CLJ E Message 170521 9AM

Oh

you know come not just to enjoy the

activity per se but also to be part of

that missionary building you know I

think if you have the right vision the

right interpretive framework which is

there's a work in progress we're seeking

to build it and you are part of that

miracle so you are at a particularly

proactive stage of that process and see

it as your missionary addition to

building this community which i think is

going to already extraordinary but it's

going to be even more so with the

passing of time so we we learn how to do

this and we do it in community by the

way those of you who are

spanish-speaking and who may know some

of these people there's going to be a

couple of funeral services that are not

part of our line of Judah community but

these are people who are very attached

to us a congregation that we know

pastors that we have relationship with

one is the brother of Edmund Salazar

Julio Salazar some of you know sister

Elma and her brother passed away and

there will be a service at the church on

Monday that is tomorrow right here in

the original sanctuary at 7:00 p.m. and

also pastor David Marrero dahveed

Monterrey Rose daughter one of his

daughters passed away unexpectedly very

unexpectedly this week David Marrero and

they've asked if they could also use the

facilities here of the church and so we

are because it's a larger group of

people they can't fit in a in a funeral

home and I think the church that they

had access to is also very small so

they've asked to use our church and

these are people who will of the early

and who have had relations with us many

years so we're also using the original

sanctuary on on Thursday Thursday at

both services at 7:00 p.m. you just want

to come and also you know bless these

families with your presence even if you

don't know them well that would be great

also okay so Monday and Thursday Ramon

Salazar's brother and Pastor David

Marrero's also a daughter is this

Thursday so father we we thank you for

all the good things that you're doing we

thank you for these beautiful people who

are here this morning this diverse

representation of the City of Boston in

the surroundings

thank you for the gifts are they bring

the lives are they incorporate father

over the traction that they have with

them children and families and histories

and here we are mesh that together

brought together by your holy spirit by

the sweet beautiful name of Jesus Christ

made into one family we celebrate that

this morning father we celebrate your

presence we celebrate the good things

that you still have ahead for us and we

pray that your Holy Spirit would

illuminate us now as we meditate on your

word give us the power to express it

with the subtleness and the nuance and

the beauty and the power that it so

deserves and contains Lord that in order

to express it correctly so we bless you

Holy Spirit in your name we pray amen

and amen all right well I want out my

own word of welcome to our visitors this

morning and all of you here you look

great

and I want to I want to initiate a

series of meditations which I've been

thinking of for a long time and I think

this is the time on the Holy Spirit and

on living a spirit filled life how many

are interested by that topic I hope all

of you kind of really get a sense of

enthusiasm about it because I I am I've

been meditating on that and wanting to

introduce a sir to that it not

introduced us because we are a

Pentecostal congregation in a way

Pentecostalism is not a denomination

it's an Outlook and over the years I

feel every once in a while the need to

go back to the basics so this is a very

meat and potatoes kind of sermon and by

that I'm not diminishing its dignity or

stature or its importance on the

contrary it is so foundational it is so

basic to our life as a congregation and

to my identity and your identity as a

congregation that knows that God is a

Trinity Father Son and Holy Spirit and

that that third person of the Trinity is

often neglected we kind of take it for

granted and it's important just as we

glorify Christ and we glorify the father

it's also

to glorify into and to meditate and

centralize the the place and the

function the office of the Holy Spirit

in the life of the people of God and

just a one verse Ephesians chapter five

verse 18 where the Apostle Paul again in

the middle of a huge meditation

Ephesians is a very complex multifaceted

book or letter he injects this words and

do not be drunk with wine in which is a

dissipation or disorder or you know

turmoil do not be drunk with wine which

is the source of turmoil or disorder but

be filled be filled with the Holy Spirit

be filled with the Holy Spirit and he's

drawing some similarities between wine

by the way implicitly and the Holy

Spirit wine is the source of excitement

you know brightening of the of the

emotions and and you know that's why it

can lead to disorder and and so there is

that element there I think which in the

mind of the Apostle is working and also

the feeling you know it says when you

get drunk you get filled with wine or

with alcohol so instead of that

intoxicating element which leads

unfortunately it's so good in such a

good feeling but it needs to accidents

and fights and wrong words you know be

filled with the Holy Spirit which is

also intoxicating but its result is

totally different it's life-giving

life-affirming

strengthening in itself actions well you

know this morning I woke up at exactly

5:15 a.m. why did I know because I

forgot to put my alarm clock and as soon

as I saw a glimmer of light through the

window I knew that had forgotten to put

my alarm on thankfully it was 5:15 you

know usually woke up at 5:00 especially

on Sunday morning a little secret that's

when I prepare most of my sermon

I know some of you will be scandalized

by that particularly more orderly

pastors who spend I haven't heard

somebody say that you have to spend one

hour for every minute of sermon that

you're preparing can you imagine that I

I am an offender of the first degree if

that's the case but in any case I woke

up you know with the start and

thankfully I saw it's 5:15 a.m. but I

was I was I woke up in the middle of a

dream and the the the content of the

dream is merely an illustration my

desire is not to really point you to the

dream as much and in the dream which was

a persistent dream because I realized

that I had been having it for a long

time I don't know how long you know how

those dreams are time is not really

chronological necessarily but I knew it

was an insistent dream and and it may

scandalize you a bit but I was I knew

that I was in the basement of my house

but it was the basement

it was the variance of the basement of

our house before we had renovated it

went through a big renovation a few

years back and we totally rehabbed it

completely rehabbed it but I knew that

