The Thought for the Week this week was written by Paul Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey

"... the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things

and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26 NIV)

            The life of the Church thrives through listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit. There is no other way. Where the Holy Spirit is excluded, Churches soon become indistinguishable from the secular world around them. The same applies to any Christian institution, mission or work that may have been genuinely brought into existence under God's direction: without the life-giving Voice of the Spirit, the river runs dry and we run aground in spiritually hostile territory.

            On the first page of the bible, in the book of Genesis, God says, "Let there be light," and light came into being. When the Son of God commanded the winds and the waves, "Be still!" – they could not do otherwise, but obey – and, so it is today: when that Voice is heard, life flows to the hearer – abundant life, victorious life, sin-destroying life, direction-finding life! The creative power of a God who speaks to His Church is as the blood in our veins or as the very air we breathe. Without hearing that Voice, we perish!

            The responsibility upon Church leaders to be in a position and condition to hear that Voice is immense, but, let us not leave the responsibility to them alone! The instructions to believers given in 1 Corinthians 14:26, "When you come together, each one of you has a hymns, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation." So, the pattern for the New Testament Church is that we all hear the voice of the Spirit and gather together, not just to receive what others have heard, but to bring to the Church what we have heard from Him. Called to be channels of the Holy Spirit, not simply pew-fillers. Let us press on!