God’s Word is the Abundance of the Spirit’s Heart

Spirit's Word

Sunday 11/03/19

Series: Walking the Talk

Message – God’s Word if the Abundance of the Spirit’s Heart


God’s Word if the Abundance of the Spirit’s Heart


Hope by the Spirit – our expectation of Christ being formed in us, GROWS as we fellowship with the Holy Spirit. 

  • He reminds us of that Hope
  • Excites an anticipation of it in our hearts
  • He convinces us of it as our inevitable outcome
  • He reminds us that it is God’s dream for us and His work in us
  • He makes it a sure thing by constantly flooding our hearts with the “RIGHT NOW” reality of God’s love for us  – as a living, breathing, immediate reality to live in!

We ended last week mentioning just how pervasive and all encompassing the Holy Spirit was seen and recognized to be in the early church.

It doesn’t ALWAYS come up in the language directly, but if you were to return to the world of the middle east 2,000 years ago and lived in a community of saints from that era – it would have been an ever present awareness you lived with and by.


Everyone knew this! It is something we have lost over the centuries!

Much of it was out of good intentions. We’ve done it to some degree here for similar reasons.


We found doctrines which were clearly unscriptural and we believed ourselves to be a spirit-filled church yet, the Spirit did not dissuade us from clear biblical error. So we studied harder, devoted ourselves more, renewed our fervor and dedication to not sway from the clear teaching of scripture and in THAT way – fell off on the other side of the ditch of control – all the while the Holy Spirit is RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of scripture and rest!

If we had truly been living “spirit-filled” lives we would never have been able to sustain lives and doctrinal beliefs which were SO contrary to scripture. So it wasn’t that the Spirit failed us – it is that we never were in sync with Him in the first place other in the expression of a few gifts and some times of teaching.

We weren’t just looking At the Word, we were looking To the word for guidance. But the scriptures do not tell us to do that. We are to know them and think on them but we are guided by the very Spirit Who inspired them! 

In the Bible the Holy Spirit is almost an unsong, silent partner – but HE IS THERE.

Anyone who knows Teri and I, knows were one is the other will be as well or at very least, to talk to one is to talk to the other. We discuss everything, we have NO “hidden lives” where the other is not FULLY in the know and involved. We have not weaknesses or sins which are “secret” to the other. We are pretty much one. This is known and accepted by nearly everyone who knows us. So much so that I refuse to “counsel” anyone with the restraint that I cannot discuss it with my wife. They’d just have to go see another Pastor because I cannot be ONE with someone I cannot share all my life with – including and perhaps especially my life of ministry. 

Now I use this as a pale example of what I am talking about. There are times when the church is brought up, when Paul or Peter or James or John are mentioned or when the Spirit Himself is mentioned, but to mention one IS to mention the other. This was SO true and so thoroughly recognized in the early church that John said in 1 John 1:2-3

The Life was manifested and revealed, and we have seen and bear testimony to it… we declare to you the Eternal Life, Who was with the Father and was manifested to us– (3) that which we have seen and listened to we now announce to you also. We do this so that you also may have fellowship with us, and this fellowship with us is fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”

Now WHO was the member of the Godhead Who did the revealing and make the fellowship possible? The Holy Spirit – and yet He is NOT even mentioned by name. But listen to the words of the Apostle “We do this so that you also may have a shared experience & shared life with us enjoying and sharing in the same resources as we and truly this Koinonia with us IS koinonia with the Father and with the Son!”

I told you a while back when we were talking about the fundamentals of faith – how it comes, how it works, who it is placed in and all. Back when we were in the Word of Faith movement we wanted the results King David got without actually DOING what King David DID!

We would go back and memorize or write down on 3×5 cards the words God spoke to David as though God were talking to us – and we found that in MOST cases it did NOTHING for us! I remember over 10 years ago when for the first time as your Pastor I looked out into your eyes and asked you something you never thought you’d hear. I asked, “How many of you have spent time looking up scripture, writing them on 3×5 cards, pacing the floor quoting it…standing on it, truly believing that what you were “confessing” was God’s word and yet it never came to pass?” You could have heard a pen drop…(that is after most of you sucked the air out of the room with the gasp you gave at my question). I remember vividly that I raised my hand and about 3 others brave souls raised theirs before I relieved the tension and began to teach.

