Jesus’ Spirit-Filled Family

Jesus’ Spirit-Filled Family

– Well, Merry Christmas to you and happy birthday to Jesus, amen. – [Congregation] Woo.

– I’m really excited, I love Christmas time. I’ve got great memory since I was a little kid. And for me, it’s just that unique time where we’re really focused on family, and so I want to talk a little bit about Jesus’ spirit-filled family. This is the time of the year when in general we think about and we look at family, and then as well, we really focus on one family, and that is the family of Jesus Christ. And so, I dunno about you, the Christmas cards have already started rolling in, and we’ve gotten a number that have Jesus, Mary and Joseph on the front. This tends to be the prominent, preeminent family during the holiday season. And Jesus’ immediate and extended family is the most significant, and I would say the most successful family in the history of the world. So I want to talk about the secret of their success. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if you raised a kid like Jesus, or even a little bit like Jesus? That would be great, how do you do that? And is there something that they had in their family that we could have in our family so that we could have a family that looked a little bit like this family? And if you wanna study it more, I’ve got a book called “Spirit Filled Jesus”. And I’ve got a stack, maybe 200 copies in the foyer. I’m sure they’ll go quick at some point, but if you would read it, grab it on the way out. It’s my little Christmas gift to you. And if you’re online, go to and check the store. But here’s the big idea with Jesus’ family. Once we find someone who has done something incredible, successful, wonderful, we wanna learn from them, we want to ask, “Okay, what was the secret of your success?” And as we look at Jesus’ immediate family and His parents, they were quite young so they didn’t have a lot of experience, they’re probably teenagers. His mom was probably about the age of a middle school girl. How many of you that’s terrifying? The thought of it, God’s like, “Here’s my son” to a girl doesn’t even have a driver’s license, right? I mean, many of you, you’ve got a 13 year old girl, you wouldn’t give her a phone, let alone God. But God trusted Mary with the raising after the birthing of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. So they were young, probably teenagers. They didn’t have a lot of experience, they didn’t have a lot of money. They were very poor, they were a peasant class. They were rural, they lived in a very small town, they weren’t in a big city. There’s no indication that His mom and dad had a formal education, though they were intelligent and they had a high IQ. In addition, they never held a political office. They never ran a company, they didn’t amass a fortune, they never commanded an army. But what we’re looking at is the most significant, impactful, successful family in the history of the world. All of those things can be great. If you can make money, if you can have a company, if you can live in a city, if you can amass some sense of power, prestige, or prominence and platform, great. But the one thing they had is the most important thing, and it was the anointing of God, the Holy Spirit. Let me say you this. The most important thing on your life and in your life is the anointing presence and power of God, the Holy Spirit. And the most important gift you can give your marriage is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The most significant, impactful, transforming thing you can give to your family, to your children, your grandchildren, your legacy, is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. So here’s how we say it, that God works for you, in you and through you. Jesus Christ is God, we celebrate His birth this time of year. He lived

