We are excited to announce some new features to the blogsite. As more and more readers are viewing from foreign countries we have added the translate feature to the site. Our readers can also now choose to have the blog emailed to them, and they can search the blog by keywords on various topics. We hope that this makes the site more manageable for you. God Bless.

Hear current audio messages by Pastor Scott Burr at:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Eternal Work of the Holy Spirit

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.”

John 14:16-17

From the beginning, God intended our relationship with the Holy Spirit to be an eternal partnership. A relationship, through which, each of us could become partakers of God’s everlasting life. So how is this partnership initiated?

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession-to the praise of His glory.”

Ephesians 1:11-14

The eternal relationship is established, when, upon hearing the gospel, we put our faith in Jesus Christ! As a show of good faith in this newly established relationship, God imparts to us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit acts as a seal and a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance and God’s commitment to His promise. The seal & deposit serve as spiritual reminders of those promises.

A seal of hot wax was often placed on ancient scrolls to secure and fasten them shut. The king would then press his signet ring into the hot wax guaranteeing that the contents within the scroll belonged to him. As we look forward to the day of redemption we can have confidence in knowing that we carry the “king’s seal”- the precious Holy Spirit. We are marked by Him and recognizable, as one of His own, by the Holy Spirit we carry within us. The sealing of the Holy Spirit is beautifully described for us in Galatians 4:6: “God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” God’s Spirit testifies that we are sons and daughters of the king. We are no longer slaves, but heirs!

The Holy Spirit also serves as a deposit. A deposit is a pledge of more to come.

“Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
2 Corinthians 5:5

This is why after Jesus had breathed on his disciples and said- “Receive the Holy Spirit” in John 20:22, that He then instructed them in Acts 1:4: “Do not leave Jerusalem , but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Initially, they did not get the fullness of the Spirit. A deposit was given, but there was still more to come! This deposit authorizes us, as “heirs” or “owners” , to enjoy the blessings flowing from this account. Jesus describes it this way in John 7:38-39:

“Whoever believes in me as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”

In this way, God has opened up His limitless Spirit to us, so that we may enjoy the blessing flowing from Him! Have you initiated your relationship with the Holy Spirit? Are you sealed for the day of redemption? Has God placed His deposit guarantee inside of you? You can know today:

“We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.”

1 John 4:13-15

Pastor Scott Burr

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Divine Partnership: The Spirit’s Mission

“When He comes, He will expose the guilt of the world, in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.”

John 16:8

One of the first things you are encouraged to do when you are looking to start a new business is to develop a “mission statement.” Wikipedia defines a mission statement as: a formal short written statement of the purpose of an organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a sense of direction, and guide decision-making. It provides "the framework or context within which the company's strategies are formulated. Now that we have established that we are in a “divine partnership” with the Holy Spirit, I think that it is important that we understand the Holy Spirit’s mission. As recorded in John 16:8 the mission of the Holy Spirit is to expose the guilt of the world in three areas- sin, righteousness, and judgment. As partners with the Holy Spirit, that means that, we have a definitive role to play in reaching that goal. So let’s look a little closer at the mission of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s mission focuses on three specific arenas- sin, righteousness, and judgment:

“In regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”

John 16:9-11

Sin is that which separates us from God. The sin, in particular, that Christ is showcasing here is the sin of unbelief- failing to recognize Jesus as Lord and Savior. Many do not see their “unbelief” as a sin, but simply as a choice. The Holy Spirit’s mission is to bring truth and warn them concerning the consequences of rejecting Christ. False religions, false teachers, and scholars have attempted to dismantle the idea of sin. Even going as far as to proclaim that there is no such thing as sin! For without sin- there is no need of a savior. Yet, this is not the extent of the world’s guilt.

