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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
January 7, 2012

     Now, it happened that while Apollos was away in Corinth, Paul made his way down through the mountains, came to Ephesus, and happened on some disciples there. The first thing he said was, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?”
Acts 19:1-2a (The Message*)

My wife used to say she wasn't a true Christian, although she had accepted Christ and went to church regularly. What she meant was that she believed in Christ in her mind, but had not experienced Christ in her heart. Eventually at a church retreat, she had a powerful experience of Christ in her heart. When she came back from the retreat, I could see the difference in her.

It is a good thing to believe in your mind the truth of the gospel, but it is not enough. God needs to penetrate into your whole being. There isn't a magic formula to make this happen. It doesn't happen in exactly the same way for every believer.

If you have not experienced Christ in your heart, seek to be open to it. Listen to the experiences of your friends who have experienced it. My wife was greatly encouraged to go on this retreat by several friends who went on it purposed to help my wife and others. Pray for God to come in your heart. Practice spiritual disciplines as led.

If you have experienced Christ in your heart, you can help others who have not. Be tender with them, but share your experiences as appropriate and make appropriate suggestions to them. Pray for them. Accompany them on their journeys as you are led.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version © by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2012 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 14-Jan-2012 20:36:51 EST