Relying on the Constant Companionship of The Holy Spirit – Program 1
- Genres:John Ankerberg, Preaching & Teaching
Loving the Person of the Holy Spirit
Do you love the Holy Spirit? If your first reaction is “Who is that?” This program is for you. Anne Graham Lotz will help you understand who the Holy Spirit is, and why He is important for your life
today on the johnny Coburg show. My guest is anne Graham lots. She was called the best preacher in the family by her late father Billy Graham an is an international speaker and a best selling author when an lost her husband of 49 years, she felt both shock and intense grief than just a few years later, her beloved father Billy Graham passed away and then six months after his funeral and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Yet through it all, she relied on the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit to help her. We invite you to join us on this edition of the johnny Karberg show to here and explain how you can rely on the Holy Spirit to be your constant companion no matter what you are facing. Hi, I’m johnny Coburg, welcome to our program. My guest today is an Graeme Watts and I’m so glad that you joined us. I’m interested in talking to two people today and an is going to fill in the blanks here. Alright, number one, if you’re a skeptic, I’m glad that you tuned in. I hope that you’ll stick with us because if you’re thinking about jesus, he’s the only one that claimed to be God and that gave us proof by rising from the dead. Okay, if you know that information, but you’ve never invited him into your life personally. And you say if I did invite him into my life, what would happen? How would I change? We’re gonna talk about that. So I hope you’ll stay tuned second person I’d like to talk with is the person that’s a christian, maybe your church member that’s uh going to church all your life. And you say, what are you gonna talk about? We’re gonna talk about loving the person of the Holy Spirit, and you say, well, I don’t know a lot about that topic. Well, that’s why we’re gonna talk about it, and I want you to listen to what the Lord jesus himself taught us about the Holy Spirit, Why this is so important, why we as christians really can’t function unless we understand what the Holy Spirit was sent to do in our lives when you accepted jesus into your life as your personal savior and Lord, he put the Holy Spirit there, Okay, and the Holy Spirit, he has a job and we’re going to talk about seven fold aspects of what the Holy Spirit does, and and I’m so glad that you’re here today and the people really want to hear what you have to say on this topic. And so I’m gonna say, start anywhere you’d like to start on it, thank you so much, it’s a privilege to be here. And I’d like to address the skeptic and that nominal christian also, because um God doesn’t invite us into a denomination or religion or philosophy or tradition, he’s inviting us into a personal relationship and today with all the craziness going on, it’s the personal relationship with God that gives us a hope and encouragement and um blessing Grace favor, you know, it’s, it’s everything, it gives us the stability in our lives. And um and I’m thinking back to thursday night in that upstairs room when jesus, it was right before he was betrayed, he was arrested, he went through his trials, his crucifixion, it was, You know, 24 hours before the cross, less than that and he knew the disciples are going to be facing the most horrific time actually that history has ever seen. But certainly in their lives, it was going to be a time of turmoil, confusion, anger, grief, despair, hopelessness. And so he gathered them around in that upstairs room and he taught them the things that were on his heart and he taught them about heaven in my father’s house are many rooms and then he was gonna come back and receive them to himself one day, he taught them about um that he was the vine, they were the branches that without him, they could do absolutely nothing. He taught them about persecution that would come if people hated him, they’re gonna hate those who follow him. And then he taught them about the Holy Spirit and um and the holy Spirit is absolutely key to us, living a life of victory and triumph and peace um in this crazy world. So if I can, I want to read you a few verses from john chapter 16, so this is what he said that night in the upstairs room, he said, now I’m going to him who sent me yet none of you asked me, where are you going? Because I’ve said these things, you’re filled with grief, but I tell you the truth, it’s for your good, that I’m going away and when I first read that, that was an aha moment for me because he said it’s for your good, I’m going, I can’t imagine it being good for jesus to go away, but this is the reason unless I go away, the counselor will not come to you, but if I go I will send them to you. So jesus was saying it was better to have the counselor, the holy spirit that it’s better to have the invisible holy spirit in us than to have jesus visibly present with us. This is a news flash to the disciples because they, oh they were just, I’m scared to think jesus is going to go away from us, what are we gonna do? How are we gonna operate? We’re supposed to carry on this ministry, how can we do it? You know, even if you don’t have a big ministry like they had, how can we