What I told you was that, we have been taking words God spoke to others and have rubbed them on our problems without doing what those people did. THEY went to God themselves. They HEARD from God themselves and then they believed what God spoke to THEM and as a result their proverbial mountains moved! We need to stop speaking to our mountains the words God gave to others and go hear from God ourselves – after all Faith COMES by hearing the Word of God spoken TO YOU!

Do you remember that incident?

This is the same thing!

We want what the early church had, we want what the early disciples and apostles had – without doing what they did or thinking like they thought!

The church and the early apostles relied upon the Spirit, as did the prophets and elders.

The Holy Spirit was mentioned regularly in terms of 

  • The power He gave
  • As the source and reason behind the boldness with which they spoke
  • He was the giver of the direction of their lives and ministries
  • He was the source and giver of the super-natural gifts
  • He was the Revealer
  • The One Who caused true and abiding assurance in redemption
  • He was the Encourager
  • The giver of help and the inner stirring of Godly fear (respect for God) as well as the inner willingness to submit to God.

Where did we leave this behind? How did we lose this? 

Well that is NOT nearly as important as knowing, how do we participate in this relationship as they did?

Walking with our Friend!

We’ve talked about praying in the Spirit and that is a GREAT and Tremendous aid, but there is more…more you can do ON PURPOSE to be and stay united with Him and growing in your steadfast reliance upon Him.

One of the foremost ways of fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit is to meditate on His words. 

The Jewish leaders of Jesus’s day did not recognize their Messiah because when they did spend time with the word they did so in their minds and not by the Spirit.

Acts 7:51-53,  “(51) You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit; as your forefathers did, so do you.  (52) Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They even killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, Whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.  (53) You received the law under the direction of angels and yet have not kept it.”

In attack contrast to this was Simeon, Luke 2

” 25  There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple complex. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for Him what was customary under the law, 28  Simeon took Him up in his arms, praised God, and said: 29 Now, Master, You can dismiss Your slave in peace, according to Your word. 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation. 31 You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples– 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to Your people Israel.”

Hardening vs. Heeding

Heb. 3:1-11, “(1) Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,  (2) Who was faithful to Him Who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. (3) For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house.  (4) For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. (5) And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, (6) but Christ as a Son over His Own house, Whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.  (7) Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “TODAY, IF YOU WILL HEAR HIS VOICE,  (8)  DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS IN THE REBELLION, IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS,  (9) WHERE YOUR FATHERS TESTED ME, TRIED ME, AND SAW MY WORKS FORTY YEARS. (10) THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THAT GENERATION, AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN MY WAYS.’  (11) SO I SWORE IN MY WRATH, ‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.’ “

Acts 28:17-31, “(17) After three days he called together the leaders of the Jews…(23)  After arranging a day with him, many came to him at his lodging. From dawn to dusk he expounded and witnessed about the kingdom of God. He persuaded them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets.  (24) Some were persuaded by what he said, but others did not believe. (25) Disagreeing among themselves, they began to leave after Paul made one statement: “The Holy Spirit correctly spoke through the prophet Isaiah to your forefathers  (26)  when He said, Go to this people and say: ‘You will listen and listen, yet never understand; and you will look and look, yet never perceive. (27)  For this people’s heart has grown callous, their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and be converted–and I would heal them.’ (28)  Therefore, let it be known to you that this saving work of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen!” (29) [After he said these things, the Jews departed, while engaging in a prolonged debate among themselves.] (30) Then he stayed two whole years in his own rented house. And he welcomed all who visited him,  (31) proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with full boldness and without hindrance.”

Being in their minds and always reasoning – cut them off from hearing the Holy Spirit

So there is CLEARLY something TO being still and quietly knowing (being able to perceive with eyes that see and ears that hear) that He is God!