They are guilty in regards to righteousness, too. Christ’s deity was challenged by religious leaders relentlessly in His day. They called Him a heretic and a blasphemer because of His claims. Yet, God chose to exalt Jesus to His right hand, gave Him a name above every name, and put everything under His feet. Jesus lived a sinless life and gave Himself as the perfect, blameless sacrifice. He was righteous without fault, and in Him we are made righteous in God’s eyes:

“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”

Romans 3:22

Many believe that there are numerous ways to God. They are hoping that access to God’s kingdom is not based on Christ’s righteousness, but on their own good deeds. We have an obligation to show them from God’s Word that the only way to the Father is through the Son:

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

However, the world’s guilt does not end there. The world is appalled by the notion that there will ever be a judgment day. Saying things like: “A loving God would never send people to hell!” They fail to realize that it is not God who sends people to hell, but our own choices and our own disobedience. God is not willing that any should perish, but all would to come repentance. Unfortunately, for the world, in order to come to repentance, you have to believe you have sinned and you have to put your faith in the righteousness of Christ. Let us therefore be committed to the mission placed before us and partner with the Holy Spirit to spread these truths to a world in need. IT IS YOUR MISSION TOO!

Pastor Scott Burr

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Divine Partnership

Part 1

“On the evening of the first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

John 20:19-22

From the very moment Jesus breathed upon His disciples, God ordained there to be a special relationship between “You & I” and the Holy Spirit. A divine partnership, in which, we become minister’s together with Him of the very great and precious promises found within the New Covenant. God’s intention, here in John 20, is clear. He is sending us out to be His witnesses on the earth, but He is not sending us alone. He has given us a partner (precisely as Jesus explained it):

“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.”

John 14:15-17

Together with the Holy Spirit we have been given the task of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ and proclaiming the coming of the New Covenant established in Christ’s blood. This is the ministry of the Holy Spirit:

“Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses, because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious.”

2 Corinthians 3:7-8

It is a rare and unusual partnership, one in which the Holy Spirit does not simply come alongside us, but comes within us and upon us to accomplish the will of God:

“Whoever believers in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not yet been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified!”

John 7:38-39

The partnership we share with the Holy Spirit is not a silent partnership. I describe this type of partnership as: one where “you” purpose to work alone and the Holy Spirit is there only if you should need Him. Our partnership with the Holy Spirit is also not a hostile takeover. I describe this type of partnership as: one in which the Holy Spirit takes you by force to accomplish God’s work in the earth. Partnership with the Holy Spirit is one of cooperation as we willfully submit our will to God’s will.

If then we have become partners with Him in the “Ministry of the Holy Spirit” we should be familiar with the Holy Spirit’s mission!

Pastor Scott Burr

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Missed Opportunities

“Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.”

2 Kings 13:18-19

Have you ever got that sick feeling in your stomach whenever you realized you just missed an amazing opportunity? I wonder if that is how the King of Israel felt the moments after Elisha the prophet spoke those words. Israel had been oppressed by Hazael, king of Aram, for many years. Hazael, along with his son Ben-Hadad, had taken land and captured cities in the northern regions of Israel. During this time, Elisha the prophet, became ill. It would be an illness from which he would eventually die. Jehoash, king of Israel, came to him and wept over him. As the king mourned over him, Elisha instructed him:

“Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. “Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. “Open the east window,” he said, and he opened it. “Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot. “The Lord’s arrow of victory over Aram!” Elisha declared. “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.”

2 Kings 13:15-17

From his death bed, Elisha prophesied victory for the King of Israel. A door of opportunity had been opened. A door to complete and total victory over the Arameans. There was an amazing opportunity there for Jehoash to do something remarkable. However, his heart was not fully committed to God:

“He did evil in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit; he continued in them.”

2 Kings 13:11

A door had been opened, once and for all, for Israel to be delivered from the threat of Aram, but Jehoash’s half-heartedness cost him! Elisha told Jehoash take the arrows and “Strike the ground.” Jehoash took the arrows and instead of striking the ground forcibly five or six times, he simply struck the ground three times and stopped. Elisha became angry and said:

“You should have struck the ground five of six times, then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.”

2 Kings 13:19

I can only imagine what King Jehoash’s face must have looked like when he heard the prophet’s pronouncement. Instead of completely destroying the Arameans, now he would only defeat them three times. Jehoash failed to make the most of the opportunity that had been given him. William James, a famous American philosopher, once said: “He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.” Jehoash failed because he did not fully embrace the opportunity afforded to him by the prophet Elisha. Like, Jehoash, we are not held back by a lack of opportunity, but more often by our failure to make the most of the opportunities that have been afforded to us. As we move into 2010, let it be our fervent desire to make the most of every moment that God opens a window to our victory!

Pastor Scott Burr