without sin. He declared himself to be God. He died in our place for our sins, three days later, He rose to conquers Satan, sin, death, hell, and the wrath of God. Jesus Christ returned to heaven, where He is alive and well right now. He’s answering prayers, He’s healing people, He’s saving souls, He’s altering destinies. That’s His work for us, and then He does a work in us. He gives us a new heart, new mind, new nature, new desires. And now all of a sudden you want to read the Bible, you wanna pray, you wanna love Jesus, all of a sudden your desires are changed from the inside out. So Christianity then becomes not something that you have to do, but something that you get to do ’cause it’s really what you want to do. And then God works through you. And so the work in you and through you is by the power of the Holy Spirit, by the power of the Holy Spirit. So I wanna talk about the ministry of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ family. And when I talk about being anointed in the spirit or filled with the Spirit, what I’m talking about is having the character of Jesus Christ. Paul talks in the New Testament, He talks about the fruit of the spirit. If the Holy Spirit is at work in you and through you, he says, “The fruit of the spirit is love, and joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. If you want to know what the opposite looks like, go to the internet, that’s the opposite, okay? But to have the fruit of the Holy Spirit is to have the character of Christ manifest through your life. Well, I wanna start with Jesus’ extended family. And His extended family include Elizabeth, and her husband Zachariah, and their baby boy John, John the Baptizer. And the entire extended family was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:15 says of John, that’s Jesus’ cousin, and he’s a prophet and he makes way for the coming of Jesus. “It has said that John will be great before the Lord, and he’ll be filled with Holy Spirit. Even from his mother’s womb.” I can’t think of a stronger argument for life. He has a name, John, because he’s a person known by God. He’s saved, filled with a Holy Spirit, with a destiny on his life before he’s even born into the world. God is at work before we even enter the world. His mom, Elizabeth, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and his dad, Zachariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and then he prophesied. So here’s John, John grows up to be this Bible teaching pastor and preacher. He’s the cousin of Jesus, his ministry starts before Jesus does. John’s ministry only lasts about six months. And he baptizes Jesus, and then he says, “I must decrease and he must increase.” John knew that his job was to prepare people for the coming of Jesus, then he took his entire ministry and all of his followers and he gave them to Jesus. He said, “Follow Jesus now, it’s all about him.” And ultimately they beheaded John, it was the only way to get him to stop preaching. Some of us are still like that, praise God. But he wasn’t going to stop preaching, and so ultimately they had him beheaded. And then they came to Jesus and they asked him on one occasion in Luke 7:28,

they were asking sort of who’s the greatest person who’s ever lived? You know who Jesus said, John, John. John the Baptizer, his cousin. How many of you couldn’t say that about your cousin, right? Let’s just be honest, right? You’re like, “yeah, my aunt and uncle are not filled with the spirit and my cousin is not the best person who’s ever lived.” That’s their immediate family. And so John, he grew up in a poor ministry family, Zachariah and Elizabeth, they were rural priests. This would be like a small church in a small town, led by a bivocational pastor and his wife. Like Jesus’ family, they didn’t have a lot of money, power, prestige, but they did have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. They live by the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit. And here’s the big idea, your immediate family needs extended family. And so what happens is when Mary hears that she is pregnant, the story of the Bible is that she travels a great distance to go

