Language Translation

Books I'm Reading

  • "Surviving the Anointing" by David Ravenhill

Books I've Read

  • "Revival God's Way" by Leonard Ravenhill
  • "Tongues: Beyond the Upper Room" by Kenneth E. Hagin
  • "The Dynamic Duo: The Holy Spirit & You" by Rick Renner

Monday, October 29, 2012

Make It Visible #8

Here is one final idea for making the teaching about the Holy Spirit come alive.

Object Lesson: Praying in Other Tongues, The Key to Unlocking the Benefits of Heaven
Props: Key, Plastic Hotel Room Key Card
Slide: 1 Corinthians 14:2

If you have stayed in a hotel lately, you know that it is a rare thing to find a hotel that still uses the traditional key (show key) anymore for their rooms. After having key after key not being returned as the guests left their hotel, hotel owners called upon technology to create a safe, secure, affordable means to allow guests to get into their hotel rooms. The result is a key card. (Show hotel key card.)

Have you seen one of these cards before? No matter the hotel chain, the key cards are all basically the same. On one side, you have information about the hotel. It might show the logo of the hotel chain or maybe just the word "welcome". The other side of the key card is generally nothing but a magnetic stripe.

Let's take a couple of minutes and talk about the magnetic stripe found on the back of the motel room key card. Now I will readily admit that I am not the smartest person. To me, the stripe on the back of this card doesn't look like much. There's nothing too exciting about a stripe. But, inside of this stripe is embedded or hidden a secret language that enables you to enter into a place that once was forbidden. Am I right? Without this secret or mysterious language, you won't be able to enjoy all that is beyond the door.

Here is one more benefit of this stripe. You don't have to be able to decipher the hidden language. You don't have to know all that is hidden inside of the stripe. The lock on the door recognizes, reads, and responds to the hidden language!

Why have I shared this information about a hotel room key card? Because God has provided a way for you and I to enjoy special benefits from heaven that can only be obtained and opened by using something that is much like this magnetic stripe on the back of the key card. In God's Word we find: (Show slide)

"For if you have the ability to speak in tongues, you will be
only to God, since people won’t be able to understand
You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit,
but it will all be mysterious."
2 Corinthians 14:2 (The New Living Translation) 

Did you get that? By praying in a special language given by the Holy Spirit, we are able to pray secrets or mysteries. This is so exciting because this only-God-and-you secret language (mysteries) will unlock heaven and open the door for God to do wonderful things to us and through us. As the mysterious words come out of our mouths, heaven instantly recognizes, reads, and responds to the hidden language and ... well, let's pray in our language right now and let God show us what will happen!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Make It Visible #7

Here is one more object lesson that will help make your teaching about the Holy Spirit come alive.

Object Lesson: This Gift is For You
Prop: Giant dictionary
Slides: Joel 2:28, word definitions
Note: While any dictionary will work for this object lesson, I use the Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary. This dictionary is huge! It is about 4 inches thick and contains over 2100 pages of words and definitions. It makes for a great prop to show the enormity of our English language. Perhaps your local public or school library will allow you to borrow a comparable dictionary.

For those coming into our nation and having to learn to communicate in a new language, our English language can be quite difficult to learn and master. One of the difficulties comes from the fact that many of our words have multiple meanings. The person learning our language might hear a word used in a sentence and have a full understanding of one of its meanings and yet not understand how that word fits into the subject of the conversation. For example, consider the word "trunk". From this massive dictionary (show dictionary), we find that there are ten different definitions, all talking about different things. The definitions include: (Show slide … revealing one definition at a time.)
  1. The main woody axis of a tree.
  2. A proboscis, especially the long prehensile proboscis of an elephant.
  3. A covering over the hatches of a ship.
  4. A covered compartment for luggage and storage, generally at the rear of an automobile.
  5. A large packing case or box that clasps shut, used as luggage or for storage.
Can you see how difficult that this can be? They might be hearing the word "trunk" and think that the speaker is talking about a long nose on an elephant when in all actuality the speaker is referring to the part of a car that stores luggage.

Here is the reason for today's object lesson. God was so careful to insure that you know that He loves you so much that He has a special gift for you. In sending His precious Holy Spirit, He wanted to make sure that you know and understand that you are to be included with those receiving this gift. God said in Joel 2:28: (Show slide)

"I will pour out my Spirit upon all people ..."
Joel 2:28 (New Living Translation)

Did you notice the word "all"? Let's look in this dictionary one more time to make sure that there is no room for confusion. Here is the definition for the word "all":
  1. Being or representing the entire or total number, amount, or quantity.
  2. Every.
It is just that simple. The word "all" doesn't mean just a few or one or two here and there. All means ALL. In looking at our Bible verse again (show slide), how many people did God say that He would pour His Spirit upon? It's so simple. A-L-L people. No one is left out. In fact, the Bible even makes double sure that you know that you are included when we discover that a little further in this verse and then later in Acts 2:17 and Acts 2:39 God specifically says that this "all" includes children.

Let's not make this difficult or complicated. There aren't ten different definitions for the word "all". It is impossible to not know God's desire. His gift of the Holy Spirit is for Y-O-U!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Make It Visible #6

Here is another object lesson to enhance your teaching about the Holy Spirit.

Object Lesson: The Holy Spirit, Our Counselor
Prop: Newspaper
Slides: Fictitious advice column, John 16:13

A lot of moms and dads start off their day by reading a newspaper. Some will sit with the newspaper in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. Now, you may not know this but every newspaper is divided into sections. There is the section devoted to the national, state, and local news. (Show front page/section of the newspaper.) Then, there is the section of the newspaper that tells the news about business/finance. (Show that portion of the newspaper.) Third is usually the section devoted to the sports news. (Show that portion of the newspaper.) And then finally is the section of the newspaper that has what I call the personal interest news which includes the comics, recipes, television programming schedules, and advice columns. (Show that portion of the newspaper.)