even face day to day responsibilities, how can we face parenting and jobs and just survival without jesus. And so then um then he taught them about the holy spirit when I was growing up to be just transparent, you know, I went to church every sunday and the holy spirit was referred to as the Holy Ghost and, and benedictions, baptisms, weddings, it was always the father, the son and the Holy Ghost. So as a little girl, I didn’t feel comfortable with the ghost. He was off putting to me. And so I just ignored him, treated him like an optional extra in the christian life. But when I became an adult and studied the scripture for myself, I discovered he’s not a ghost and he’s not a flame of fire, He’s not a dove, he’s not an emotion, he’s not wind, he’s not all he could be represented by those things because he’s invisible. So sometimes in scripture he’s represented or symbolized by something. So we know he’s there, but, but he’s not those things, he is An invisible person in this passage in John 16, he’s referred to with a personal pronouns, he or him, so he’s a living invisible person with a mind to think and a will to act emotions to feel. And he’s referred to as a third person of the trinity. And um, and again, I’m just, I’m telling you, like, it is, I thought as a third person of the trinity, he was an add on that he was the PS, so you have the great glorious God, the father and you have the much beloved God the son, but the Holy Spirit was like an adult, I didn’t know what to do with him. So I didn’t do anything with him. I just ignored him. And then I found out as an adult studying the scriptures for myself that the Holy Spirit is not referred to as the third person of the trinity because he’s the least, but the third to be fully revealed in scripture. So in the old testament is God the father who was more fully revealed. And um in the gospels, it’s God the son who’s primarily revealed, but it acts and the epistles, that’s God, the Holy Spirit who is primarily revealed. So the Holy Spirit is God, a living invisible person. And in scripture, um you know people are, we we’ve learned their character through their names. So Peter, his name was Simon because that meant wishy washy compulsive, impulsive. And jesus said I want to change your name to Peter because you’re going to be so rock like in your faith that you’re going to strengthen others. And there’s and and jesus when the angel came and said that mary was going to name her son, jesus. It was because he would save them from their sins. And so jesus means savior. Rescuer Redeemer. And so the Holy Spirit has some of the most wonderful names. And um the amplified bible gives us seven different adjectives for the name counselor. That he’s our strengthen our he’s our helper. He’s our standby. He’s our intercessor. He’s our advocate. Um all of the wonderful names of the Holy Spirit and we can go through those just real briefly, I’ll give him give you the way amplified does and you you define it okay. He’s the helper. Number one yeah the helper and um I don’t know have you ever needed help? You know people ask me what’s the most common prayer I pray and that’s it help. In fact I can tell you right now I’m saying on the inside help me your Holy Spirit. You know. And so he comes alongside to help us to give us assistance. And um and one of the most traumatic times in my life was when I found my husband unresponsive in our pool. This is five years ago. And uh and I can tell you I cried out help. And the Holy Spirit immediately sent me help through the E. M. S. People, a chaplain with the Sheriff’s Department. My son in law who came and and my family that gathered around me in the E. R. At the hospital. And and sometimes we don’t recognize the Holy Spirit’s help because he comes he helps us through others and I think we miss his help because it’s it’s not you know we can’t see him but he’s working through somebody to give us help. But God brought him to heaven. Okay. And so the Holy Spirit came in at that time to be your comforter. You know um and he did and there’s some things that only the Holy Spirit can comfort us in. But my husband did go to heaven. And um And so on that Wednesday afternoon after we had released him from life support my son in law and my daughter moved in with me. And so for 16 months my son in law and daughter lived with me. They were between houses at the moment and it was a perfect timing for them. But it also meant that that I never had to come home alone. And so living, um, you know, you have to make a huge adjustment as a widow and um, and to come home, I’ve been married 49 years and uh, so to, to come home and be single and be a widow was a big adjustment to me. But my daughter and her husband at night, they could sense I was down, they would pray over me every night. Our devotions were on blessings. My son in law learned how to trace the name of God in hebrew on our forehead and and just bring God’s blessing and it was the comfort of the Holy Spirit. And so I, I knew even while they were ministering to me that God was comforting me through them. But others, my family that rallied around me and I’ll give you another example when um, my father went to heaven and we traveled with him by motorcade um from Asheville north Carolina to charlotte Nashville where he was in charlotte where he would be buried. And, and we were in this motorcade