the dream was when the basement was not

rehabbed

and I was in process with a snake a

serpent green I could see it I could see

it and it was coiled and and spread all

over the the basement of the house I

could not see its head I could not see

the head of the serpent but I could see

part of its body

you know just coiled around it was lying

placidly quietly asleep I think it was

not doing anything and I had been in the

process of cutting sections of that

serpent beginning with the tail for a

good while I had been cutting pieces of

it and I knew that that was of the

process I was trying to get to the head

of the snake but it was a long it was a

long process it was very large very long

and I knew also in the dream that I was

getting close to the head but I could

still I knew that there was still some

time before I could get to it I was I

kept cutting then I flat rise to another

scene where I am speaking to two people

one of them I think was my grandson

Caleb who is 9 years old

and the other was some man I was not

sure who it was but I was going to go on

a on a trip it was a short trip I

thought and I was giving them

instructions about what would happened

what would happen if the if they

apparently I guess they were going to

continue with the process well I was

away and I didn't want him to be caught

by surprise and I was describing to them

that as they continue to cut the pieces

of the snake and as they got closer this

is this is the sort of the mantra the

kind of the thought that I received as

you get closer to as you get closer to

the head the snake will wake up and

counter-attack so I was telling them you

know just to be careful because that was

the more pieces you cut the closer you

get to the head and I knew that there

was some confrontation lying ahead for

that particular moment so I even took a

paper and I just I drew the the portion

of the snake closest to the head and I

told them you know got to be very

careful so in and I was describing the

process knowing that you know I was

again the whole idea was you're getting

closer to the head you're cutting

sections of it the tail it's still sleep

or quiet but when you get closer to it

there would be a confrontation and I was

awakened by the light of the morning now

why do I tell you that the dream in the

light of what I know of things that God

has been doing in my life and so on and

so forth and all the things that I I can

tell you that the dream is extremely

coherent and it speaks to me very

clearly areas of things that God is

doing and that he would continue to do

and so on and so forth I had another

dream when I was preaching at the

American Baptist concert the American

Baptist churches of Vermont and New

Hampshire a couple of weeks ago and I

told me I told you a little bit about it

which is a strong strong dream as well

but this day and these two dreams they

come together as well as other things

that I've my point is not the dream I

know what God is saying to me I think I

know what God is saying to me but my

point is that in my life and in my

ministry I have benefited over the years

from dreams that God has

me this church in its name congregation

Lion of Judah is as you know as and I

may have opportunity to share with you

why this church is called congregation

Lion of Judah and why there is a lion

that I didn't choose to have it in front

of the first building that we purchased

on 68 Northampton Street the head of a

lion in relief there in the front

entrance that was there when we bought

the building but I had already shared

the congregation that we should change

the name of the church used to be

Central Baptist Church in Spanish to

Congress he only owned the Buddha's

congregation line of Judah because a

dream that I had had about the Lion of

Judah and you know throughout throughout

my life God speaks to me through my

ministry in dreams he hasn't spoken to

me in more direct forms really but

throughout the years he has spoken to me

in this way and I have had I don't have

dreams all the time and I don't credit

them with revelational qualities all the

time I think by now I know when a dream

is simply having had too much pasteles

and or rice and beans before I go to bed

and how much of it is really revelation

from God they all have a coherence a way

a symbolic power to them that that is

very clear to me so I know that God is

telling me something in this there's an

imminence in the air that I need to pay

attention to and other things but anyway

you know my point being that I think

when you live a life where you cultivate

the Holy Spirit and the power of the

Holy Spirit when you live a

spirit-filled life or when you cultivate

a sense of God's action in your life

when you have decided to accept as a as

an operational principle the idea that

the Holy Spirit is still very active and

he still speaks the same way that he

spoke 2,000 3,000 4,000 years ago as you

see him speaking in the Bible and that

he can speak in your life that same way

he can act that same way in your life he

can do the miracles that you have seen

portrayed in Scripture he can do all

kinds of transformational things in your

life

his energy and his power can guide you

and provide guidance and intelligence in

the sense of intelligence like a spy

agency for you to know what things are

coming ahead in your life to give you

direction to tell you when to change

when to shift when something is coming

up when you need to be more in prayer

about something on and on and on as you

see in Scripture when you have adopted

that mentality that outlook which I call

the supernatural outlook when the action

of the Holy Spirit and the person of the

Holy Spirit is a very present element in

your life it's not something that you

just read in the words of Scripture just

oh how nice

oh look what look how the Lord gave King

David instructions as to how to fight

this enemy army and he told them wait

until you hear a sound on top of the

trees when you hear that sound then act

and attack them yeah that was nice but

God doesn't work that way today we would

say to ourselves now he uses his word he

uses the general knowledge that we have

in his word but he doesn't anymore speak

to us in those clear directional sorts

of ways because that was before the

Bible was written as you know there are

doctrines theological teachings in

entire denominations that teach that

that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were

for a time in the life of the church

when people did not have the scriptures

but once the Scriptures were completed

the Canon was established and the church

determined what were these the books

that were to be considered inspiration

inspirational or inspired the Word of

God once that Canon was closed and no

more books were admitted then now we

only have the Word of God to guide us

God no longer speaks in dreams visions

