How to find Truth

Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through Him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation He came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary
and became man.
For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered death and was buried.
On the third day He rose again
in accordance with the scriptures;
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,*
 with the Father and the Son, He is worshiped and glorified, He has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

*In the original creed agreed to in 325 A. D in Nicaea it merely stated that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father. The “and the Son” was added by the western churches to help combat a heresy that was prevalent at the time. The inclusion of the phrase, “and the Son” in the west is used today to refer to the fact that God is One God, triune consisting of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In the eastern churches the addition is seen to upset the nature of “procession” and is unacceptable. The following is not an article on the “filoque controversy” as it is known. For more information on the conflict please see a more informed source. I am merely noting the discrepancy so that whichever tradition you follow you will know that I cited my version here and made note of the conflict out of respect to both opinions.

imageIn the If:Gathering online Bible Study the theme for today is, I believe the Holy Spirit reveals truth to us. Our culture defines truth as relative. For those who cannot define truth it becomes impossible to know if you are living in the truth. As Christians we recognize the need for a higher truth, a definitive Truth that can withstand the effect of societies’ redefining values over time. The search for truth can occupy a lifetime. In the Nicene Creed we say, in effect, that it is the Holy Spirit who reveals truth to us.

How do we know if we belong to God? How can we know if we are His children? In Romans 8:14-17 we are told that’ “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” The way that we can find peace in knowing that we are loved by God is by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit who leads us to Truth. In John 16: 13 Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would reveal the truth to them.

“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever He hears, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.”

When we study and read the Bible we are reading the Word of God. However, if we read without asking the Holy Spirit to guide us we are vulnerable to mistaken understanding. It is the Holy Spirit who helps us to understand the Truth. Even the devil quoted scripture to Jesus during the 40 day of temptation in the desert. Simply learning the worlds without the Holy Spirit will not suffice. But to all who call upon the Holy Spirit to help them the words are living and active the Truth that we crave. We have not been left to uncertainty and continued doubt. When Jesus ascended into heaven he did not leave us as ‘orphans”, but left us the Holy Spirit to live with us, in us and guide us.
We pray…
Holy Spirit come and enliven our minds and guide our hearts. Help us to learn from your Word. Lead us in our thoughts, conversations with others, prayers and concerns. Help us to have the courage to turn all of our lives over to you. Make us vessels that you can use. In Jesus Holy Name we pray to The Father of Glory and Might through the Power of the Holy Spirit, One God through the Ages. Amen.

A Fair Wind Blowing

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We usually think of a fair wind as one that will blow us into our desired port. Autumn winds do not generally meet this description in my view. A late October wind can destroy two weeks worth of glorious leaves in one night.

The glory of the hills can last well into November, but only if we have no big storms. It was no breeze that blew through my hills. Goodly wind gusts ripped the golden glory from the hills and sent the leaves eddying like mini-cyclones on the streets.

I always grieve to see the Autumn foliage go.It will not return until next year. October winds are not fair.

It left me pondering, however, how we define a fair wind. I have a friend with lung disease who tells me that she doesn’t ever like the wind. She told me it feels like it is stealing her breath. I don’t mind the wind at any time but this.

I have read of ships becalmed at sea in the days of sail threatening death for all aboard. Sometimes we need the wind, at other times we do not. We typically define a fair wind as one that benefits us in the near-term.

Somehow all this left me pondering the Holy Spirit. The Greek word used to describe Him is the word for spirit, wind or breath. Do we define God as fair? A famous hymn describes Jesus as shining fairer than all the stars in the sky. What about the Holy Spirit? Does He blow us where we want to go? Or is it where we need to go? Do we define the way God moves through us based upon how much we want to go where He takes us?

I wonder if we categorize Gods’ will as fair or foul depending upon our pleasure? My opinion of wind is purely a matter of aesthetics. I’m contemplating whether I apply my standards to God as I do to wind. Who is the master and who is the unworthy servant?

Holy Spirit, blow me wherever You will. Forgive me for expecting You to fit my definitions. I recognize that You are infinite and I am not. Help me to go faithfully where you blow me and keep me always ready to call you fair. Amen.