see Elizabeth. And the boys, Jesus and John are together in their mother’s womb. And John leaps for joy at the presence of Jesus, even though they’re yet unborn. And Mary wants to be with Elizabeth ’cause she wants the support of extended family. Some of you are very blessed because you have godly, healthy extended family, okay? And so for both of you, you’re blessed, okay? Now, some of you, the extend, you’ll get that on the way home, yeah. Or you’re nervously chuckling ’cause you’re here with family, ha ha, yeah. So I’m blessed because I talked to my mom and dad twice this week. I love my mom and dad, my mom and dad love the Lord. They’ve been married for more than 50 years. They love the Lord, they love us, they love me. And so I feel really blessed that my parents are godly, and I enjoy them, and I love them and they love me. And sometimes we don’t have that, and so the holidays can be a difficult time for us because it’s that reminder that we don’t have this spirit-filled, godly, flourishing family. There’s pains, problems and perils. And that means that God still has an extended family for your immediate family, and that is called church family. If you’re new, you just need to know that our heart is that this would be a church family. The Bible says to treat men like fathers, and older women like mothers, and young men like brothers, and young women like sisters. And it’s called the household of God. And so our view is church is a big extended family, and that we’re gonna be together forever so we should start getting along as soon as possible. And that heaven’s gonna be like this huge family reunion, where we meet all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. And so what this serves as, Zachariah, Elizabeth and John the Baptizer, they’re extended family, but they’re both biological family and their spiritual family. They pray for each other, they support one another, they encourage one another. If you don’t yet have a church family and you’re here visiting us at Trinity Church, we love you and we’d love to have you as part of our church family. We have all ages, all races, all incomes, all backgrounds, all lifestyles. It’s a big, beautiful, diverse church family. And here’s what I would tell you, we’re raising our five kids here. And our five kids actually helped plant the church. And we’ve got now two married, two in college and one in high school. So we’re into those launch window years. One of the greatest gifts to our children and our family has been this church family. We feel loved, supported, encouraged and blessed. Our kids have good relationships and friendships. They have godly, encouraging peers, they have mentors. And ultimately, if you’re gonna have a healthy marriage, you need to be in a community of healthy marriages. And if you wanna have a healthy family, you need to be in a community that’s an extended church family. And I just want to publicly thank the people here at Trinity for being an incredibly wonderful, joyful church family, and a tremendous blessing to our family. In addition, Jesus’ parents were spirit filled. And you’re gonna see the ministry, the Holy Spirit through the extended and immediate family. So here’s the famous Christmas story we hear every year, Luke 1:31 through 35, “The angel Gabriel shows up to Mary and says, ‘Behold you shall conceive in your womb and bear a son, you shall call His name Jesus, which is God is my savior. He will be great and will be called the son of the most high.” He’s not just the Son of Mary, He’s the son of God. “And of His kingdom, there will be no end. There is no king like that ’cause Jesus is the king of kings.” And Mary being a soon to be pregnant, virgin teenager has a very reasonable question. “How is this gonna happen?” “I’m not married yet, but I think I know how this works. How’s this going to work? How will this be since I’m a virgin?” That’s to fulfill a promise given in Isaiah. “And the angel answered her, the Holy Spirit. God’s gonna do a miracle in you, Mary. Just like He brought the first man from nothing, He’s going to bring the son of God

forth without an earthly father. The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the most high will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy.” That means sinless and perfect, “The son of God.” And so here’s what we know, that Jesus’ dad was a godly man. His name is Joseph, he was a construction worker, a carpenter. And angels keep telling him what to do, probably because what they’re asking him to do is really complicated. “That girl that you’ve loved since you were a little boy, and now she’s your dream girl. It’s gonna sound like your nightmare, and that is she’s pregnant, but you haven’t consummated the relationship.” For any young man, this would be an incredibly complicated piece of news to process. His first question would be, “Has she been unfaithful to me? Is this not the girl that I thought she was? We’ve already publicly declared we’re getting married, how do we get out of this, oh my.” It’s just catastrophic. And so angels come on multiple occasions, and they tell Joseph, “Here’s what’s happening, God has decided it’s time to enter into human history. And He looked across the planet and He decided you’re gonna be the parents.” Just imagine that, imagine that. “But we’re teenagers, we’re not even married, we’re broke, we’re in a small town.” “Yes, but you have the Holy Spirit, you don’t have a lot of things, but you have the one thing that is everything, and that’s a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit.” And so what we see as well, Joseph’s dad, I really like him, he reminds me of a little bit of my dad. My dad was a construction worker carpenter named Joe. So my dad, when I was a little boy, he’d put his work boots on and get his thermos, and his lunchbox, and his tool belt, and his hard hat, and jump in the truck, and I wanted to be like my dad. So I had little boots, I had little jeans, I had a little lunchbox, little toolbox, little hard hat. And I would jump in the truck and go to work with my dad. Jesus and his dad had a relationship like that. He would go to work with his dad. And Joseph doesn’t say a lot, but he does a lot. If you look at Joseph, you can see his faith by his deeds, and he has very few words. How many of you men identify with Joseph? Don’t say anything, I’m not expecting you to communicate, but maybe just give me the bro nod, okay? The little bobblehead bro nod. There’s some men that are like, “I don’t say a lot, but I do a lot.” And I would say I respect those men more than those who say a lot, but don’t do a lot. There’s men who say a lot and don’t do a lot. Joseph doesn’t say a lot, but he does a lot. He loves his wife, he raises his kids, he gets criticized by those who are saying that he’s a fool for believing the virgin birth. They would call it myth, we know it’s fact. And he was a good, godly man who worked hard to provide for his family. And now here we are, we have Mary. And we just learned that she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit. She’s a godly young woman. When she hears that she’s gonna give birth to Jesus, she’s a worship leader. Maybe she’s like some of you. She’s a creative and she’s a songwriter. And she bursts into this glorious spirit-filled song, worshiping God, knowing and hearing that she’s going to bring Jesus into human history. Mary doesn’t yet have a husband, but she has the Holy Spirit. Mary doesn’t have any parenting experience, but she has the Holy Spirit. Mary doesn’t have power, but she has the power of the Holy Spirit. She doesn’t have money, but she has the presence of the Holy Spirit. And so what God is looking for to raise Jesus is not the kind of people that we would tend to think would be the first round draft pick to raise God. Amen. Not looking for experience, He’s not looking for money, He’s not looking for power. He’s looking for people whose hearts are surrendered and devoted to Him, and they have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. And so Jesus’ parents are spirit filled, meaning they’re led by and loved by the Holy Spirit. And I was thinking about it too, ladies, how hard

