Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Being an elder

  • Who are you? The roles of elder, pastor and congregation +

    Todd Nighswonger of Cornerstone Simi Church, talked about the role of elders, pastors, and the congregation living in community. http://storage.cornerstonesimi.com/sermons/audio/11_103_A_People_of_Worth_pt3.mp3 Read More
  • A Letter from an Elder Completing His Term by Kevin DeYoung +

    At our Consistory meeting last week I asked all those whose terms were ending to share a few reflections and Read More
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sunsetwater1The introduction to One Holy Fire, Let the Spirit Ignite Your Soul establishes Cruz’s desire to awaken the passion and desire of the Holy Spirit in every believer in the United States, to provide outreach to inner-city kids, and to enable the power of the Holy Spirit to be realized in their lives. Cruz communicates his passion and vision with examples of his fortitude, commitment and decades of experience as an evangelist. He explains that this book was the result of a new vision from the Holy Spirit to spread the gospel, to be part of the fire he quotes from Ezekiel 20:47-48 on the first page of part 1; “Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am about to set fire to you, and it will consume all your trees, both green and dry. The blazing flame will not be quenched…Everyone will see that I the LORD have kindled it; it will not be quenched.”

Part one, The Fire, brings Cruz’s Spirit-inspired explication of specific examples from his experience in ministry. The experiences reveal the author to be a blessed mix of boldness, humility, and God-searcher. Importantly, he is dissatisfied with what the world has to offer, from timid churches to a passive acceptance of brokenness that defines us more accurately than any geo-political designation.

Cruz’s words testify to how he sees the broken as individuals loved by God, and how much he longs to bring them into the presence of His love. Descriptions of his encounters with Goths, gangs, and angels from Houston to New York City to Jerez Zacatecas, Mexico, testify to his hunger to share the love of God wherever people hurt. Cruz does not try to weave a picture of the perfect saint. He recounts the many times he failed, choosing to use imperfect human abilities of reason, sight and listening rather than the unflinchingly compassionate abilities of the Holy Spirit. The rest of the story is that always the Spirit was gracious in teaching Cruz the way of love in place of the way of man.

Part two, The Holiness, begins with Leviticus 10:3: “Among those who approach me I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.” Central to this section is a pivotal encounter early in his ministry that changed Cruz’s focus from preaching about judgment and condemnation to preaching about God’s love for us.

Part three, The Oneness, beings with Ezekiel 11:19-26: “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” While earlier chapters provide a mixture of testimonies and rationale for his mission, the focus in part three is almost exclusively on the vision, and reads like an unfiltered message from the Father. By the end of Cruz’s book the reader will likely believe they have read the words of a present-day prophet.

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

  • Magnificent

    Few songs capture the entrancing, humbling, overwhelming awe I experience in the presence of God. Magnificent, a song by U2 Read More
  • Effortlessly

    Effortlessly, Love flows from God into man, Like a bird Who rivers the air Without moving her wings. Thus we Read More
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Audio & Video

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The Hit List

  • Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophecy, by Dr. Wayne Grudem +

    A fascinating discussion of the nature of prophecy in the 21st century, by Wayne Grudem. He became Research Professor of Read More
  • Baptism in and Filling with the Holy Spirit: a talk by Wayne Grudem +

    Thoughtful, considerate discussion of the role of the Holy Spirit in a Christ-centered life. Read More
  • The Relationship of Husband and Wife (Part 1): Wayne Grudem +

    What does it mean to be a husband? What is the role of the wife? How did God originally intend Read More
  • Part Two of Wayne Grudem on Husbands and Wives +

    This is part two of Wayne Grudem's discussion of the relationship of husband and wife in marriage and in creation. Read More
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Gems

  • The Community of Jesus +

    What does it mean to be a Christian? Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, makes a compelling Read More
  • Life as an Alien +

    Timothy Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, provides an inspiring portrayal of what the church is supposed Read More
  • Real Living +

    The Community of Jesus by Tim Keller-notes from a blog Keller takes us through the sermon on the Mount focusing Read More
  • Does God Control Everything?: Tim Keller sermon +

    Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, has an insightful discussion about free will, pre-destination and God's omnipotence, Read More
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