For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts;
and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
H E B R E W S 8 : 1 0
P e n t e c o s t S u n d a y + J u n e 8 , 2 0 1 4
GOOD MORNING FRIENDS OF FCC!
Trust this letter finds you resting in the love of Christ. He certainly loves you.
This Sunday is PENTECOST. The Jews celebrate Pentecost as the day that Moses received the 10 Commandments, written by the finger of God on tablets of stone at Mt. Sinai. (See Exodus 20)
The Christians celebrate Pentecost as the day that God baptized the disciples in the Holy Ghost and wrote His Commandments on their hearts as they prayed in the Upper Room. (See Acts 2).
Filled with the Holy Ghost, the first Christians testified, “God purified our hearts,” (Acts 15:9), and with great grace and great power (Acts 4:33) they went everywhere speaking the Word of God with boldness, to everyone both Jews and Gentiles. Pentecost changed them. Pentecost created the Church. And Pentecost changed the world.
Pentecost changed the disciples inside and out. Human hearts—or human wills—are incomplete, incapable, and impure without the Spirit of God.
Without the Spirit we cannot clearly see or understand God’s will.
Without the Spirit we tend to resist God’s will—even though we know we shouldn’t.
Without the Spirit our love is self-centered.
Without the Spirit our judgments are biased.
Without the Spirit our lives are intemperate and sense driven.
But when the Spirit of Holiness is welcome into our hearts we are altogether different. We sing, “I once was blind but now I see.” We gladly testify, “Not my will, but Thine be done.” We love selflessly, judge lovingly, and walk in the Spirit joyfully.
Those who are filled with the Spirit, led by the Spirit,
and sanctified by the Spirit are truly free to do what they please
—and what they please is to please the Lord.
Without constraint, demand, mandates, or rules—the Spirit filled, Spirit-loving people of God, hunger for holiness, crave Christ-likeness, and live prayerful and careful lives without regard to what the world is doing or saying. They are, “Filled with His goodness, lost in in His love!
Surely this is the need of our day—people who will do what they ought to do and love doing it.
We ought to forgive—and we love forgiving.
We ought to give—and we love giving.
We ought to obey God—and we love obeying God.
We ought to love everyone, our friends and enemies—and we love loving our friends and enemies.
We ought to live holy and separate from the world—
and we love living holy and separate from the world.
We ought to be teachable—and we love being taught.
We ought to be disciplined—and we love being disciplined.
We ought to be led by the Spirit—and we love being led by the Spirit.
We ought to live as citizens of heaven—and we love living as citizens of heaven. This world is not our home. With reckless abandon we reject the expectations and demands of this world’s culture and we joyfully embrace Christian culture.
But how can this be? How can we who are born with a self-centered, prideful, sensual, and sin-loving nature be so changed that we not only know what we ought to be, but can truly be what we ought to be?
THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO THE UPPER ROOM.
I have often wondered why so many years passed from Adam’s fall to Abraham’s call. Why was it that so many generations passed before Moses walked down Sinai with the Commandments? And why did God wait more than a thousand years after King David before sending that notable “Son of David”— “His only begotten Son into the world,” paying the price so that whosover will could be “born of the Spirit?”
The answer must lie in our Creator’s omniscient understanding of human nature. God knows people. He knows our abilities and our capabilities. He knows that we are spiritual beings, created in His image, having a physical experience.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s law1 they died. They didn’t die physically, but the Spirit of God which brings life to the spirits of men was withdrawn. They died spiritually.
Before the Spirit of God could be fully restored to the sons and daughters of Adam they would have to know the wage of sin. Tragically, their sin metastasized immediately. By the 4th chapter of Genesis we have the first murder. We need to experience and understand the depravity of life outside the garden.
Before the Spirit of God could fill the hearts of God’s people they would have to recognize the voice of God. Certainly Noah recognized God’s voice. Abraham recognized God’s voice. These notable examples were exceptional in their day. We need to recognize God’s voice.