apparitions miraculous movements of

gifts of the Holy Spirit prophecy gives

up wisdom science healing and so on and

so forth

and so a whole sector of the church has

closed its doors theologically to this

idea that the Holy Spirit the third

person of the Trinity still moves and

speaks and functions in the way that we

see him portrayed in the pages of

Scripture or that we see him portrayed

in the book of Acts for example or in

other moments throughout the epistles of

the New Testament and so as people have

ingested that they have absorbed that

doctoring in various degrees of

deliberateness they then adopt a way of

living and in a way I think what they

have done also is they have told the

Holy Spirit II implicitly how how much

permission they give him to act or not

you see because what do you expect and

we make all kinds of transactions in the

spirit realm and transactions don't have

to come in society from a kind of a

confession that you makes words that you

say deliberately transaction sometimes

are made by things that you accept in

your mind do you do am I being too

subtle here or do you understand what

I'm saying you know things that you

simply choose to say yes I accept that

and you may not have other the word but

you have made a transaction sometimes we

do that with the devil sometimes to deal

with God sometimes do the Holy Spirit

sometimes we do things like that that

are extremely serious and sometimes

they're very just simply small

transactions that we make we're always

making transactions in the world of the

Spirit they may be verbal there may be

actions or they may be simply quiet in

our mind in our psyche but the spirit

world detects this the sudden the subtle

shifts and moves of the psyche and adapt

to them you're tracking me I hope I'm

you know sometimes I'm afraid of just

saying too many things and not being

clear enough not because you're not

intelligent in over because I'm not

clear enough in what I'm expressing but

you know a lot of a lot of people in the

Christian world today and throughout the

ages and I think entire generations have

given the Holy Spirit a lot of freedom

or have restrained his freedom by the

theological conclusions that they have

raised their acceptance or non

acceptance of how he moves as described

in the pages of Scripture to me the

spirit filled life is about especially

about what we assume God is willing to

do in our lives and how much power we

have access to truly in our lives and

how we said about then living in that

power and cultivating that power that to

me is what makes the difference between

a spirit filled life and a merely

generic Christian life where you are

saved and where the the principles of

Scripture give you great blessing and

and advantage because they work but

you're not necessarily operating that

sports car at 120 miles an hour you're

operating it at 30 when it's got this

engine that is just dying to be revved

up to a full 120 hour miles an hour not

in the city well let's say in the desert

I don't want to give you any bad ideas

here but again that was an illustration

that dreamed I just had this morning

it's in a session because you know I

live my life and everything that I do in

my life is about obeying the holy spirit

as I understand him in a particular

moment that can lead to mistakes I don't

get it a hundred percent right but I

have I have embraced as an operation of

principle this idea that as a pastor who

serves the Lord God will be speaking to

me because I'm one of his employees and

I need and he's willing to give me what

I need if you're a father if you're a

mother you're a wife you're a teacher in

a public school you're you work in a

daycare center you are a person who's

living on the streets you have emotional

problems you have financial situations

and you're a child of God then it

depends on whether you are willing to

accept that God is interested in that

drama that you're living and that he's

willing to provide power and an energy

for you to deal with that situation

effectively to the degree that he wants

you to deal with it effectively you're

not dealing with these things alone by

yourself or simply with the generic

truths that the Bible provides no there

is

active power authority Dunamis exuse

eeeh that God is willing to provide you

so that you don't go at this alone in

the world for me as a pastor and I guess

because I'm a person of the mind I

I think a lot God you know gives me

intelligence it gives me wisdom I think

knowledge to deal with certain things

I'm waiting for the other pieces as well

by the way I live in expectations of the

other pieces of the spirit as well but

anyway that that dream as I say is an

illustration because God is always

speaking to us if we let him I could I

could have that dream you know I could

have I could have just concluded ah you

know it's just something it was just a

dream it was just that and then I I

continue my life as usual but no I've

been brooding over that dream as soon as

I woke up I knew that God was telling me

something and I will get back home this

evening and I will continue thinking

about the dream and praying about it

just I want to extract all the benefit

out of it and I have owned it I have

accepted as such I have honored it and I

have put it in its proper place in my

life and then that's what validated and

make sure that it remains a revelation

from God and not just some generic

function of my mind that I relegate some

hidden place in my psyche now our church

was not always a spirit-filled

congregation in the sense of you know

the corrugation that moves in the power

of the Holy Spirit we were more of a

typical Baptist Church you know where we

were not dead we didn't deny the press

of the Holy Spirit 30 years ago I mean

we were pretty you know we're a church I

was doing well it was growing nicely it

was you know it was doing things in the

city we were in Cambridge at that point

Cambridge port to be specific near

Boston Medical University Harvard MIT

right in the center of that triangle

that's what we were and I had inherited

that church from the pastor who founded

it a year and a half before and had left

for Puerto Rico and he left me as I was

a doing graduate work pursuing my own

career he had asked me you know hold

hold on hold the church until you know

we you guys can get a password to

replace it I was a layperson I had not

training in pastoring it's a little more

complex when I'm making it simple and so

you know I stayed holding holding the

church with my wife were married by by

then and you know the church continued

growing I continued doing my graduate

studies and the Lord had been speaking

to me here he spoke to me by the way in

a prophetic way when we moved to to that

to the church it was about sixty people

at that time in he told me in that

prophetic moment he said this church has