I brought this newspaper to the service today because I want to look at this last section, and in particular to the portion of the section called the advice columns. In this newpaper you find Dear Abby and then next to it is Dear Ann Landers. In these columns, these individuals print letters which have been written asking for their advice. It might have to do with needing advice on how to deal with a lazy child or a mean co-worker or a friend with horrible bad breath. The letters can be quite serious or out and out hilarious. In fact, I have taken one of these letters from a recent column and placed it on a slide. (Create and then show a funny letter. It might be from a person claiming that they have a cat that talks to its owner demanding milk served at a certain temperature and other crazy demands.) If you read very many of these columns day after day, you will see that there are many people needing advice and help.

Here is my question for you. Why would people ask advice from someone whom they've never met and don't know? They don't know Abby or Ann and Abby and Ann doesn't know them. And yet, the writer is pouring out their heart and telling personal and maybe secret things to Abby or Ann.

Here is an idea. Instead of Dear Abby or Ann Landers, why don't we seek the advice and direction from the Holy Spirit who knows us and everything about us? You see, He knows everything about everything and is anxiously waiting for an opportunity to share that information with us. (Show slide.)

"But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you
into all truth. He will not speak his own words, but he will
 speak only what he hears,and he will tell you what is to come."
 John 16:13 (New Century Version)

When we need help and direction, we have THE One to turn to. (To illustrate this, hold up your index finger when you say the words "THE One" and then add the middle finger when you add the next word "to". When you say the word "turn", turn your hand around and then when you add the final "to" return your hand to the original position.)
Thank God for the Holy Spirit!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Make It Visible #5

Here is one more idea to help make the teaching about the Holy Spirit come alive and be visible.

Object Lesson: The Person of the Holy Spirit
Prop: Pen

Far too often, we hear the Holy Spirit being referred to as some mystical force or unknowable entity. Jesus went to great lengths to dispel what I call the "weirdness factor" about the Holy Spirit by insuring that His disciples heard from His very lips that the Holy Spirit was a Person that they could know. How do I know this? When Jesus introduced the Holy Spirit to His followers, not once did He show the Holy Spirit to be a force or an invisible, mysterious "it". Instead, we find in John 14 - 16, Jesus purposefully refers to the Holy Spirit 19 times with personal pronouns including "He", "Him", and "Himself".

How is this significant? Try as you might, you can't know an "it". A great example would be my Cross pen (a great pen for a preacher to have ... "Cross" ... get it? ... anyways). I love my pen. It is big and heavy and is great to write with. But as much as I love my pen, "it" has never told me that "it" loves me back. "It" has never told that "it" loves the way that I hold "it". "It" has never told me that being in my hand makes "it" feel secure. Why? Because my pen is an "it".

On the other hand, you can KNOW a PERSON. A PERSON can and will COMMUNICATE with you.You can SEE the FEELINGS/EMOTIONS of a PERSON.

There is no wonder that Jesus over and over and over again emphasized the "Personhood" of the Holy Spirit. In doing so, Jesus turned the "mystical" into the "knowable". It would be wise for us to do the same thing!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Make It Visible #4

I trust that these Make It Visible entries are providing ideas that will enhance your teaching about the Holy Spirit. This week, I will share another game that can be used as an object lesson to teach about one of the Holy Spirit's jobs.

"He Said What?"

Persons: Leader and 3 boys and 3 girls
Slide: John 16:13
Preparation: Write a lengthy sentence that contains several adjectives on an index card.  An example might be "I love to eat gooey marshmallow treats and drink really hot chocolate on cold, wet wintry nights".

Game: Line up the children side by side and placing the children boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, and girl. Explain that before the service, you wrote a fact about yourself that you want to share with everyone. And, to make sure that it would be memorable, you thought and thought and thought, came up with the perfect sentence that will share earth-shattering news, and then wrote that thought on this index card. Now, you are going to read the sentence by whispering it into the ear of the first person. That person will whisper it into the ear of the next person. This will continue until it reaches the last person who will then tell everyone what they've learned about me. Explain that each child will need to pay special attention to what is being said because it can only be whispered one time to them. As the news reaches the last person, ask them to reveal what they've learned and then compare what they've announced to what you have written on the index card.

Application: In using this game, I have NEVER had the final announcement be any where near the original statement. The sentence given by the final child is generally hilarious. Why is this statement so far removed from what was originally given? The deviation from the original statement could be due to individuals not listening correctly or perhaps being distracted or individuals not speaking clearly. The end result is that the final statement didn't accurately convey your thought.

How does this apply to the Holy Spirit? Consider this ... (Show John 16:13 slide.)

"But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth.
He will not speak his own words, but he will speak only what
he hears, and he will tell you what is to come."
John 16:13 (New Century Version)

Notice the job of the Holy Spirit. The heavenly Father talks to the Holy Spirit. There is no whispering going on so that inaccuracies or misunderstandings might arise. The Holy Spirit then tells you what He has learned from the Father. Notice that there aren't four or five or fifteen people that pass along the information to each other before it gets to you. The information or guidance comes straight from the Father through the Holy Spirit. Is there room for mistakes or confusion? Nope. Because the Holy Spirit "will speak ONLY (emphasis mine) what He hears". According to John 16:13, the Holy Spirit will insure that you will always, always, always know that you know that you know that you have accurately heard from the Father!