Pastor’s Blog April 2016

When I was growing up The Charismatic Movement became a cause of great contention and discussion among the churches to which I belonged. Within our church there were those who were adamantly opposed and there were others who were passionately for it, believing it to be a significant move of God’s Holy Spirit. Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, from my perspective at least it did a lot more good than it did harm. There were the aberrations of heavy shepherding etc. But there were the great benefits of the renewal of worship, the wider acceptance of home groups and the recognition of the vital role of lay ministry.
During this term at BBC we will be studying Acts 1-11 together on a Sunday Morning and some if not all of the hot topics of that time will be covered by this series. However the most important issue will be the role and work of the Holy Spirit in the believer and in the church. At Pentecost the tongues of fire, fell on them all and then separated indicating that it was at one and the same time both a personal and corporate experience.
While Pentecost was a unique event, inaugurating a new phase in the purposes of God it also represents an ongoing challenge to us to know and to move in the power of God’s Spirit which was so evident in the early church. You cannot read the early chapters of Acts without being stirred by the quality of the church’s life and the bold confidence of the individual disciples. My greatest hope for this time is that God would raise our expectations of him. That we ourselves would want to know more of God and to experience the Holy Spirit at work in greater power in and through us.
Sometimes I think we are put off or discouraged by hearing the spectacular stories of others, their dramatic experiences and the amazing stories that they tell but one thing I have learned is that there is no one size fits all experience of the Holy Spirit. God wants to meet with you in a way that is personal and unique to the person he has made you to be. A crucial issue is however, how much we want God to fill us with his Spirit. Are we truly longing, hungering and thirsting to know more of the Holy Spirit within our lives?
Jesus told a parable about a man banging on his neighbours door at midnight asking for bread to feed a friend. The man kept on banging until reluctantly his neighbour got up and gave him some bread. Jesus’ final words in this section are, “how much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13.
How much do we want God the Holy Spirit to fill our lives and our church?

Phil Dixon