been planted so that you will pastor it

I can't explain to you it was one of the

strangest feelings I've had in my life

as I stood for the first time in that

particular pulpit that we moved from the

South End to there and I looked around

and you know my pastor the founding

pastor was right nearby we didn't know

that he was going to be leaving in about

a year so I felt like you know I was

almost like lusting for his wife or

something when that when that feeling

came to me and I looked at him and I

kind of just stayed quiet because I'm

imagine if I tell them you know what

pastor this church has not been founded

for you to Pastor this is that I would

pastor it ha ha ha you know how would he

take that so I kind of kept quiet I

shared it with my wife who incidentally

at that same moment she was not my wife

yet she was my fiancee and we went out

to eat as all good evangelicals do at

the church and you know I told her you

know I had the strange sensation that

God said to me you know this church has

really been passive that you would lead

it and he said you know well I had the

same thing while you were there but to

me what I felt was you would be the wife

of a pastor and she was a by the way a

converting Catholic at that time and we

were both pursuing our own careers and

you know we just wanted to pursue a

secular career but with a Christian

outlook yes but all of a sudden you know

that started changing that deposit that

god made in my life even though he had

spoken to me also through since

childhood about serving him and so on

and so forth but I don't know in what

capacity but that initiated certain

things a year plus later the pastor

announced that they had

returned to Puerto Rico totally

unexpected for me and he literally

holding the church and so I started

pastoring it and Here I am 34 years

later I'm still at it and the thing the

thing is this that you know after he

left in around 1989 that was about four

years plus after he had less than about

three years plus if there had been

finally ordained I was surveying with

the conservative Baptist home Mission

Society and we're also affiliated with

the American Baptist churches of the USA

by the way long story there anyway you

know I I started working with an

organization on a volunteer basis as a

pastor Prison Fellowship which works

with the prisons you know inmates in

prisons is also for incarcerated men and

women so I was giving workshops on

weekends sometimes in different prisons

here in Massachusetts and as part of

their training they took a bunch of as a

cohort of us volunteer pastors to San

Francisco for a training and they're in

San Francisco they took us on a Sunday

to visit a church it was an

african-american congregation a very

prosperous african-american congregation

very large as it turned out it was a

spirit-filled congregation and you know

I went to the service with my other

companions and this is by the way as I

said this is a series of sermons it's

going to be several sermons so I'm going

to you know let's walk together this

journey here it's part of the teaching

and you know I attended the service I

remember I was sitting in a balcony the

service was wonderful spirit-filled as I

say great worship power of God the joy

in the congregation and you know I

enjoyed the service thoroughly I was in

the morning then in the evening I was

invited by a friend Ralph key how many

no Ralph key here he may not even

remember this but he invited me and

rocky by what it was by the way

instrumental in the founding of this

church another long story there so he

roughly happened to be in California

around the same time and he knew that I

was going to be there so he had invited

me in the evening to attend a to visit a

small church plant that was taking place

in a house in an apartment and so I we

made up and you know we went to the

evening gathering of that group it was a

kind of a you know the church is already

in progress and had a pastor there who's

leading and as we started talking you

know the pastor in his meditation

started saying how how disappointed he

was how how sad he was and that was the

word a Dasani model how do you say that

in English discouraged how discouraged

he was feeling and he said really you

know I don't know if the Lord has called

me or not to Pastor and I I don't even

know whether it's his purpose for us to

be here as a group and so you know I it

was a kind of a sad moment and imagine a

visitor is this your first exposure to

this group of people what you feel so

I'm listening to this pastor it happened

to be an Anglo group but that doesn't

mean anything it's not a dichotomy here

between african-american angle I'm not

trying to draw that at all so you know I

want to make that clear but you know as

I'm listening something came to me and

it was like again it was not a voice it

was a thought a very clear thought in my

mind and it said to me Roberto you are

you are seeing you have seen today two

different models of ministry one is a

spirit-filled ministry where the spirit

the Holy Spirit is glorified I was a

young guy remember I'm you know I'm just

beginning ministry and I wasn't I wasn't

new to the moves of the Holy Spirit but

I had I was not cultivating welcome

nica's families here let's give him a

hand great to see you guys

blessed I know you've had a bit of a

journey to get here so may the Lord make

it up to you and you know so god I feel

God telling me

I'm exposed to two models of ministry

and of ministerial life today one that

leads to life and vitality and progress

and evangelistic growth they also had a

significant ministry to to prisoners

inmates and you know social ministries

and so he says you know I'm exposing it

to two-minute models of ministry one

filled with the spirit glorifying the

the life of the Spirit and another that

is just proceeding generically it's nice

it doesn't deny my truths it affirms you

know the things the all the things that

Christians believe but it is lacking in

something that is very important to

powerful successful ministry and the

question was which one do you want to

choose how do you want to operate your

ministry and you know that that was that

I came back to Boston with the clear

determination that I was going to share

that experience with my congregation and

that I was going to open up the life of

our church to the power and the move of

the Holy Spirit and that I was going to

initiate a journey in seeking to become

a spirit-filled

congregation and to learn how to do that

and you know I'd like to say that in in

there in my experience in California

with that congregation in that space I

brushed against the Holy Spirit it's

like I kind of you know I did this and

it did something in me now I was not new

to the experience of the Holy Spirit

because I had been baptized in the Holy

Spirit and I had had my own and I'll