would it be to be Jesus’ mom? just think about it for a minute. And I know your kids, when they’re giving you a hard time, you’re like, “Ah, it would’ve been great to be Jesus’ mom.” But honestly, think about it, probably a little awkward. Can you imagine that, Jesus, this little kid, mom’s upset, walks in. “Jesus, I’m really upset with you.” He’s like, “I forgive you, I’m sure it’s your fault. I’m sure it’s your fault. If you’d like to, you could take a time out or spank yourself. I’m fine either way.” Can you imagine being an imperfect parent trying to raise a perfect child? Had to be humbling, but they had the humility to do so. His aunt, and uncle and his cousin, filled with the spirit. His mom and dad, filled with the spirit. And He had brothers who were filled with the spirit. I’m gonna introduce you to them. It says in Jude one, “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James.” I won’t get into all the technicality, but these are Jesus’ half-brothers. So Joseph and Mary were their parents for Jesus. Mary was His mother, Joseph was His adoptive father. He didn’t have an earthly father. This isn’t in my notes, but just, I say this whenever I talk about Mary and Joseph. If you’re a single man, don’t overlook the single mothers. Don’t overlook a single mother. Joseph technically married a single mother and it worked out great, right? I mean, he got to be on the Christmas card, God really honored that. And just like Mary, she had some complicated circumstances and variables, but she was a godly and wonderful woman. And as a result, they had the best family in the history of the world. And so what we see here is that after Jesus is born, the Bible says that Mary and Joseph consummated their marriage covenant and they had a bunch of other kids. It says that He had brothers and sisters, brothers and sisters. And here we know that two of the brothers are James and Jude. And these two brothers, we know that they are filled with the spirit because they are writing books of the Bible. How many of you would not worship your, if your brother started a religion, okay. Just emotionally process, just hang in there with me. How many of you would not go public and say, “I’m ready to sign up and be one of the first devotees of your religion, and to publicly worship you even if they kill me?” How many of you, you’d be like, “My brother’s the devil, I will publicly testify to that fact.” His brothers, when Jesus was alive, His family, especially His brothers, they weren’t sure. Jesus is like, “I’m God, I’ve come down from heaven, I’m without sin and I’m here to forgive sin, and I’m gonna raise from the dead.” Okay, if that was your brother, what would you think? Time for a drug test, time for a drug test. And so they had a bit of a reservation, they’re like, “We’re not sure.” And then when He died, so they’re like, “See?” And then He rose, and they’re like, “Oh, we gotta rethink our view of our brother.” Once Jesus rose from death, His whole family, including His mother and His brothers, they joined the early church, they’re worshiping and they’re saying, “It’s true, we never did see Him sin.” How many of you, that’s incredibly strong evidence. How many of you, your mother would not publicly testify that you were sinless and perfect as a child? And her therapist would confirm that you have caused her some pain? How many of you, you would not publicly stand up and say, “I have never seen my brother say or do anything wrong in our entire life?” Yeah, I have brothers and I won’t even ask that question, it’s too terrifying to hear the answer. But Jesus’ brothers publicly say He never sinned, and He is God and He did rise from the dead. So the two brothers, James and Jude, they become pastors. They’re filled with the Holy Spirit. They each write a Book of the Bible bearing their name, James and Jude, and they’re suffering for their brother. This is one of the greatest arguments that Jesus is God, did not sin and did rise from the dead. Because the brothers are devoutly Jewish, and they know if you start worshiping the wrong God, you

