From Pastor Johnny

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The Signature of The Holy Spirit (Part 2/Day2)

Obvious Generosity v. Acts 2:44-45 

There was an amazing attitude among God’s people that said, My things are really not my own, but they are God’s.  My life and my things should be readily available for use through the body of Christ.”   This is an amazing attitude of generosity.” 

On Lakewood Dr in Phenix City is a building owned by Ashley Furniture. Ashley furniture has holdings and franchises nationwide. The facility is known as a distribution warehouse, whose primary job is to receive furniture, store it temporarily, and ship it out to the retail stores that have need of it. 

In Arcadia, Wisconsin another Ashley Furniture facility exists. It is the international hub and manufacturing facility. This facility has over 1.5 million sq feet. In this facility, the purpose is to make the furniture from scratch with wood, cloth, tacks, nails, and all of the materials necessary.  

In Arcadia, Wisconsin the furniture originates. In Phenix City, Alabama – in addition to many other towns – that furniture is delivered temporarily before being shipped out to those in need. 

If the Ashley Furniture Distribution Warehouse across the street began using the furniture for their own purposes, and not shipping it out, there would be trouble. If the Ashley Furniture Distribution warehouse across the street continued to receive furniture but did nothing but store it – refusing to send it out to the ones in need of the furniture – there would be trouble. You see, the furniture is created and originated in Arcadia and sent out. Distribution warehouses around the country receive the furniture to do nothing but store it temporarily and send it out to the stores and customers in need. These distribution warehouses are not to consume or hoard the materials they receive but store, use, and send out that which most effectively matches the purposes of the manufacturer. 

If the families of this church were compared to Ashley Furniture, then God in heaven would represent the manufacturing facility. The families of this church would represent the distribution warehouses. God makes and provides the resources which come into our possession. Our job - with these possessions of money, materials, times, talents, and resources – is to receive it and store it for a time, then use it in a way that most effectively matches the purposes of the manufacturer. We are not to hoard it ourselves or consume it all ourselves, but we are to receive it, then use it, give it, invest for the purposes of our manufacturer. 

Every family w/in the body of Christ is like a distribution warehouse.  God places certain material possessions with us for a time.  We are to care for those and use only as much of the resources as we need.  As God, who is the manufacturer of all these things, chooses to send them out from us and into other places, we just simply do what He says with what He says.  Anything else would be abusing our role.   

 Regular Conversions: 47b  

As we yield to God’s will moment by moment, then God uses our own lives as tools to bring others to Himself.  If you have little desire to witness to the lost, then it is not because you need to make a commitment to witness, but it is because you have not moved out of the way to allow Christ to produce that desire through you.  This is God’s work and we have the incredible privilege of being his tools of choice.   

Pastor and theologian, John R.W. Stott, once wrote of an account in his church.   

Many years ago I used to lead a thing at St. Peter's called The Children's Church. There was a little girl who was a member many years ago. Jillie was 10 at the time. We'd been studying Matthew's gospel, and in those days at the end of the year we set these poor kids an examination--a written examination. Having asked them 30-odd academic questions, I permitted myself a final personal one. This is what I said, because we'd been studying the Gospel of John, chapter 1: "Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Philip brought Nathaniel to Jesus. Whom have you brought to Jesus?"  

Do you know what Jillie answered? "I have brought myself to Jesus." She was quite right. Have you? You can't bring anybody else till you've brought yourself.  

 When a local church is filled with the Holy Spirit, there is a clear signature of His power and presence.  

All of us can probably point to physical signatures about ourselves that are distinctive to our families. These are signatures. Maybe your family is tall or short. Maybe your family has broad shoulders, small feet, or petite physiques.  

My dad worked on cars much of his life.  As a result, one of the things I notice most about him is his hands.  Broad, thick hands with short fingers. I always thought the thick fingers and hands he had were a product of being a mechanic. 

Not too long ago I was doing something and I looked down.  Guess what I saw?  I saw my father’s hands. I discovered that the hands he had were less a product of his work, and more a signature of his family. Those hands are a signature that I belong to John W. Ellison.    

The Holy Spirit will display spiritual signatures through us. Do you have Him in your life? For more information on trusting Christ, text the word DECISION to 334-203-9946.