The Role of the Word of God

Speaking boldly in the Lord’s name – facilitated encouragement from the Holy Spirit

Acts 9:26-31, “(26) When he arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to associate with the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, since they did not believe he was a disciple.  (27) Barnabas, however, took him and brought him to the apostles and explained to them how, on the road, Saul had seen the Lord, and that He had talked to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus.  (28) Saul was coming and going with them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord… (31) So the church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace, being built up and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, and it increased in numbers.”

The Holy Spirit and the Word

Heb. 9:1-8, “(1) Now the first covenant also had regulations for ministry and an earthly sanctuary.  (2) For a tabernacle was set up; and in the first room, which is called “the holy place,” were the lampstand, the table, and the presentation loaves.  (3) Behind the second curtain, the tabernacle was called “the holy of holies.” (4) It contained the gold altar of incense and the ark of the covenant, covered with gold on all sides, in which there was a gold jar containing the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.  (5) The cherubim of glory were above it overshadowing the mercy seat. It is not possible to speak about these things in detail right now. (6) These things having been set up this way, the priests enter the first room repeatedly, performing their ministry. (7) But the high priest alone enters the second room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.  (8) The Holy Spirit was making it clear that the way into the holy of holies had not yet been disclosed while the first tabernacle was still standing.”

So it was the Holy Spirit Who first SPOKE the word to the prophets…

Heb. 10:14-23,  “(14) For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified.  (15)  The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. For after He had said:  (16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws on their hearts, and I will write them on their minds, (17)  He adds: I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts. (18) Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. (19) Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus,  (20) by the new and living way that He has inaugurated for us, through the curtain (that is, His flesh); (21) and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, (22) let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.  (23) Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

2Peter 1:20-21, “(20) First of all, you should know this: no prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation,  (21) because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, moved by the Holy Spirit, men spoke from God.”

The Spirit is STILL speaking – but it is always surrounding His Word

1Peter 1:8-12, “(8) You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy,  (9) because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (10) Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that would come to you searched and carefully investigated.  (11) They inquired into what time or what circumstances the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when He testified in advance to the messianic sufferings and the glories that would follow. (12) It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you concerning things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Angels desire to look into these things.”

Eph. 3:1-6,  “(1) For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles–  (2) you have heard, haven’t you, about the administration of God’s grace that He gave to me for you?  (3) The mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have briefly written above. (4) By reading this you are able to understand my insight about the mystery of the Messiah.  (5) This was not made known to people in other generations as it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:  (6)  the Gentiles are co-heirs, members of the same body, and partners of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”

1Jn. 5:6-9, “(6) Jesus Christ–He is the One who came by water and blood; not by water only, but by water and by blood. And the Spirit is the One who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.  (7)  For there are three that testify:  (8) the Spirit, the water, and the blood–and these three are in agreement.  (9) If we accept the testimony of men, God’s testimony is greater, because it is God’s testimony that He has given about His Son.”

  • If you want to commune with the Holy Spirit of God…
  • If you want to be encouraged rather than discouraged…
  • If you want your Christian life to become ALIVE again…
  • If you want to see the Spirit of Christ rise within you, perfecting His image in you…
  • If you want to be a vessel meet for the masters use and so used in spiritual gifts and impartations…

You will have to make a choice. You will have to set aside things which matter less and take up things which matter more.

You will pray in the Spirit MUCH, read, study and meditate the Word regularly, and you will respond quickly when you hear His voice in even the smallest and simplest of things!

And again, all of this is only aided by the encouragement I gave you over the last three weeks…

  1. Pray & Sing in the Spirit – being AWARE of the Spirit
  2. Focus on the following the Spirit and denying your flesh
  3. BE STILL – and know He is God!

God Bless!

I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.

We at Living Grace Fellowship encourage you to place your trust in Jesus Christ, deliberately choosing Him and bowing the knee to Him as your Master and Lord, so as to come to realize Him as your Savior.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. The fact that you exist… that you are His creation, says you were in His heart, you are His delight!

If you do not know Him, please reach out to us. Give us a call at the number located on every page of this website or use our ‘Contact Us‘ page. We would be deeply honored, if you gave us the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will EVER be mentioned.

If you HAVE been spiritually fed by this ministry and WANT to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but please understand that all the outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.


Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been shepherding in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!