‘The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.’ John 3:8
Suggested Further Reading: Song of Solomon 4:12–16
I have known ministers who had some peculiar idiosyncrasy of experience which was not important; but their people all began to think and talk in the same way, and to have the same doubts and fears. Now that will not do. It is not the way in which the Most High acts with regard to the wind, and if he chooses to take all the points of the compass, and make use of them all, let us bless and glorify his name. Are not the different winds various in their qualities? Few of us like an east wind. Most of us are very glad when the wind blows from the south. Vegetation seems to love the south-west. A stiff north-easter is enough to make us perish; and long continuance of the north wind may well freeze the whole earth; while from the west, the wind seems to come laden with health from the sea; and though sometimes too strong for the sick, yet it is never a bad time when the west wind blows. The ancients all had their different opinions about wind; some were dry, some were rainy, some affected this disease, some touched this part of men, some the other. Certain it is that God’s Holy Spirit has different qualities. In the Canticles he blows softly with the sweet breath of love: turn on farther, and you get the same Spirit blowing fiercely with threatening and denunciation; sometimes you find him convincing the world ‘of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment;’ that is the north wind: at other times opening up Christ to the sinner, and giving him joy and comfort; that is the south wind, that blows softly, and gives a balminess in which poor troubled hearts rejoice; and yet ‘all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit.’
For meditation: When the Holy Spirit blows like a wind, healthy effects follow, for example, causing the Scriptures to be written (2 Peter 1:21), stimulating the early church into evangelism (Acts 2:1–2) and bringing sinners to new birth (John 3:8). Beware of other winds and their unhealthy spiritual effects (Ephesians 4:14).
Sermon no. 630
23 May (Undated Sermon)
I am your shield of protection. Many times you wonder where I am in the midst of the battle that rages around you. You feel abandoned on the battlefield. Don’t be afraid and don’t lose faith. I am here, and I am always victorious. I will protect you, but you must trust Me. Sometimes I will lead you to shelter for safety and restoration. Other times I will ask you to join Me on the front line in the heat of the battle. The truth is, I can kill any giant that threatens your life, but, just like David the shepherd boy, it’s up to you to march forward, pick up the stones, and face your giant. I love to prove My strength when the odds are the greatest and hope is the smallest. I am truly your shelter and your deliverer–I will protect you no matter where you are.
Your King and your Protector
You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance. – Psalm 32:7 (NIV)
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Healthy Me, Healthy Us: Your Relationships Are Only as Strong as You Are
Relationship skills, tips, and tactics? Sure. They have their place. But meaningful relationships–the kind we all long for–grow from something deeper, something stronger, something that has more to do with being than doing.
This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering Lingers
This Too Shall Last offers an antidote to our cultural idolatry of effort and ease. Through personal story and insights from neuroscience and theology, Ramsey invites us to let our tears become lenses of the wonder that before God ever rescues us, he stands in solidarity with us. We are all mid-story in circumstances we did not choose, wondering when our hard things will end and where grace will come if they don’t. We don’t need to make suffering a before-and-after story. Together we can encounter the grace that enters the middle of our stories, where living with suffering that lingers means receiving God’s presence that lasts.
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