and lining the interstate for that two hour trip on either side of the interstate where people, thousands of people that came to hold up across to hold up a bible. I saw Rabbi blowing a shofar. I saw a mother with a newborn baby, I saw a father pushing his daughter in her wheelchair to the edge of the right and and I felt like the whole world was turning out to mourn for my father and I was comforted. It was the sweetest thing. So he is our comfort. Yeah. Well then after Danny went to heaven also the Holy Spirit helped you because he became your counselor, what do you do now? You know um after my father went to heaven. So six months later I was diagnosed with cancer and it was he prepared me for it. So when I went in for the X ray I knew what they were going to find, it still is an adjustment. And I didn’t know what I didn’t have a father to go to to ask for his advice. I didn’t have a husband to lean on and ask him what doctor should I seek. And so I started out just going with the advice of my doctors and they recommended when Darlene and I heard about it, we had just been at your dad’s funeral and the fact is we have seen you talk there and he did a great job. And then so soon after that we heard and we have, we cried, we thought how can an take all of this? It’s like one thing after another. And yet the Holy Spirit was your counsel. He was he was my counselor because I didn’t know what to do. So I started out with one doctor and one night I just couldn’t sleep. And the Holy Spirit just whispered to me just gave me that impression and that’s not the right doctor for you. I didn’t know what to do. Then I did panic a little bit. But I was having lunch the very next day. It was a lunch that had been planned for three months with my sister in law and her friend who had been through a huge cancer battle. And uh and I shared with them, I hadn’t shared with anybody outside my my Children and I shared with them my diagnosis and I asked them if they knew somebody who was really good and they both immediately simultaneously gave me the same name. And then my one friend who has connections, she picked up her cellphone, she came back to the table in a few moments and she handed me the cell phone. It was the head of the cancer institute at the university of north Carolina. So um so he set me up with appointments. I went over there, took my two daughters with me to help me decide. And And I knew the Holy Spirit had been my counselor leading me away from sort of where it was comfortable in my own city with doctors who would be right there to chapel hill was 30 minutes away with the whole you know, Big Teaching Hospital. But but I knew it was the right place for me and the Holy Spirit gave me that advice and wisdom when a desperately needed needed it because it was a life threatening situation. Yeah. The thing also though is you went through chemotherapy and you’ve got a great illustration in your book that we’re going to offer to the people, jesus in me experiencing the Holy Spirit is a constant companion. And one of the things that grabbed me in the book as I read it was the fact is when you we’re having the chemotherapy, it was rugged and I think the fifth one just about did you in and you were wondering how much more do I have to do? So at that point you turned to the Holy Spirit who became your counselor, Okay? And tell me how that went, you know um that anybody who’s been through chemo, I know there many ladies and gentlemen out there who have been through it, you know, exactly what I’m talking about. And um after I was supposed to go through six sessions after the fifth session, I just had huge side effects that the doctor actually who’s world renowned had never seen with my kind of chemo and um but I I couldn’t tolerate it. So I went home after that treatment and I was praying and I was praying with my two daughters actually and in prayer, I felt the impression that the Lord was promising he would heal me and actually john can I tell you when I was first diagnosed, God gave me that scripture from James chapter five verse 16 that said pray for one another that you would be healed. So, so I felt like God was saying let other people know so they can pray for you and you will be healed. And so I put it out on social media, I let them track with me when I went to for surgery when I had my head shaved, you know all the chemo, the radiation and um because I felt God would answer their prayers and I would be healed. So after my fifth time I felt like he was reassuring me that yes and I I will heal you. And so I asked him the next morning after he had said that I felt like you’d whispered that to me um you know I want his word on it because you can have, yeah, you can have a feeling or an impression but it’s God’s word that uh that just stands and so and my daughter was coming to visit and my other, my daughter Rachel ruth and uh and she was telling me what she was teaching in the bible class and it was about Nayman and when he had come to seek Elisha and he had leprosy and he wanted to be healed of his leprosy and and lisa told him to go dip in the jordans seven times and he would be healed. And it was just like that verse leapt up off the page and I thought God is telling me not to quit after my fifth time to go through. Now I had to go through seven times and go through your seven chemo treatments and you would