185: Outflow of a Spirit-Filled Life

Ephesians 5:20 
“Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

If you point out to me a Christian who is characteristically, significantly, constantly, overflowing with thanksgiving you know what I would say? 

  • You are looking at a Spirit-filled Christian. 

Thankfulness is a result of being filled with the Spirit

  • Thankfulness is one of the realities that attends or follows or comes along with or is a result of being filled with the Spirit. 

  • Serving through thankfulness is an outflow of the Holy Spirit. It is one thing to look back at what we are thankful for, but being thankful always and serving others is not an easy task unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit and are in tune with him daily through prayer and reading God’s word. This morning, I read In Mark 12;30-31, when Jesus was questioned about the greatest commandment. First, “We are to love our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength.” Second, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.” Without loving God, we will not understand how we are to love others, and in loving others, we serve them and love them with thankfulness for what God has done for us. Many want to be served but will not help others in need. We can only accomplish this with the Holy Spirit living in and through us daily. I like all of Psalm 100, A psalm of Thanksgiving. Verse 2 says, “Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Verse 4 Enter into His Gates with Thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name.” Serving becomes easy when we are filled with the Holy Spirit and His guidance—serving in big and small things, even with loving encouragement toward others.

    • Kristen, isn’t it amazing how the Bible flows with the conversation and message of serving others and doing so with joy? From Genesis to Revelation we find the heart of our Heavenly Father is in loving service. Jesus said in John 5:17, “My Father is always working and so am I.” Wow, I pray to become more like Jesus every day.

      • Yes, Laura, it’s a redemption story from beginning to end. I am so thankful for the word of God to teach love and guide me as I go.

  • There are several people in my life who are prime examples of overflowing with the Holy Spirit, whose faces came to mind as I was listening to this episode.
    One is a young man in our Young Adults ministry. He has had a bit of difficult home life growing up. About a year and a half or two years ago he joined our group and very soon after gave his life to God. Since then, he has been one of the happiest, most appreciative, and humble people I know. Whenever I bring a prayer request or even thank him for something he has done, his first response is always a resounding “Praise God!”
    The other is my Grandpa (Pa). For as long as I can remember, Pa has been one of if not the most passionate and Godly men I have ever met. His vigor and passion for the Word and the Spirit are displayed in every area of his life. From his work in AstroChemistry to something as remedial as taking out the trash; everything is done with excellence and to bring glory to God.
    I am genuinely honored to know these two men, and to be challenged to live with them as examples. I pray that my life would display even a fraction of the outpouring that I see in theirs.

    • Agh, Timothy! Your post is wonderfully convicting! To do everything with excellence – I am such a guilty party, haha! There is a lot to be said about being humble before God and doing all things for His glory. I will pray that God continues to use those wonderful examples in your life to encourage and build you up in your faith – and that God would sanctify you by His working and saving Grace.

    • Timothy, I have also had the delight of knowing joy-filled, Spirit-filled, grateful-to-God types of people. Not only is it a refreshing breath of fresh air in an often hostile world, but it brings me conviction and a desire to love God by serving others better. I pray that I will submit to greater acts of love and service towards others.

  • I agree that it is always a work of the Holy Spirit to enable us to overcome the Adamic nature because He sanctifies us. I also totally agree that the outworking of the Holy Spirit must be a daily reality. I love to study the original language of the Bible. And like the observation through to application comment. I heard a comment recently about the difference between dispensing the word of God and ministering the word of God to people. As biblical counsellors only the Holy Spirit can help us to do that. And only He can enable us to be submissive to the word of God in our own lives and live that word and help us to encourage counselees to do the same.

    • Ann, your comment reminded me of John 15, where Christ is explaining that He is the Vine and we are the branches and the branches cannot bear fruit without the vine. While we were dead in our trespasses, God made us alive in Christ Jesus. We could do nothing to save ourselves, God raised us up in Christ – He is the power and He has a purpose. Praise God for His great mercy and intimate desire for our sanctification through His grace.

  • I agree that it is always a work of the Holy Spirit to enable us to overcome the Adamic nature because He sanctifies us. I also totally agree that this out working of the Holy Spirit must be a daily wa

  • I couldn’t agree more with Pastor Jeff. The actions of a spirit filled Christian will be evident in all areas of their life, Church, work and home. I will be giving the message at our church on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The title of my message is, “Be Thankful”. Part of my message is from 1 Thess. 5:18 where Paul talks about giving thanks in all circumstances. Often in our society and our churches our actions are dictated by circumstances. A Spirit filled Christian does not let circumstances dictate their actions. Paul understood it was the filling of the Holy Spirit that helps us to overcome our human tendencies. This is what our counselees and we need to hear and remember.

    • I agree Don. Without the Holy Spirit we become pharisees. He alone is able to change our hearts in all circumstances. Happy Thanksgiving.

    • I agree Don, circumstances often dictate our lives. I love the last little section of 1 Thess 5:23-24 “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” All the emphasis for sanctification is on God Himself – He is faithful, He will surely do it. How epic that being Spirit filled is not only the Holy Spirit working and overflowing within us, it is also God working in us for His sanctifying purposes.

    • I agree, and when we focus only on ourselves and circumstances, we miss the opportunity to be thankful for the circumstance as God is teaching us through the challenging situations in life so we can then serve others who may face the same trials. It strengthens us as we are continually growing.

  • Christ-likeness ultimately leads to sacrificial service to benefit others – as is the example that Jesus gave to His disciples in John 13. I 1,000% agree with Jeff, that in our Adamic, sinful nature, we live selfishly. At work I am always ready to serve, but when I get home, I unfortunately decide my comfort should be accomplished. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would convict me in this area of my life, to put off my selfish nature and to seeking to do good and serve my family with thankfulness and a heart of love for the others.

  • (#185)
    Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! I overflow with Praise for Pastor Jeff and BCA!
    I agree that Servant-hood is a great definition of being Spirit-filled. Its spoken and unspoken attitude is from Philippians 2:3, “…consider others as more important than yourself.”

    • Jesus said in Matthew 20:26, “whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.” A Spirit filled live leads to a life filled with service to others. Happy Thanksgiving. Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

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