Before the Spirit of God could be restored, God’s people would have to see that redemption would come at the price of blood. Enslaved by Egypt, deliverance would only come to the children of Israel when the blood of a spotless lamb would be sprinkled on the posts and lintels of their doors. “When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.” We need to sacrifice.
Before the Spirit of God could write the law of God in the hearts of His people, they would have to know and acknowledge God’s holy and righteous standard. “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.” These are truths that men would have never fully known or appreciated unless God himself wrote them to us. We need Sinai—to know God’s law.
Before the Spirit of God could renew a right spirit within us, we needed to loathe the wrong spirit that is within us. So the Prophets were sent to expose sinful hearts and to exalt a day when God would, “…give them one heart…put a new spirit within them…and take the stony heart out of their flesh.” We need God’s perspective and we need God’s promise.
Before the Spirit of God could perfect our sin ridden souls, we needed a spotless Lamb who would not only show us the face of God, but show us the heart of God. We needed a perfect Savior who would shed His perfect blood and rise again in His perfect body. Then Jesus came! Oh the glory of His Presence, Oh the beauty of His face! We need a Savior.
And then, we need an upper room! In Acts 2 at that first Christian Pentecost, the disciples were in one accord in one place—in the Upper Room! We need a place where we resign to do God’s will in God’s way. We need a place where we are at one with Him—where we love Him without any reservation.
Then the day of our personal Pentecost will come. A day when “the Spirit answers to the blood and tells me I am born of God!” A place where “His Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am the child of God.” A place where we “receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon us.” A place where our hearts are “purified by faith.”
We need a personal Pentecost. THIS IS OUR NEED. THIS IS OUR PRAYER. AND THIS IS OUR EXPECTATION.
Pentecost can be repeated, Saints of God can be victorious, Pentecostal Fire is falling,
For the Lord is just the same, Over sin and death and hell, Praise the Lord it fell on me
Yesterday, today, forever, Have a full and free salvation, Pentecost Fire is falling,
Glory to His precious name. And the blessed story tell. Brother let it fall on thee!
HOPE TO SEE YOU THIS WEEKEND AT FCC! If we can help you in any way please let us know. We love and appreciate you every one!
Pastor Richard M. Jones
FAITH COMMUNITY CHURCH – A Crusaders Church of America
2969 North Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, Missouri 63074
Telephone (314) 298-5840; Cell (314) 607-1424
1 Eating the fruit off the forbidden tree was only wrong because God said it was wrong. The fruit was delightful in appearance, delicious in taste, and there is really nothing wrong with desiring to be wise. But the issue was really not the fruit itself. The issue was obedience.
FINANCIAL UPDATE: Thank you for giving to the Lord! I’m sorry to say, that in what is traditionally our worst month for giving, we have $5000 of bills that we have not been able to pay from last month. Over the last few months our giving has taken a hit. Now we are facing $8000 of bills that we must cover this month in addition to the $5000 from the previous months.
Our expenses included a $950.00 Elevator Inspection (required by law), HVAC repair that totaled $850.00, plus the day to day operation expenses including our Insurance ($450), Utilities ($1200), and Bus Ministry Expenses ($400). We need to raise $13,000 this month to clear the bills that are past due and to meet this month’s obligations (Our mortgage is $2900 of that total).
Please join us in praying for a financial miracle in the Month of June. We have seen God work miracles in the past. We are sure that He is still able today!
You may give by bringing an offering, by mailing your gifts (FCC, 2969 N Lindbergh, St Louis, MO 63074) or by logging onto our web page at www.FCCStLouis.org. The online gifts are much appreciated and immediately available. The downside is that there is a fee that we must pay for each online gift. However you decide to give, or if you cannot give but you can help us pray, be assured of our sincere appreciation and deep gratitude.
CELL PHONE: (314) 607-1424
TEXTING: Pastor Rick at (314) 607-1424
YOUTUBE: Pastor Rick Jones @ youtube.com