be healed. And the Holy Spirit became another one. He became the strengthen er oh amen! I couldn’t have done it without him, you know, I couldn’t have done that. And sometimes this is interesting when I was a little girl, you know, I lived in the mountains of western north Carolina and on the ridge behind our house, the trees were huge and um either that or they were broken and falling down. And I asked my mother why are the trees on the ridge so much bigger than the ones in the valley? And she said because the winds have no obstruction on the ridge so that the the trees on the ridge have all the pressure and the violence of the storms and the wind and that’s what strengthens them and I think sometimes for us, you know when the winds of life set in, we we look at the wind, we look at the pressures, we look at the pain, we look at the suffering and don’t realize that this is the Holy Spirit using these things to strengthen us. Because when we’re in pain or suffering being persecuted, going through disastrous disease, even death, you if if you don’t let that come between you and the Lord, it just presses you closer to him and then the Holy Spirit can strengthen you so that your faith is not resting in your circumstances, Your faith is resting in the word of God. And the Holy Spirit uh is I mean, I’m sitting here as testimony that he is an enormous strengthen er at critical times in your life when you feel like you just can’t go on one more day when I heard that you were coming to the NRB convention, I thought she was near death. And and the fact is just just to say that you had the the courage and the strength and the vitality. I couldn’t believe it. You know, you were you were on fire and yet the fact is, is other things have happened. And ah I think I want to pause right here. There are people that are listening to us. We’ve just gone through a worldwide pandemic. Okay. And we both have friends in India, you spoke to half a million people in India. Okay. And we’re on 10 times a week and so many of them are listening to you right now. I’ve spoken over there as well and I wonder how many of them have lost people, they had over 13 million people that have gotten the COVID and now they’ve got a second wave, whatever this is, all right. And the people there, the people in South africa, the people in europe, the people in our own country, they need to have the Holy Spirit strengthen them, be a counselor to them. Some of them, I talked with some people that I was on the phone and one guy, his mother died right next to him, okay. Another fellow I was talking to and his father died in the room. He was in, okay. And the tears, you could hear them crying right on the phone. And I think you’re talking to a lot of people that first number one, they’ve lost actual members, A lot of people have died during This pandemic. And then number two is, we still don’t know where we’re at some of us in the world, what’s coming next? Give them some advice regarding the Holy Spirit, from your own personal experience to these dear people that are listening right now. They need help. Then let me give you um my favorite name of the Holy Spirit. Because Jesus said in John Chapter 14, he said um I’m going to ask the father and he will give you another counselor and in other words, he was a counselor, but he would ask the father to give us another council and the word another means some what exactly the same as. So my favorite name is one that’s implied the Holy Spirit is jesus in me. So the most wonderful truth is that jesus, who lived and walked on earth and died on the cross, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, is getting ready to come back and rule the world. He can actually all that Jesus is in his mind, in his personality and his will and his emotions, all of that is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is jesus without his physical body. And I don’t want to be confusing because the Holy Spirit is an individual person in his own right. But but the Holy Spirit is is jesus without skin. So when you come by faith to the cross and when you tell God, you recognize that you’re a sinner, and that just means you recognize that you’ve done bad things, you haven’t done life perfectly and I surely haven’t. And you come to the cross and you believe jesus died on the cross for you, and you trust him to be your savior, asking him to forgive you to cleanse you of your sin. And you put your faith in him as your savior. And you ask him to give you eternal life, you receive eternal life that he offers, which is not just heaven when you die, but it’s that personal relationship with God right here and right now and you open up your heart and you invite him to come into you. The thrilling thing is that jesus comes into you in the person of the Holy Spirit. So if you’ve ever wanted to have jesus sit down at your kitchen table or just pull up a chair next to you and talk to talk to and you can pour out your heart to him, that’s who the Holy Spirit is. And when I was a little girl, I asked him to come into my heart and and he has come into me and I didn’t understand at the time that I asked jesus in my heart, but he knew what I was talking about, jesus is in a man’s body up in heaven, he can’t coming to me, but he comes in in the person of the Holy Spirit never to leave you never to forsake you. So um we’ve only got