WASHED AND RENEWED

Titus 3:5 – not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

I love the word renewal. This is the work of the Lord that is continuous. He finds us one way and then continues to work on us throughout our whole life making us totally different. This beautiful work associated with redemption is a cooperation of the Word and the Spirit in our heart and mind. David spoke about renewal in his prayer of repentance in Ps.51:10. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

He wanted his heart to be not only washed and forgiven but transformed. That is the beauty of today’s verse. The Lord washes us from our sins and then begins renewal in us so that we will not fall back into sin. Paul called it the washing and renewing of the Holy Spirit. Here is a definition from Dick Mills on renewal.

“renewing, anakainosis – A combination of ana, “again,” and kainos, “new.” The word suggests a renovation, restoration, transformation, and a change of heart and life. In Rom. 12:2, it indicates a complete change for the better, an adjustment of one’s moral and spiritual vision. Here it stresses the work of the Holy Spirit in transforming the life.”

In Psalms David says that our inner strength is effected by renewal. Ps.103:5 -“Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” We can lean on this promise to stand strong in times of temptation and also when we need strength to endure the challenges of life. He is daily renewing my inner strength like an eagle.

Psalms also describes the creative power of the Lord involved in renewing His creation.

Ps.104:30 – “You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.”

Think about it, the Lord didn’t just create everything and then back off and become uninvolved. He is daily involved with His creation, renewing the face of the earth. If He is involved it’s eagles, badgers, waterfalls, and arctic formations; He is surely involved on a daily basis in the lives of His children. Renewal is happening everyday. What is my part? Step in to His flow and allow Him to work His beautiful work of renewal in me.

THE WORKING OF THE SPIRIT

Titus 3:5,6 – But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

The Christian life is basically the life of the Holy Spirit expressed through His sons and daughters. Christianity is not a creed or a set of beliefs, it is the life of the Spirit expressed in and through us. This is why I need continual renewal, the Christian life is just not something we can do or perform. This new life is started when we are born again (regeneration) and is empowered and maintained by the renewing of the Holy Spirit on a consistent basis. The Holy Spirit gives us moral strength, freedom from addictive or compulsive lifestyles, spiritual hunger, spiritual understanding, giftings, and power for ministry. Paul said I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. That must mean I can do nothing of value without Him. Here are some thoughts from Matthew Henry on today’s passage.

“Here is the principal efficient, namely, the Spirit of God; it is the renewing of the Holy Ghost… We are said to be born of the Spirit, to be quickened and sanctified by the Spirit, to be led and guided, strengthened and helped, by the Spirit. Through him we mortify sin, perform duty, walk in God’s ways; all the acts and operations of the divine life in us, the works and fruits of righteousness without us, all are through this blessed and Holy Spirit, who is therefore called the Spirit of life, and of grace and holiness; all grace is from him. Earnestly therefore is he to be sought, and greatly to be heeded by us, that we quench not his holy motions, nor resist and oppose him in his workings.”

It is by the help of the Holy Spirit that we can pray, preach, and understand the scripture. He is the One Who awakens us and continues to draw us by giving us a spiritual hunger. I have come to the conclusion that I need Him continually in my life. Renewal is not the optional cherry on top that happens occasionally, it is an absolute necessity in my life. Let Jeremiah’s prayer be our prayer

Lam.5:21 – “Restore us to You, O LORD, that we may be restored; Renew our days as of old.”

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS- REVIVAL WEEK! 

“But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:3-8

A few weeks ago, Rodney and Adonica Howard Browne came and did revival meetings at our church. It did our heart good to be around them. Now this week, we will spend time preaching in their services all week and teaching on the Great Awakening in their River Bible Institute. We couldn’t be happier of course.
During the midst of the great Awakening Jonathan Edwards wrote this letter to a young lady that found herself without a pastor, “In all your course, walk with God and follow Christ as a little, poor, helpless child, taking hold of Christ’s hand, keeping your eye on the mark of the wounds on his hands and side, whence came the blood that cleanses you from sin and hiding your nakedness under the skirt of the white shining robe of his righteousness.”
I pray that you despite all that is going around you, the swirls, ups, downs and yes the bumps-just keep holding onto Christ’s hand. I can still close my eyes and remember how sweet it was to have my garments cleansed by the blood of Jesus at the young age of 16. I can only but hide under his sweet robe-I have no where else to go. I can’t imagine being without hope in this world at this moment in time, well actually I can because I grew up lost and without hope. If not now, when is it a good time to call upon our Savior and call out to him? What are we waiting for? Man fails but Christ never does.

Twenty-two years ago, Frank and I, and many others from our church, found ourselves flying into Tampa time and time again, soaking in the revival fires and meeting so many others touched by Christ’s love throughout the world. Christianity is worldwide my friend, allow him to continue to “give you a good bath” in his love and correction. Don’t let others spin you out of the destiny of God.

