Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church was the scene of beautiful gospel music, all in praise of Christ, this past Sunday (11/21/10) at the morning service. No surprise there, given the plethora of musical talent amongst the congregation. The brother and sister tandem of Michael and Julia sang “He Paid A Debt He Did Not Owe” while Michael played piano. During the offering, Julia and Nancy played “Lamb of God, I Come” as a violin duet. Then, just before the sermon, the entire adult choir stood up before the congregation and, led by Mateo, sang “I Shall Stand Complete In Thee”. The various parts were brought together in a beautifully blended harmony of voices, showing the commitment and dedication our choir has to glorifying our Lord. Pastor Giardino had high praise for the choir and their leader Mateo. And finally, at the end of service during the invitation, Michael sat at the piano playing and singing, “Fill Me Now”, a Marshall Family song.
Pastor Giardino led off his sermon with Psalm 106:8 to show us that sometimes we don’t understand how the Spirit of God is working in our life until He reminds us with His “mighty power”. As we head into Thanksgiving week, Pastor said we should be found in the spirit of thanksgiving all of the time.
Pastor continued with his preaching last week on “Setting Your Spiritual Sails”. He read to us “A Sailorman’s Prayer”, which is a maritime version of the 23rd Psalm and shows utter reliance on God for a safe voyage. In I Kings chapter 10, Pastor showed how King Solomon relied on a navy to bring in items to beautify the temple. Likewise, Pastor G. indicated, we should let the Holy Ghost reside inside of us to beautify our temple and let us shine.
In John 16:7-13, Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit as the Comforter. Pastor Giardino pointed out that 12 times in these passages, Jesus refers to the Spirit as a person. Pastor then reminded us that, the Spirit, as a person, can be grieved “during the day by things we should not do” and by “not giving back to the Lord”. The picture of a ship with the wind filling its sails, our pastor said, is a picture of us properly filled with the Holy Spirit.
Pastor took a few moments to warn against “chump churches”, churches that don’t have the Spirit of Truth, that mock and reject the King James Bible. God can be seen using a church by the evidence of the Spirit of Truth, which is the fruit of the Spirit and right doctrine. Acts 4:31 was used as an example of when the Holy Ghost is present within a congregation. Evidence of the Holy Ghost in our own lives is our personal testimony (our daily walk). Pastor read Acts 13:8-10 to show how Paul stood up against perversion and cults. Then Pastor took the time to read the entire lyrics to the Marshall Family song, “Fill Me Now”.
1.) Set Your Sails for Blowing – We should be filled with the Holy Ghost and the Word of God. To warn of the use of alcohol “to take the edge off” our day, Pastor G. cited Prov 23:31-34 and Eph 5:18. He warned that someone drunk with wine is like a ship with no sails. “Don’t go to the bottle or any other substance”, he said, but “beg God for the filling of the Holy Ghost so that other things can be crowded out.” Further, he cautioned, “the eyes and the heart are connected”, meaning watch out for evil that passes before our eyes.
2.) Set Your Sails for Boosting – Be boosted by the power that comes from the indwelling of the Spirit. In I Cor 9:18, Paul wrote about not abusing that power. In II Peter 1:1-8, we are told “divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” Our pastor asked us, “Why don’t we partake in that power? … All of us can have a part in it … being partakers of the divine power.” Being charged with the Holy Ghost gives you the boldness to be something you are normally not. We are not to boast, as many false witnesses do, but to boost. “We need to appreciate the power of the Holy Ghost so you can impact the world”, Pastor G. said.
Demo #1: Pastor Giardino, never one to ignore the effectiveness of demonstrations, brought out a flat tire, a Craftsman air compressor and then an impact wrench. He listed a number of power tools that require the use of pressurized air to operate. Likewise, he explained, we are a vessel that, in order to be effective and productive, we need to be powered by the Holy Spirit. “Your own flesh is powerless”, he said, “without the power of the Holy Ghost.” We all have access to this power, but we have no impact at all as Christians if we are living our lives in the flesh. “Plug in, be filled”, Pastor said, so we can help others who are flat, like the tire.
Demo #2: From behind the pulpit, Pastor Giardino brought out a toy sail boat. (I wonder if Nathanael knows it’s missing.) He used this to show that boats are designed to be buoyant and are designed to float. When the sails are filled, they begin to travel on their journey. But sin in your life, like a sandbar or rocks, scrap against the hull and bog you down, slowing or stopping your Christian journey. We need to cut away the things of this world; we can’t do the will of God in our flesh, but need to be led by the blowing of the Spirit.