two minutes left and I’d like you to pray a prayer that folks who are saying, I’m desperate, I need to know the Lord jesus, I need to have the Holy Spirit be put into my life so that I can have love for God and love for jesus and love for the Holy Spirit and experience him for myself and I don’t have that an say a prayer that they could say with you where they could invite the Lord jesus to forgive their sins and he can put the Holy Spirit into their life, okay, so just pray with me, please. So father God, we come and bow before you now and acknowledge that we’re sinners and I’m going to pray this prayer uh and put it in the first person for you just acknowledge God. Um I’m a sinner, I’m sorry for all the wrong things I’ve done and I believe Jesus died on the cross to forgive me of my sin and I’m putting my trust in him now as my savior and I ask you that you would forgive me in his name, cleanse me with his blood and I received the eternal life that he offers. I opened up my heart and I invite jesus whom I know no will be the holy spirit to come live inside of me and from this moment forward I’m going to follow him every day of my life and follow him all the way to heaven, I surrender my life to jesus and I pray this please in jesus name and for his glory Amen. And folks, if you prayed that prayer, tell somebody okay, tell another christian, tell somebody that you know actually knows the Lord jesus and I would say this, we’ve got two more that we want to cover, we’re gonna cover them next week because I want you to hear about him the holy spirit being a stand by and uh and has quite a little story to illustrate that he stood by her in in an amazing event and will take that up next week and there’s also the fact that he’s our intercessor, okay? And he’s our advocate. And the fact is I want you to know what those are because I want you to love the Holy Spirit. That’s what her book is all about. And I also appreciate you joining us this week and I’d like you to stay tuned because I got a personal word for you in just a moment. Let me ask you, have you ever transferred your trust from yourself to jesus for your salvation? The bible says all men and women are separated from God because we have all broken his moral laws. We have sinned against him. Do you realize that second the bible says when jesus was on the cross got picked up our sins and they were placed on jesus and he died in our place, Jesus took the punishment we deserved and could never repay and he paid it in full. It’s his gift to us. Now if you’ll come to jesus and admit that you’re a sinner and ask him to forgive you. He’ll do just that. You only need to say a prayer to him and entrust yourself into his hands and then he will make you a christian. He will forgive your sins and give you the gift of eternal life when you die, the bible says, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. It’s not your faith that saves you, but a real jesus who really did rise from the dead and the one who said he was God and can forgive your sins and give you eternal life. He’s the one you must place your faith in faith is really sticking your hand out to jesus and saying I’ve got nothing. Please give me your gift of eternal life. He promises he will right now. Would you pray and place your faith in christ, put yourself into jesus hands and trust him to give you eternal life. If so you might say something like this. God. I know I’m a sinner. I know my sins have earned from eternal separation from you, but I believe jesus died in my place when he died on the cross and I accept his death as the full payment for my sins. I accept him right now as my savior. Thank you for saving me. And in jesus name I pray this amen. Now. If you prayed that prayer, the bible says this, who so ever who’s sort remains, you shall call upon the name of the Lord, How do you call you pray? That’s what you just did. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Those last three words. What God does, He’ll save you? You know the holy Spirit for many of us raised in the traditional church, he’s treated like an optional extra. When I was growing up, he was referred to as the holy ghost and I didn’t want to know a ghost. So I just ignored him and um, you know, focused on God, the father God the son. But as an adult, as I studied the scriptures, I found he’s not a ghost, john he’s not a dove, he’s not a flame of fire, he’s not a wind, he’s not oil, he’s not an ecstatic experience. Um the, the Holy Spirit is a living, invisible person. He has a mind to think in the world to act emotions, to feel. He’s referred to as the third person of the trinity, not because he’s the least, which is what I thought and I thought it was, you know, we had the grand glorious god, the father, the beloved son and the Holy Spirit was like a PS but that’s not not. So he’s referred to as the third person of the trinity because it’s God. The father revealed primarily in the old testament. God the son and the gospels God, the Holy Spirit and acts and the epistles and he’s not an optional extra, he has a divine necessity, cannot function in your christian life without him. And I love the fact that you’re talking about him as a person, a person who loves you that when you invite christ into your life, actually, jesus sends the Holy Spirit and he comes and lives in your life and jesus, he’s another just like me.