Setting Your Spiritual Sails – Sunday morning at GLBBC

The opening music special at Sunday morning service (11/14) had Grayson K., with guitar, singing “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”. With our usual song leader out of town, Brother Peter B. stepped up to the plate to lead us in singing hymns (without too much damage to our ear drums or sensibilities). Peter even had the courage to introduce a new-to-us hymn titled, “Still Sweeter Every Day”. The music continued with the fine piano playing of Dan P. during the offering. Michael G. was asked last minute to sing (while on piano) a special song for the service; Pastor had been touched by his rehearsal of “Lord, Give Me A Drink”. Michael also sang this song during the invitation at the end of service.As our Teen Room comes closer than ever to being finished, Pastor Giardino announced that major helpers to the project will be invited to a VIP open house (i.e. a small, intimate party). This will be followed by a general open house for the rest of us. Brendon Shaughnessy is scheduled to put down the carpet on Tuesday of this week.Pastro Giardino, once again, went with a nautical theme for his sermon, titling this one “Setting Your Spiritual Sails”. His opening verses, I Kings 9:26-28 and 10:11, reflected his theme; King Solomon created a navy to transport gold and other products. In Psalm 147:18, Pastor showed how God “causes his wind to blow” into our sails. He concluded his introduction by stressing how he hoped this sermon would help us go from “mediocre” Christians to “super-ordinary” Christians. He said, “God can change you if you allow him to”.
The story was told of a ship named the Dreadnought that in 1862 was disabled by a strong gale. In order to remove the ship from peril, the captain sailed the ship backward into port. Thus, Pastor G. made the analogy: “Some of you are broken … you can’t sail forward, but are sailing backward for lengths of time.” Our sails are the knowledge that, one day in our past, God had breathed in us His Spirit and we were saved. We had a hunger as new Christians, Pastor reminded us, as “God began to fill our sails with His Spirit … we began to grow in grace and have a working knowledge of the scriptures.”
Beside the pulpit was a large, but flat, black plastic bag, which, as Pastor Giardino described, depicted us before we were saved. He removed the bag, depicting us as hearing about Jesus, but the remaining plastic was still flat. He then said, “Something compels you to ask about Jesus”, and he turned on the motor. “The Spirit of God does this”, he said, “He comes inside you and you begin to grow … He fills your soul with His Spirit.” Standing next to and taller than our pastor was an air-filled Frosty The Snowman, now depicting a spirit-filled Christian. “Now you are something”, our pastor claimed, but “without the Holy Spirit blowing, you are flat.” He then turned off the motor and down Frosty went, slowly softening and disappearing. Likewise, Pastor G. pointed out that after awhile, some Christians go backward; they have a meltdown in their life and go back to their old carnal ways. They “begin to grieve the Spirit”, he said.
Pastor went to John 3:6-8 to show us that as flesh, we need a new spiritual birth. He said, “If you are born once, you’ll die twice. If you are born twice, you’ll die once.” God breathed into us the gift of life (we became a living soul), but that wasn’t good enough to get to heaven. Because of the curse on man by Adam, death passed upon all men. However, I Cor 15:47 states, “The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.” The last Adam (v 45), Jesus Christ, is a quickening spirit that allows us to continuing living after our bodies die. We go from earthy to heavenly through Christ. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins” Eph 2:1. Pastor G. defined quickening as “to make alive”. “When the Spirit of God breathes into the soul, it quickens the mortal body”, he said. We receive a blessed assurance of eternal life, peace, are sails are full, and we sail through difficulties, Pastor explained. All through the book of Acts, the apostles were filled with the Holy Ghost. If we are saved, we too can have our sails Spirit-filled.
Pastor Giardino’s conclusion leading to the invitation: “Maybe your sails are broken and no wind is filling your sails … Many have broken rigging … Some of our troubles come from not being filled with the Holy Ghost … Trouble is plaguing you because of a lack of God filling our lives with the Spirit … When is the last time you personally talked with the third person of the Trinity? … The Holy Spirit is a person – you can grieve him … You need to have a relationship, not only with Christ, but with the Holy Spirit.” Lastly, Pastor spoke of the sail boats in Charlotte’s harbor being winterized, shrink-wrapping around the sails and high and dry. He said some of us have “spiritual hypothermia”, shrink wrapped, lackluster, just hanging out without Christ.

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