tell you someday about that as well

experience with the baptism of the Holy

Spirit but I had not incorporated it

into the life of the church I had

continued with the model that I had

inherited from the previous pastor

because he was my mentor I respected him

highly and so I was just going along

with the program and as I say our church

you know was doing well it was grow

modestly but I was doing fine and you

know but we had not incorporated this

idea of becoming a powerful

spirit-filled congregation and being

deliberate about our cultivation of the

gifts and and in the power of the holy

spirit in a Pentecostal spirit-filled

sort of way so when I came back I came

back with the determination I'm gonna

I'm you know and I'm crazy times I made

this jumps into the abyss several times

in my life and ministry that was one of

them because really what I was asking

the church is to adopt a new identity to

adopt a new way of doing things and I

myself had no experience and really

there were not too many Latino at that

time we were Latino congregation only

there were not too many Latino churches

a spirit-filled that I felt could model

what I had felt of God that he wanted us

to be like as a spirit-filled

congregation and so I had really no

models I had no mentors I had very few

for what I was seeking I think in the

spirit so we had to enter this journey

by ourselves and start exploring and

only as I say when I started applying

when I made a formal declaration when I

from the pulpit announced we are going

to start exploring this only then I

believe really God said you know I've

been waiting for this time let's get

going

see when I ask you sometimes you know

come forward and and you know come come

upfront when we say raise your hands

stand up all of these physical

manifestations that Pentecostal

charismatic churches are adopt they

don't have validity in themselves they

can turn into liturgical you know takes

like any other thing but they have they

do have when they are when they are done

in a deliberate intentional sort of way

in the spirit they acquire power because

they they they signify deliberateness

they signify intentionality

and that's really what that's where the

magic quote-unquote lies it's not in the

action itself it's in the move of the

will that distinguishes something from

the general and turns it into something

specific and sacrificial that's what

activates the power of the Holy Spirit

and this is why we ask people do you

want to receive Christ as your Savior do

you want to do it publicly you can I

assure you you can receive Jesus as your

Savior while you're showering and he

will see it and he will bless you for it

but there is something very special

about that when you do it in a public

sort of way when there's a crack of the

will a crack of the desire to be subtle

and discreet and private and you say no

you know what I'm going to humble myself

I'm going to go up there along with all

those crazy

Pentecostals I've been doing that for

hundreds of years and I'm gonna

humiliate and humble my intellect my

elegance my private Yankee self and I'm

going to just do it and I'm going to

join all those crazy Africans and

Latinos and Asian's who do that in all

those humble people who don't study and

don't have the benefit of a college

education I'm just kidding I'm

exaggerating here but you know what I

mean you got to humble yourself

you got a Humboldt yourselves if you're

not willing to die you do not get

anything in the kingdom if you don't

become like a child if you don't kill

your will your intellect your sense of

privacy your sense of dignity your sense

of intellectual elegance if you're not

willing to do that and break the the

vase of alabaster the perfect will never

come out it's true spirit fullness

begins when the vase cracks when the

grain of wheat falls to the ground and

bursts open so that the life inside it

can come out and a lot of people they

want that they want the life of the

Spirit they want the power of the Spirit

but they're not willing for that outer

core that or that outer skin to crack

and the unless you're willing to go

through the ridiculous you will never

get to the sublime write that down

please so much that I can I won't forget

it

it's one of the reasons why more people

don't get into the move of the Spirit

they are burdened by their own wealth

like the wealthy young man the rich

young ruler that is well that's a wealth

that you have to give up if you want to

live a powerful spirit filled life the

wealth of elegance privacy intellectual

integrity and all kinds of other things

and you know what when you're willing to

break those things God gives them back

to you in spades

beautiful beautiful more elegant than

ever more life-affirming and giving than

ever before but you got to be willing to

put it on the altar initially you got to

pay upfront with no guarantee that

you'll get back your investment that's

what makes it interesting but I've never

failed in doing that when I make myself

fragile and I take a risk in the name of

the Lord and having examined myself very

carefully I have never once been

disappointed in whatever I've undertaken

in his name like this English ministry

for example long story there as well so

I I dare to ask our congregation you

know and to take them along in my

journey and I said you know we need to

become more spirit-filled

we need to start doing the things that

those crazy Pentecostals do so you know

I I started timidly including some

elements of a Pentecostal worship in our

services by the way let me give you one

verse that I think will give you a

little insight because I'm speaking here

if anything unifies my sermon this

morning is about spirit fullness

requires intentionality that would be

the sentence that I would give you right

now in order to live a powerful vital

radioactive magnetic Christian life you

need to be intentional about pursuing

the power of the Holy Spirit you need to

be intentional you need to be

declarative

you need to be proactive that's a key

thing in second Timothy chapter 1 verse

6 second Timothy chapter 1 verse 6 the

Apostle Paul tells Timothy therefore I

remind you to stir up the gift of God

which is in you through the laying on of

my hands to stir up other translations

say to fan into flame the gift of God

which is in you there in unpacking that

you have an entire theological treatise

to stir up to fan into flame that means

take like a burning coal that is glowing

and do this to it back in the Dominican

Republic we used to do that in when we

don't have stoves or now you guys are

too sophisticated but I remember when

you know we had to do that some of you

here know what I'm talking about you've

been deprived by just using nice gas

fill the stoves and so on but you know

this idea you take a bunch of coals and

you take like a piece of carton

