the good news with even more boldness.


And then we looked at what that means for us for the spirit of God to rest on us, for us to go through hard things, but with the competence that in the process we are being made to look more like Jesus and that is really what we're going for is that wholeness and that maturity that Paul was talking about. So as we read all of these verses and we followed that through line, was there anything that was standing out to you? Anything that the Holy Spirit was kind of inviting you into?

Yeah. One of the things I think about a lot is how everybody goes through hard things, but depending on how we respond to those hard things, determines how we come out on the other side of those things.

That's good.

You know, unfortunately there's a lot of people who go through hard things and allow those hard things to make them like weaker on the other side of it.


And I think that because we have the spirit of God that lives us, that enables us to walk through and become stronger. Like you talked about.


And really it's in that process of going through hard things that there's this refining that takes place.


To make us more like Jesus.


You know, my wife and I we got married almost six years ago. And then two weeks before we got married she was diagnosed with a chronic illness that she has still been this journey to recover from.


That was a really hard thing.


And she's had to go on this journey of looking to find physical healing from a very real illness that has created all sorts of other problems with it. Like along with the physical symptoms, she's also had to deal with some really tough like mental symptoms of anxiety, depression, panic attacks, like you name it, she's walked through it. And that's the kind of thing that could very easily just keep beating her down until she's more broken. But what I've been so inspired by is watching her continually put one foot in front of the other, trust that God is good even when life is not and become stronger every single step of the way.

That's so good.

I think that's because the Holy Spirit lives in us that through the difficult things, we can actually become more and more mature, more complete, with more endurance to walk through difficult things so that we can help other people that are going through difficult things. Because for my wife, she's now made her health journey, her ministry. Where she sharing her story, she's providing encouragement. She became a nutritional therapy practitioner to help coach other people on their health journeys. And so the things that you're walking through right now are probably a really cool opportunity for God to strengthen you.


And for God to use your story to inspire others.

Yeah. That makes me think of, I think it's in 2 Timothy, it's like one seven where Paul says you have not been given a spirit of fear or timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline. And what I love about that is like those words fear and timidity are like the picture you can have in your mind is of like shrinking back from something.


And it's like I think that's the temptation when we are facing hard things is the posture that we'll take towards them.

Yeah Yeah. Yeah.

Are we gonna shrink back or are we going to move through with confidence? Because the spirit that we have in us has given us everything that we need, the power to confront those challenges, the love to to continue to have a soft heart through that process and the self discipline to do the things that we need to do to move through the process instead of getting stuck there.


So, yeah, the Holy Spirit gives us everything that we need for life and for godliness and that encourages me a lot when I think about the processes that I am moving through that really are not super fun all the time.


But I trust the Holy Spirit and I trust that it's it's Him who is working in me, who is leading me and guiding me even through the wilderness. So I can come out on the other side declaring the good news about Jesus with even more authority and with even more competence and with even more boldness.


So that's what I'm pro praying for me. And that's what I'm praying for you. If you guys have anything else that's standing out to you when you think about what it looks like for the Holy Spirit to rest on you and to be at work in your life, let us know. We would love to hear what He's doing in you and through you. And, yeah, that's all I have.

Yeah. Sounds great. Make sure to like the video, share it with somebody that you think needs it and we hope to see you next week. See y'all.

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