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Acts: The Triumph of the Holy Spirit

Sept. 2 2018 | "Acts: The Triumph of the Holy Spirit" pt. 1 (download) / PDF

Welcome to September, and a new series: "Acts: Triumph of the Holy Spirit." We often think of the success of Acts as if it were mass conversions. But Acts' story is more God's work to reach out to all kinds of new people - and the constant renewing and redirecting of Christians who are paying attention to the Spirit. This year 2004 song by Lifehouse expresses longing for personal change, a hopefulness that pervades Acts' story.

Sept. 16 2018 | "Acts: The Triumph of the Holy Spirit" pt. 2 (download) / PDF

Before Jesus ascended, He told them to "wait" for the Gift He promised. Why wait?! Acts 1 gives us the first of several crucial turning points in the story. Jesus didn't tell them explicitly what to do about everything. Peter and the rest learned how to respond to the Spirit for "the next step." We can, too.

Sept. 23 2018 | "Acts: The Triumph of the Holy Spirit" pt. 3 (download) / PDF

Back in AD 29 Jesus had been out of the news cycle for almost 2 months. Pentecost and the Holy Spirit are God's megaphone telling everyone in Jerusalem what only a few people at the time knew: "this Jesus that you crucified has been raised and enthroned as Lord of heaven and earth. The authorities you trusted in propagandized you into helping them commit and cover up the worst injustice in history. But God loves you, there's hope - you can change sides."

Sept. 30 2018 | "Acts: The Triumph of the Holy Spirit" pt. 4 (download) / PDF

Acts 3-4: In this week's episode Jesus escalates the reach to people, through His followers: He does something really beautiful, tells Good News, shows a mirror, tells us how to change sides. The powers-that-be only helped to seal the deal by sending the brute squad to try to shut it down. Darkness doesn't like truth and doesn't play nice. But Jesus' Spirit gives us clarity and strength to speak truth and to live authentically, no matter what. Totally relevant.

Oct. 7 2018 | "Acts: The Triumph of the Holy Spirit" pt. 5 (download) / PDF

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! The Book of Acts tells us a great deal about the Promise, the great Gift that God wants to give everyone: the Spirit who completes us, and completes our conversion! In this episode we sort out the priorities. Truly a Gift to be thankful for!

Oct. 14 2018 | "Acts: The Triumph of the Holy Spirit" pt. 6 (download) / PDF

"Keeping It Real": OK - In Acts 5 - 6, what do the stories of Ananias & Sapphira, the flogging of the apostles, and the appointing of the Seven have in common? The powerful effects of the awesome closeness of the Holy Spirit. He helps us to keep it real, to identify & withstand darkness (without getting sucked into it), and to heal estrangement between people. And a lot more.

Oct. 21 2018 | "Acts: The Triumph of the Holy Spirit" pt. 7 (download) / PDF

Acts 6 - 9: we note a pattern in this story: God does beautiful things, darkness tries to put it out, and God escalates by doing more. The more this happens, the better we can see what each side truly is. Stephen held up a mirror, to help them see: sometimes the most deeply darkened people are the most committed, the ones who can't imagine how they could be wrong. This story is way relevant: the rage they're manipulated into blinds them to the real problem. It's way hopeful: in spite of painful loss, God keeps moving us into new, unexpected places to do new, unexpected beautiful things, tearing down long-standing walls between people.

Oct. 28 2018 | "Acts: The Triumph of the Holy Spirit" pt. 8 (download) / PDF

Finding Saul: today we're exploring how God's Spirit reached one of the most dedicated enemies imaginable. From "goads" to "pocaitsi" (the Romanian word for "repenters") the Spirit reaches to help us find Him. Sometimes our own faith can be the biggest blinder to seeing God and changing to His side. Fortunately, everyone who comes to Him gets His help - whether they have a faith background or not. Through the Spirit, He helps us do what we could never do on our own. "That's" "grace."

Nov. 4 2018 | "Acts: The Triumph of the Holy Spirit" pt. 9 (download) / PDF

"It Seemed Good to the Holy Spirit, and to Us (part 1)": in our "Triumph of the Holy Spirit" series, we notice how Jesus continues to teach and lead His people. How did we get from "is everyone going to come to Jerusalem now?" (Acts 1.6) through 10 years or so to the awesome, unexpected, history-changing friendship of Cornelius and Simon Peter?

Nov. 11 2018 | "Acts: The Triumph of the Holy Spirit" pt. 10 (download) / PDF

In this week's episode of "Acts: Triumph of the Holy Spirit" we explore how in "the normal Christian birth" the Good News, forgiveness, the Spirit, New Community is brought fully into our lives. We explore stories in Acts 8-13 of how the Holy Spirit "gives people good ideas" to do new things we haven't thought of before, to tear down walls between people, to love people like we never imagined before in environments we never considered before - like beautiful downtown Antioch.

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