generally it's not more elegant than a

piece of carton and you go like this

and all the cinders start flying all

over the place and you see the the the

coal starting to glow and then burst

into flame because of the oxygenation

process and so the Apostle Paul in the

Greek is sort of saying brighten stir up

you know just bring into greater

manifestation the gifts the gift of God

so I would divide you know if I were

doing this exegetically I would divide

stir up or fan into flame the gift of

God which is in you you have three

points there the gift was what what

Timothy had received when the Apostle

Paul imposed hands on him if you go back

to first Timothy chapter 4 verse 14 you

you will see there you know about that

that same that same thing about you know

the laying on of hands that when Timothy

was anointed when Timothy was

ordained as a pastor the Apostle Paul

imposed hands on him as churches do

these days - and he received a gift of

God now apparently Timothy had not

cultivated that gift it was lying there

dormant things in the spirit sometimes

lie dormant before they become manifest

but they're there just like that serpent

in the in a demonic sort of way but

lying dormant but it was exercising its

influence well the Holy Spirit is like

that many Christians when they receive

Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit comes in

but it's laying there it is dormant they

are not cultivating it they're not

Fanning it into flame it is there like a

nice deposit of potential energy but it

has not become dynamic energy manifest

energy that requires the participation

of the will and continued cultivation on

the part of the believer and so Paul is

saying to Timothy stir it up it's in you

it was given to you now as a pastor and

as a leader you need to fan it into

flame into manifestation visibility

expression you have if you're a believer

you have the power of God in you like a

powerful motor with the extraordinary

capacity it depends on you to what level

you use it or not if you just a Sunday

Christian and you come to church and you

dress nicely just so you can wear a new

tie every day and have a few people

watch you dress nicely then you know the

Holy Spirit will just deal with you that

way now if you are living the spirit

filled life every day many times a day

call me before the Lord cultivating your

gifts watering those beautiful plants of

your spiritual garden reading the word

worshiping God cultivating community

service to the Lord

sanctification giving up pieces of

yourself so that you might be a living

sacrifice of the Lord if you're living

that way you will be filled with the

Holy Spirit you will find you are

Fanning it into flame

see that's why the Apostle Paul says in

that same passage in Ephesians going

back to 5:18 do not be drunk with wine

which is dissipation but we fill the

spirit 9 says speaking to one another in

Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs

singing and making melody in your heart

to the Lord giving thanks always for all

things to God the Father in the name of

our Lord Jesus Christ

submitting to one another in the fear of

God he is he is illustrating how you be

you are filled with the Holy Spirit by

living an active life worshiping singing

sounds having communion with the Saints

serving the Lord offering yourself as a

living sacrifice every day of your life

taking seriously the life of a believer

as you do that the Holy Spirit starts

tearing up and manifesting his power he

starts waking up and there's a

qualitative difference between a generic

Christian and a Christian who is busy

cultivating the power of God that is in

him or her he values it

he takes it seriously like a beautiful

garden he knows that he's got a tent to

it every day you gotta water it every

day otherwise in one day or two it

becomes dry how many of you have a

garden the back of your house you know

that on a hot day no matter if you

watered it the day before

you need to take some water again and

water those plants today otherwise

they'll be dry they start wilting it's

the same with the Holy Spirit there's a

lot of similarity between the physical

realm and the spiritual realm we over

spiritual eyes the spirit world it obeys

laws as well and one of those losses it

requires cultivation just like a garden

just like a tree why did Jesus use so

many similitudes with agriculture that's

a reason for it and so when I started

staring up the gift of my church and my

in my own life and I started ok we're

going to start now being deliberate

about it the Holy Spirit then came with

all of his resources to my support and

started doing all kinds of things

doctors will tell you biologists will

tell you

the human organism responds certain

stimuli if your brain is using a lot of

energy because it's working hard like I

am right now blood will start flowing to

the brain because the organism will will

tell itself Oh pasta meal andis brain is

working hard let's send blood to it I

think that's why when I greet people my

hands are so cold because I think all

the blood is still floating from my head

down to my hands again it's more than

that but that's one of the reasons you

know when you when you when you eat what

happens a lot of the blood goes where to

the stomach that's why people

experiences drowsiness the doctors tell

us because the stomach is working so the

body sends resources to the stomach to

start supplying needs there when you do

exercise certain parts of your body are

activated new muscles start growing in

those areas more blood starts flowing to

those areas strengthening of seenu's and

nerves and things are not nerves but the

muscles and stuff come around those

areas are experiencing stress to

strengthen them and provide more

resources for them that's that's the

power behind exercise and and you know

the Lord will send resources where those

resources are necessary he will not send

resources to a church that is simply you

know it wants to live a classic

contented life and is not interested in

doing evangelism or saving the lost or

undertaking things in the spirit or in

the community he says what for they find

the way they are why do I have to send

more power they have enough already as

it is you have to live the Christian

life always in deficit you have to be

doing more than you have because that's

what attracts is that vacuum that you

open up as you seek to do more than the

resources that you have it sucks in more

resources as a key so when we started

saying you know we're going to cultivate

the gifts of the Spirit the power of the

Spirit the Lord started bringing

resources to the to our church you know

all of a sudden I you know I started

okay I'm going to you know let's only

had a piano that's all in the church no

other instruments because I

paster god bless I mean here he was a

man of the Spirit by the way I don't

