Tuesday 18th September 2018 - Daily Reading:
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 The Holy Spirit in the Church 2 by Brenda Critchley

We are looking at some of the things we need to apply in our lives if we want to know more of the Holy Spiritís presence in the Church. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says: Do not put out the Spiritís fire. So, the first thing is we can see it is possible to do that. How we behave and respond will make a difference to how much we can experience the Holy Spirit and see his power at work

The passage in Thessalonians continues:
V20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt
V21 Test everything. Hold on to the good
V22 Avoid every kind of evil.

So already we have three pointers to ways of keeping the Spiritís fire alive in us and in the church. And hereís the first one: If someone gets up trembling and tries to share a simple Ďpictureí given by the Spirit; and if they stumble and fumble for words Ė we must treat that with respect and ask the Lord in our own hearts what he is saying to us.

Now, we are not called to be gullible and just accept everything and anything that people bring; the next verse is: Test everything. So how do we do that? We test everything by the Word of God, the Bible, and by the inner witness of the Spirit. If we have the Holy Spirit in us then we will he will give us that core sense of whether something offered is of him or not.

1 Corinthians 14:3 tells us that when someone prophesies he speaks to people for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. So, this is our test of any sort of prophetic word given: does it fit any, some or all of these categories? Does it strengthen? Does it encourage? Does it bring comfort?

Finally, we are told to hold on to the good and to avoid every kind of evil. The Holy Spirit will be drawn to us when someone purports to speak in the name of the Lord, if we test it wisely, by the Bible, and make sure we donít treat it with contempt, otherwise he will withdraw from us.

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