Today as I walked into service I felt his presence as we sang this song all together:

lyrics by Kurt Carr-
Jesus

Something special

Supernatural

About your name

Jesus

Something happens

When I mention your name
Demons have to flee when I say Jesus (Jesus)

Sickness has to heal when I say Jesus (Jesus)

Every knee shall bow before

And every tongue proclaim

With worthy praise

That matchless name of Jesus

GENERATION, REGENERATION, AND RENEWAL

Titus 3:4,5 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Even in his fallen state man is an amazing display of God’s creativity. We see the hand of God in the wisdom of an Einstein, the creative genius of Rembrandt, or the musical excellence of a Beethoven. There is something essentially unique in the crown of God’s creation, humans, that is intrinsically different from all of God’s other amazing creatures. We see creativity in the chimpanzee and incredible intelligence in the dolphin but nothing compares to mankind in its combination of intelligence and creativity. What is the difference? We are spiritual creatures. Man is created in the image of God. Unlike the rest of His creatures, we are spirits. The only other creatures that are spirit beings are the various kinds of angelic beings. We stand alone. The amazing thing is this, there is the power of regeneration in Christ that causes us to tap into an even greater potential. Here is how A.B. Simpson sees it.

“We see here that human life comes through the human soul, not through the human body, and springs from the direct touch of the Creator and the inspiration of the Almighty. Man’s life is not, like the life of the brute, a part of his physical organism. The human organs are complete before they receive the touch of life. Our life came not from the ground, nor from the physical forces and functions, but from the imparting of the human soul through God’s direct in-breathing.

Man’s life is so sacred, because it is the direct gift of God’s love, and the very communication of God’s own life. We see the Holy Spirit presented here as the author not only of life, but also of mind and soul. What a glory it gives to our conception of the Holy Ghost, to think of Him as having part in creation! Job says : “Thy Spirit hath garnished the heavens.” The glowing stars, the beautiful firmament, the rainbow, the golden sun, the silvery moon, the sunset clouds in all their radiant glory, are but touches of His infinite wisdom and taste.”

If you are born again, drink deeply of His Spirit. You can experience not only regeneration but continual renewal. All things are possible when we live off of the incredible power of the Holy Spirit.

HARE KRISHNA DEVOTEE

I once was a Hara Krishna devotee!
Merry Monday by Parris Bailey

“For we ourselves were sometime foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.” Titus 3:3

It is quite odd to write those words, remembering it is even more painful! Even to this day, the Krishna house is still on Esplanade Ave. in New Orleans. In 1973, I found myself chanting the Krishna prayer, holding some beads, and reading the Bhagavad Gita about Krishna and Arjuna. Some of the teaching of this Hindu sect was that Frank and I were to slowly “evolve”, so to speak, by taking cold showers, eat vegetarian food, and sleep no more than 4 hours a day. I will spare you the long story and just say that it didn’t work. The one thing I remember is the guilty feeling I felt going into the “temple” and the guilty feeling I felt leaving the “temple”. To make the story even worse, Frank and I had devised a plan in which I was to run away with him to spend the rest of our lives living at their farm in Virginia, chanting our life away. We had saved up $700 for the trip and put in our two-week notice. Everything was going as planned. It was a Friday and Frank and I decided to take the drive into New Orleans to see the movie “Jesus Christ Superstar”, after all, he too was a prophet. At the end of the movie, while they were showing scenes of the crucifixion, we both started crying. Frank turned to me and said, “Didn’t Jesus say, I am the way and the truth and the life?”(I was not raised in church had no idea what Jesus said or didn’t say) After the movie, we decided to drive out to the lakefront of New Orleans seeing that’s where a lot of young people always hung out. That night we ran into some young people singing and sharing their faith. A couple of them approached us and said, “JESUS LOVES YOU AND HAS A PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE”.
It’s funny how your life can take on a sudden change. Needless to say, we never made it to Virginia. (Thank you almighty God!) Instead, we gave our lives to Jesus Christ, got married and went to a bible school in California. All the feelings of guilt, shame and lonliness left me. He found me and I was changed, born again, and a new nature was put inside of me.
The verse above described me to a tee. I who was once so very foolish, serving divers lusts. Or another translation puts it bluntly, “serving my glands”! Maybe you can’t remember that lost feeling but I certainly do. I think what best describes me is some wild animal that was led by anything that happened to come along.
“But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared.” I thank God the “after that” came to me, after the heartbreak of sin, after following my divers lusts and after the chasing after the leftover scraps- God came to me.
Yes, I was born again. Yes, I was delivered from the fires of hell. Yes, I received power to become a child of God. He truly is the way, the truth and the life! Are you born-again?