want to denigrate anything like that he

was a good solid lever but you know our

church is very basic and it's no no

electric pianos no drums god forbid

no bass nothing like that so in my

little tentative sort of way okay you

know that's what Pentecostals do so

let's get a let's get a keyboard let's

let's get a bass you know we started and

someday I'll tell you also in the course

of this you know how our church was

divided because that's the other thing

when you started seeking the power of

the Holy Spirit

other things are stirred up as well

confrontation separation of essences

begins to take place as well so for

while we lost it that's another very

interesting story

don't let it disturb you now because it

ends well but the point is that we lost

a lot of the cream of the la creme de la

creme we lost all of our you know elders

we lost all the musicians we lost all

the people with money it was crazy but

you know we were blessed in such an

extraordinary sort of way because when

the Holy Spirit starts moving its

dangers I tell pastors you know who tell

me well you know how do you how do I

start my church I say listen if you're

not willing to really go through times

of terror don't try to get into revival

because you know we just want to kind of

a free ride it doesn't work that way

there's a lot of dying that needs to

take place so you know after we had lost

all of those stuff we had pretty much

nothing but then you know strange things

began to happen people began to show up

spirit-filled people we had to show up

to the church to help that poor little

young pastor who didn't know anything

about tentacles and these are people who

had experience on the Holy Spirit

laypeople who taught me things about the

Holy Spirit that sometimes they were

confrontationally and you know I didn't

like them very much in the beginning but

you know like we thought you know

pastors don't like to be taught by the

laypeople

but I knew that God was bringing them so

the body was beginning to receive

resources people with a

of the spirit we began to come in people

with the musical gifts began to come in

of the best kind and our church has

never lacked good musicianship and good

worship resources for all these years

and you know the Lord told me because we

went through several months of total

sterility and aridity in terms of

worship and I think the Lord told me

Roberto since you are willing to pay up

ahead of time and to sacrifice all the

resources that you had in your church to

honor me and to one of my spirit I'm

going to give you music and they will

never be lacking in your church and

since then you know that the Lord has

blessed was an extraordinary sorts of

ways musically and you know this is so

the Lord started bringing music the Lord

started bringing manifestations of the

whole his holy spirit you know people in

interestingly enough the people who were

first blasted by the holy spirit were

totally inexperienced in the things of

the Holy Spirit and very resistant to

manifestations of that sword they were

scandalized and you know I never touched

them I was the first one that I was I

was surprised one day I was praying you

know I started well you know what the

Pentecostals do they ask you to come

forward and we pray for them right

that's one thing you do so you know Here

I am with my eyes closed and I hear a

body slumped to the ground and I open

one eye and I see it was me Nelly a guru

young first who had actually been very

angry the first thing we started doing

these things but she fell and finding

was a year as well as been with us for

30 years 25 at these you know also a

Catholic who was very Colombian and very

ceremonial in her ways also you know was

impacted by the Holy Spirit and all

kinds of stuff started happening

deliverance demonic manifestations and I

had to learn on the job

and our church started you know becoming

that's why you see when this thing

started manifesting and happening the

the more civilized educated part of the

congregation some of them not all they

just because they were educated at the

point you know they started getting

upset because they wanted their old

church

and that's the thing you see when you

live in a prophetic mode in the church

you cannot settle into anything because

you don't know what the Holy Spirit is

going to do you're like the Israelites

in the desert you know in the tent that

when the cloud of smoke and the pillar

of fire move you better move with them

do not hold anything tightly because God

may just change things when you were

just getting settled that's my problem

throughout ministry when I'm just

learning something God's because there's

no now go someplace else a Lord make it

easy for me come on and work with me

throw me a bone every once in a while

I'm just learning how to do this and now

I got to learn a new thing I was very

happy just ministering in Spanish and

now I have to learn to administer in

English you know with people from

different nationalities what an honor by

the way what a blessing it is and for

many of us here but you know it's made

life more complicated but you learn and

you don't know if you do not settle that

is the beauty the spirit life is an

adventure the spirit filled life is

you're like Indiana Jones people get

bored in Christianity because of their

you know just that their unwillingness

to let God be God in their lives

Christianity is the most dangerous

upsetting unpredictable thing that you

know if you live it in the fullness of

the Spirit of God being led by the Holy

Spirit it God is ever changing ever new

in its manifestations and his

expectations of you it's a wonderful

love thing it's an adventure to journey

until the day you die and you have to

ask yourself what model do I want to

adopt in my life

do I want to adopt a model that is

predictable and clear and ordered or do

I want something different do I want the

organic beauty of God which is or day

it's orderly but it is like a garden

that is just you know it's beautiful but

it's not to control like those 16th

century gardens back in France 17th

century really every little piece you

know miniscule in its order that's not

what is the beauty of the garden of the

Spirit

it's more it's a little it's organic as

it were they don't do what I can use it

and so God started moving

I felt new authority in preaching and

sharing the gospel the church started

growing as I say the gift started

manifesting themselves new resources

came into the life of the church God

started blessing the church financially

and in other ways as well and then came

that vision they caught another dream

that called us into Boston and after we

were settling that beautiful space in

Cambridge port nice and orderly and

quiet and very civil the Lord said now

go go and leave this place

leave this beautiful building and go

into a crime infested place in Boston

