Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The light that shines in darkness (Acts 19, John 15:15-18, Acts 2:1-12)

"With the Holy Spirit, we have the light of life"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

I finished a watercolor painting this week of apple blossoms.  I had a photo of them and hadn't looked at it in a while.  So I had to paint it.   I also need to help with the bills.  So I'm hoping it will sell in a gallery.

1 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”

So they said, “Into John's baptism.”

4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. 7 Now the men were about twelve in all.

Paul is describing, "Pentecost."  After Jesus was crucified, He said He would send the Helper to be with us.  Pentecost is the day the disciples received the Holy Spirit in their hearts.  I received the Holy Spirit when I accepted Jesus as my Savior.  The first time I asked the Holy Spirit for words to say, I was speaking in a Church and my mind went blank.  It was very awkward.  So I asked Him for words.  It came out of my mouth beautifully!  He also helps me out when me and my husband have a disagreement.  I usually step back and ask for the words.

Jesus said, 
“15 If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you."
(John 14:15-18 NKJV)
Jesus promised we would have a helper, "His Holy Spirit."   You can just imagine how exciting it must've been when tongues of fire came from Heaven and rested on the disciples.  This is the way in which the Holy Spirit came to mankind.
1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean
(Acts 2:1-12 NKJV)
The Apostle Paul continued trying to reason with those in the synagogue.  Like Paul, I tend to believe if someone isn't interested I should still be kind to them.  Paul decided it was time to move on so he preached to those in Asia.  

8 And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
(Acts 19:1-10 NKJV)

This is a beautiful song from Lauren Daigle
Lauren Daigle, "Light of the World (link)"

Thursday, January 7, 2016

All things new! He never gives up on us.

© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
"God renews our souls like butterflies leaving a cocoon"
Happy New Year!  

It's hard to believe it's 2016 now.  I've been busy figuring out what I want to do this year. I am doing a watercolor painting and have a gallery that's interested in my work.  I thought maybe other people would like to get art supplies from Dick Blick so I posted the link.  It's a great place to get discounted supplies for artists and children's art. I've been buying supplies from them for years and never had any problems.  I recently bought a new easel.  Sometimes my mind goes in reverse so my neighbors got a kick out of watching me put it together.  Finally my husband helped me with the last pieces.  I think there's still a bracket that needs to go somewhere : )  Now I have no excuses for not painting.  As a little girl, I used to trace the sunshines on my pillow, in my crib, dreaming of being able to draw someday.  Our God is the ultimate in creativity.  Our Creator.  He's given us all gifts and talents.  

I wanted to focus this post on the hope we have in God's renewing Spirit.  We've all sinned and fallen short.  That's just a fact.  But God doesn't leave us in our mess.  He seeks to renew and restore us.  Here's what I found.  I hope these verses will help us not give up.  But to press on. 

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:30-31 NKJV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
(2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)

1 Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory
(Psalms 98:1 NKJV)

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
(Romans 8:18 NKJV)

19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
(Isaiah 43:19 NKJV)

22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
(Ephesians 4:22-24 NKJV)

13 And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you.
(Deuteronomy 7:13 NKJV)

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
(Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV)

18 For surely there is a hereafter,
And your hope will not be cut off.
19 Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way.
(Proverbs 23:18-19 NKJV)

23 Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
For the Lord preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
24 Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.
(Psalms 31:23-24 NKJV)

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
(1 Peter 1:3-5 NKJV)

5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
(Romans 5:5 NKJV)

9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him...
(Colossians 3:9-10 NKJV)

31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 NKJV)

Here's a song from Owl City.  It's beauty is in it's simplicity.
Owl City, In Christ Alone (link)