As I looked out the second story window, I saw families getting out of their SUVs, swiftly walking into the church so as to be not too late for their classes. Kids were in tow, many with their Starbucks cups, probably serving as a sweet incentive to get up early. As I watched this happen car after car, the thought crossed my mind that these families may be a little bit stronger because, as a family, they are going to classes and worship services together.
Today was a first for me, facilitating an adult class. I spent the last four years working with sixth graders, and I was unsure what I was going to encounter with adults. I was a substitute for a love-filled leader who was on summer vacation. The class topic, though, was one of my favorites – the Holy Spirit.
The class went well. It was small but an active discussion. As we head into a new week, there were several verses which stood out as they call us to listen to the Spirit inside, to use our gifts, and to strengthen our inner being as we move forward with our families, in our work, and within our communities.
John 3: 8 ESV The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.
Listen closely for the Spirit inside of you and follow it.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 ESV  Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;  and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;  and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
The Holy Spirit gives us unique gifts, all empowered by the same Spirit.
Romans 12:6-8 ESV  Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;  if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;  the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
We need to put our gifts to work with the inspiration and the zeal enabled within us.
Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV  For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
This is our prayer for strength and continued guidance. The Holy Spirit within us needs to extend beyond an internal feeling to an external action, connecting outwardly with our families and our communities in our efforts to do good works.