and begin all over again

you have to renovate a building that is

totally unkempt you have to gut it

you have to rebuild you have to now

start paying money for mortgage and rent

and all kinds of going to the terror of

this new adventure that I have for you

and here we are 20 years later in Boston

still seeking God has more got us more

for us see but my point being I'm just

initiating something here I will

continue with this journey of this story

I guess if there's anything that I want

to suggest to you this morning is to not

be content with what you have in the

life of the Spirit God wants to install

inside of you a micro computer filled

with power and knowledge and energy and

authority and wisdom and instruction

that will guide you every step of the

way in your life there will be moments

of years of of terror and discouragement

and struggle and trials and tribulation

and disease it's part of the economy of

the kingdom but throughout all those

adversities and challenges and also

victories

the Holy Spirit of God is it wants to he

wants to be with you every step of the

way he wants you to join him he wants

you to invite him every day of your life

he have a big decision to make

ask the Lord for wisdom that's a Jameson

are you lacking in knowledge ask God for

wisdom who gives to you abundantly

without reproach and you shall receive

it ask God for extraordinary wisdom and

knowledge are you going into a new

school into college and and you don't

feel competent enough well and go into a

couple of days of fasting and prayer

take a half a day if you can't do it

full day and clamor to the Lord and do

like Solomon and say Lord I'm just I'm

incompetent I have a great task ahead of

me and I don't feel up to it I ask you

to give me wisdom and God says I'll give

you wisdom are you using struggle

somehow is it something in your job or

in your marriage or in your Parenthood

or in your emotions may God make the

Holy Spirit your partner come to this

resource that God has provided for every

believer and say Holy Spirit I need an

answer

I need wisdom from you I need a specific

answer and expect an answer because you

just say give me something then you

start running away just you know because

you don't expect that no stay of the

list speaks to you make of your life an

intimate journey with the Holy Spirit

I'm not talking about denominational

stuff that the gospel Assemblies of God

no no I'm talking about the Pentecostal

life the spirit filled life which we see

displayed throughout the pages of

Scripture and and this is what I want

for myself and this is what I want for

you and this is what I want for our

congregation as well and the thing is

that congregations they unless they

cultivate this understanding

periodically we just fall into stupor

and slumber very easily it has to be

cultivated continually every once in a

while I feel the Holy Spirit saying a

time to get the troops back in order

time to get your life back in shape

we're soldiers we're we're athletes

we've got to keep at it every day of our

lives

and you know that there are there are

many things there are many things that

are part of that journey there is the

completeness of the Word of God the

fruit of the Spirit holiness patience

all the things that it's all part of one

big thing but at the center of it is

power and energy if the power and the

energy are not there then all the other

pieces of that beautiful mechanism do

not function my wife has been having car

troubles with the battery we need to

change the battery yesterday we were

here for an event and you know I went

ahead and I was about three blocks she

calls me Roberto the battery's dead is

not doing anything now the car every

other piece of the car is functioning

beautifully but a car requires energy so

I had all the other stuff the oil was

there the transmission was working fine

the motor was working fine but the

battery was not functioning well it

needed energy so I got my car right next

to it and I plugged the my the energy

from my car to hers and boom it came

back to life in a moment it was all the

other pieces where they were fine the

motor force of the believer is the power

of the Holy Spirit we are powered driven

organisms the church is a power driven

organism that's why we you will see the

next meditations why Jesus said to the

believers in you know were around him

before he ascended he said do not move

from Jerusalem until you are endued with

power from on high

there was a paradigm that was being

established that was a prototype that

was being put into place you do not

undertake anything unless you're certain

that you have the power of the Holy

Spirit with you in your life because you

need it

we are spirit beings and we live in a

spirit animated world both evil and good

and you need spirit energy to make you

effective I need to cultivate it you

need to receive it I will continue I got

through one tenth of my sermon this

morning there's a whole lot more you

know and even there are other pieces to

it

I'm going to take as much as we need

because I really feel that this is an

important time in our life I'm going to

share this also with the Spanish

congregation this morning as well let us

enter into that journey for now as you

take a moment bow your head or close

your eyes so just say whatever way you

want don't worry about it but own what

I'm saying to you say to yourself holy

spirit you're speaking to me and I need

you and I validate what I have heard

this morning and I asked you to show me

show me how to live a scripturally

spirit filled life I want your energy I

need your power I acknowledge that by

myself I cannot accomplish it awaken in

me fill me Holy Spirit of God fill me

help me to walk in your power

I embrace you and I embrace your vision

and I will walk with you and I will

depend on your walking with me as well

so I receive you fill me now in Jesus

name Amen

amen there will be opportunity there

will be opportunity in the future I'm

telling you I want us to have time to

you know make that even more deliberate

we'll go through a process they stay

with us as we go this and when Greg is

preaching I think we've agreed that he

will continue will reinforce this ideas

about living through a spiritual prism

prism not prison prism different

spiritual outlook spiritual perspective

spirit-filled lives it's very complex

beautiful thing very whole very balanced

let us continue in this journey father

give us the wisdom give us the knowledge

and may we glorify and please you

through these meditations I bless your

people this morning father

and I release them to live lives of

authority power joy wisdom effectiveness

thank you for the joy and the privilege

of being your people the people of the

Spirit in Jesus name we pray hallelujah

amen give the Lord a hand affirm it's

moving your life praise the Lord