Finding power for your calling in the Holy Spirit
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1. Opening up

  • Review: Last week we discussed our calling. We said that God calls us first to himself, and second to live for him by loving others. That’s our purpose: to love God and love others. And the ultimate goal in loving others is that we would help them to become disciples of Jesus.
  • Today: This week we want to understand how we could do this. Where do we find the power to follow Jesus in the world?
  • Pray: Ask the Holy Spirit to open your hearts and guide your time.

Transition: Let’s start by asking some questions.

2. How do we do this?

  • ASK: When you think about following Jesus with your whole life, does that seem easy or hard to you? How does it make you feel?
    • Parents: the goal here is to help your kids see that following Jesus is no easy task. Be honest with them about how challenging it is, and has been, for you to be a disciple. Following Jesus and loving others is hard! It can be overwhelming at times.
  • Good news. The good news is that God doesn’t leave all of this up to us. Right before Jesus went to the cross, his disciples were very sad, so he told them something amazing. Let’s read John 16:7.
    • ASK: Why did Jesus say it was to their advantage that he went away?
      • ANSWER: So that the Helper would come.
    • ASK: Who is the Helper?
      • ANSWER: The Holy Spirit.
  • A shocking statement! Can you imagine if someone gave you the option of going through life with Jesus by your side, or the Holy Spirit in you? Which would you choose? Just about every follower of Jesus would say, I want Jesus by my side through all of life! But Jesus says it’s actually to your advantage that he has sent you the Holy Spirit to be with you.

TransitionSo let’s think about what all this means for us…

3. Knowing the Holy Spirit

  • Here a few important things to know about the Holy Spirit:
    • He is the third Person of the Trinity. That means he is fully God. He’s not the force and he’s not an “it”; he is a Person. As God, he is to be prayed to, worshipped, and glorified.
    • You have the Holy Spirit. When Jesus ascended into heaven, he sent his Holy Spirit to be in and with his people. If you have put your faith in Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit in you. The Holy Spirit does not come only to a select few Christians; he dwells in each and every follower of Jesus. You cannot “lose” him!
    • He is “God with you.” Do you know what has always made the people of God special? It was that God was with Jesus was called Immanuel, meaning “God with us.” And right before Jesus ascended, when he gave the Great Commission to “go and make disciples,” he finished by saying: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” How is he with us? By the Holy Spirit.
    • He accomplishes His work through us. We can try to do great things on our own, but unless God is at work in us and through us, we won’t accomplish much. This is how Psalm 127:1 puts it: “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”
  • ASK: Have you thought much about having the Holy Spirit? What encourages you about having him in your life?

Transition: now let’s think about the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives…

4. The work of the Holy Spirit

  • ASK: What do you think the Holy Spirit does in your life? How is he at work in us?
    • Parents: brainstorm with your kids together.
    • Here are a few things he does…
  • The Spirit’s work in you:
    • He makes your adoption real. When you turn to Jesus in faith for the first time, he unites you to Jesus. In other words, he makes an inseparable bond between you and Jesus. You are forever connected to him. The Bible says that when that happens, you have been adopted into God’s family. Just like when parents adopt a child by choosing her and loving her, your Heavenly Father has chosen to put his love on you and call you his child! The Spirit wants to keep on making that real to you. That’s why Romans 8 calls him the “Spirit of adoption.”
    • He changes you. Are followers of Jesus perfect? Not at all! When we become Christians, the Holy Spirit begins to change us, by rooting out the ugly things in our hearts. That process continues for our whole lives. We can choose to walk in step with him in that process, or we can resist him. Resisting and ignoring him is what Paul calls “grieving the Spirit.” But if we keep on coming to him, he will keep on changing us to be more like Jesus, gradually and slowly, but more and more.
    • He enables you to love others. God gave us the mission to love others, by caring for and about them, and helping them to become disciples. But he doesn’t just give you the mission, he also gives you the power to accomplish it. The Holy Spirit wants to lead you to certain people to love, he wants to open them up to your acts of love, and he wants to give you the power to do it. The Apostle Paul said he worked with God’s energy working in him. That happens by the Holy Spirit.
    • He takes you to Jesus, to abide in Him. It’s like the Holy Spirit runs a spotlight, and he keeps on shining it on only one thing: Jesus. The Holy Spirit loves to point us to Jesus. He wants to show us how wonderful Jesus is, how he is better than everything else in the universe, and how much he loves us so much. He wants you to sing of Jesus’s love. He wants your heart to rest on Jesus, so that you abide with him.
  • ASK: What about the Holy Spirit’s work stands out to you? Why are you thankful for him?
  • ASK: who do you know that is walking in step with the Holy Spirit? How do you see him at work in their life?
    • Parents: share a personal example if possible.

Transition: we’ve talked about a lot, so let’s remember the big picture… 

5. The BIG Picture GOAL: If you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit. Following Jesus with your whole life and loving others is hard work. But the real work is to keep on relying on the Holy Spirit, so that he does the work in you and through you. Remember that God is with you!

6. For next time…

  • Pray: Each day ask the Holy Spirit to help you experience God’s love, to think about Jesus, and to love others around you.
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