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MAY 2005 ISSUE HOMEPAGE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Breath of Fresh Air
A Merry Heart
A Woman's World
A Word in Season
Acting Up
As I Imitate Christ
Cyber Walk
Faith Seekers
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Just Between Men
Take it to Heart
Teen Truth
The Joy of Family
The Parents'
Survival Guide

The Rhythm of Life
The Treehouse
Through Their Eyes
'Tis the Season
We Are the Church
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Armed and Dangerous
By Bill Shurkey

"And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49 KJV).

The Holy Spirit was a promise from the Father to the early Church because the Holy Spirit was needed to get the Church started. He is still promised to every believer today and is essential to keep the Church going. The Holy Spirit isn't a bird, a tongue of fire, or even an 'it'. He is God, the third person of the Blessed Trinity and of the three He is the least understood and most controversial. Satan has consistently used the work of the Holy Spirit to sow division in the Church.  

The Holy Spirit is literally the power of God within us. He is called the Comforter, our Helper, and the Spirit of Truth. He is mentioned 75 times in the Old Testament and 204 times in the New Testament. He helped with creation. He gives wisdom, understanding, and knowledge to those who ask for it. He dwelt within Moses and the 70 elders. Joshua, Gideon, Samson, David, Daniel, and all the prophets had the Holy Spirit. The prophets could not have prophesied without him. Wherever there was someone who needed power for ministry, the Holy Spirit was sent.

When the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in the upper room on the day of Pentecost, Christianity became complete, lacking nothing. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit gave his power selectively to equip individuals for ministry. On the day of Pentecost, he came to give his power to the entire Church. The reason is simple: every believer is called to a ministry. That ministry is Christ's Great Commission.

The Church lacks power today because not all the Church has all that the Holy Spirit has to give. Burned out Christians are trying to do God's work with man's power and are taking a beating. Furthermore, Satan uses the division over tongues and the gifts of the Spirit to sow discord among the brethren. Issues that divide us shouldn't be issues at all. We are all brothers and sisters walking in the revelation we were given and we are all heading in the same direction with the same purpose. Rather than divide over issues we'll never settle on earth, we should work together in unity within the common truths that we all share.

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Ephesians 4:4-6 KJV). These are our similarities; nothing else should matter.  When Christ returns, he's coming for a bride – not a harem, and it's a good thing he's picked out the gown and made all the wedding arrangements. If he'd left it up to us, we'd be more divided than we are now.

It's time we as Christ's body lay aside our petty differences and unite toward our common goal of reaching the world with the Good News. We can't show Christ's love to the lost and minister effectively if we don't embrace Christ's Spirit, the Spirit of unity. It's why He came. The rhythm of life flows everywhere. It's even in the Church if we'll only look for it. All we have to do now to complete our task is to ebb and flow together.

This month is Pentecost. It's a day of reflection for all Christ did for us. Next to salvation, the gift of the Holy Spirit is His greatest act of love.

Our poets and songwriters share only a fraction of the roles the Holy Spirit plays in a believer's life. In whichever role He is operating, the Holy Spirit, like Jesus before Him, is here to serve. He is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. He breathed new life into Him and He'll do the same for you. He will revive the spiritually thirsty, the spiritually hungry, and the spiritually tired. He can equip you for ministry and give you the power to do all the Lord's called you to do. Without him we are weak and ineffective but clothed with his power we are truly armed and dangerous.

* * *

A Song for the Captivity
© Bill Shurkey 2003

There is a melody for this song and I would invite any musicians who would be interested in working with me to notate and arrange it. Please contact me via the Letters page of this magazine.

(Verse 1)

Oh mighty God, my faithful God, your mercies ever new.
I need you, Lord, more of you, Lord, my spirit thirsts for you.
I lift my hands, I raise my voice, in worship to the King.
You are my hope, you are my peace, you are my everything.

(Chorus)

Prepare my heart to touch their hearts with the heart of God.
I'll make your paths straight, compelling them to come.
The highways and the byways are filled with those in need.
I'll cry out in the wilderness, "Come see the King of Kings."

(Verse 2)

I seek your face, amazing grace, ignite the fire in me.
Come purify and sanctify, so that the world might see,
Your love for them has always been a bridegroom's for his bride.
It's why you came, it's why you stayed, it's why you bled and died.

(Chorus)

Prepare my heart to touch their hearts with the heart of God.
I'll make your paths straight, compelling them to come.
The highways and the byways are filled with those in need.
I'll cry out in the wilderness, "Come see the King of Kings."

(Verse 3)

The trials that come won't stop the love I feel for you today.
What lies ahead will be instead a love song to my king.
Betrothed to you, I long for you, and our wedding day.
You are my hope, you are my peace, you are my everything.

     (Refrain)

Come purify and sanctify, so that the world might see.
I seek your face, amazing grace, ignite the fire in me.

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God" (II Timothy 1:7-8 KJV).
Bill Shurkey is the editor of The Rhythm of Life. He has published over 100 poems in various publications, as well as short fiction, short nonfiction and a nonfiction book. His two passions are poetry and teaching children through fantasy and humor.
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