Do we hunger for His Presence? Is Coventry Vineyard a place where God can be found? Are we even aware of His presence here? Is it making a difference? Are you being changed? Are you finding that you are becoming just a little bit more like Jesus?
Over Sunday lunch we rate how the Sunday Morning Gathering was. We rate the worship. We maybe rate the talk. The things you didn’t like, the things you did like.
We rarely sit in shocked awe that we just met with The Living God.
Maybe we are happy to know about God rather than actually know him. My hope and prayer is that as a community we would each experience and hunger for God’s Presence.
Recently I’ve felt God challenge me by asking,
“Are you more interested in the presence of people here on a Sunday than the presence of My Holy Spirit!?”
Without the Holy Spirit, Christian discipleship would be inconceivable, even impossible. There can be no life without the life-giver, no understanding without the Spirit of truth, no fellowship without the unity of the Spirit, no Christlikeness of character apart from his fruit, and no effective witness without his power. As a body without breath is a corpse, so the church without the Spirit is dead. – John Stott, The message of Acts.
“There is an unseen Deity present, a knowing, feeling Personality, and He is indivisible from the Father and the Son, so that if you were to be suddenly transferred to heaven itself you wouldn’t be any closer to God than you are now, for God is already here. Changing your geographical location would not bring you any nearer to God nor God any nearer to you, because the indivisible Trinity is present, and all that the Son is the Holy Ghost is, and all that the Father is the Holy Ghost is, and the Holy Ghost is in His Church.” -A. W. Tozer
“We are not all we were made to be when everything in our lives and churches can be explained apart from the work and presence of the Spirit of God….Shouldn’t there be a huge difference between the person who has the Spirit of God living inside of him or her and the person who does not?” – Francis Chan
Paul writes: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?’ If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” (1 Cor. 3:16) and “… in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19)
The Spirit is God’s own personal presence in our lives and in our midst. For Paul, to be saved means to become part of the people of God, It means to be born into God’s family and therefore joined to one another as one body, to be formed into God’s temple.
God is creating a people for His Name, among whom God dwells and who in their life together will reproduce God’s life and character in all its unity and diversity.
The presence of God, should be the very thing that distinguishes us from all the other people on the face of this earth. It is what makes the church “The church”—remember it was the outpouring of the Presence in the form of the Spirit that created the church in the first place!
The first followers of Jesus, the early church that we read about in the book of Acts, had an irresistible quality about them. Empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit, they influenced and transformed the world around them. In this series of talks we will look at seven aspects of this culture that made church irresistible to others.
In this first talk Nick Sutton looks at how an Irresistible Church is filled with the Presence of God, The Holy Spirit. The early church were committed to being a people of the presence. God’s Presence is a theme that runs throughout the Bible. His Presence is precious to us.
His Presence makes all the difference to us and to our world. Are we hungry for the Presence of God, more than anything else?