immediately get cuts in the line to hell. It doesn’t end well for you if you pick the wrong God. They say, “No, it’s our brother, He is the Lord.” So then they put opposition toward the brothers to try and pressure them to cancel Jesus, to renounce Jesus, and they won’t. And ultimately, they killed James, they murder and murder him. And guess what happens, there’s a third brother named Simon. History outside of the Bible says, “Stepped in and occupied the leadership position that was left vacant by James.” So just for a moment, just look at this. We know for a fact that Mary and Joseph had at least four sons, okay? Number one, you have Simon, who was a pastor, who stepped up to fill a leadership gap with courage when his brother got murdered. You got two brothers that wrote books of the Bible. And one is the savior of the world, their son Jesus Christ. Would you agree with me, that’s an incredible family? I mean, our kid makes the honor roll, and we put it on the bumper. And even if they didn’t, we just order it off Amazon and pretend. I mean, this is the most significant family in the history of the world. I mean, you can’t do any better with parenting than this. Right, I mean, these are the people who should write the parenting book. And I’ll just be honest with you, most people who write the parenting book shouldn’t. I always find it adorable when people’s kids aren’t even teenagers yet and they wrote a parenting book. It’s like, “That’s so adorable. I mean, it’s not until your kids are grown that you really know where you went wrong. And them and their therapists will then inform you of the ways that you have done that. They did an incredible job raising extraordinary children and four world changing sons. So here’s what we’ve established. His extended family was spirit filled, His church family was spirit filled, His parents were spirit filled and His brothers were spirit filled. How’d they have a great marriage, by the power of the Holy Spirit. How’d they have a great family, by the power of the Holy Spirit. How’d they raise world changing kids, by the power of the Holy Spirit. We tend to think a lot of things, like if I just had more money, if we had ’em in a better school, if we had a better tutor, if they had a better coach, if we lived in a different neighborhood. And the issue is if they had the Holy Spirit, that might be the one thing that changes everything. And this is what we see in the life of Jesus. Jesus was filled and lived by the power of the Holy Spirit. And what we’re talking about in living by the power of the Holy Spirit is, we know how to power our car, we put gas in it. We know how to power our body, we put food in it. We don’t know how to power our soul. And the Holy Spirit is the energy source that God has given to empower spiritual life at the soul level. So I’ll deal with this briefly, but here’s Jesus’ spirit filled life. As we established, number one, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He went from heaven to earth. God became a man by the power of the Holy Spirit. The angel said, “The Lord, the Holy Spirit will come upon you.” And so Jesus entrance into history was by the power of the Holy Spirit. And then He lived by the power of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:16, “When Jesus was baptized.” And that’s showing the death, burial, resurrection that He would bring. “Immediately He went up from the water.” Who was he baptized by? His cousin, John the Baptizer. You know you’re good when they make it your name. “I’m John the Baptizer.” “And so he baptizes Jesus. He comes up from the water, and behold the heavens were open to Him, and he saw the spirit of God.” That’s the Holy Spirit, “Descending like a dove.” And this line is really pregnant with meaning, “Coming to rest on Him.” Let me explain this. So here what you have at the baptism of Jesus is Him becoming a publicly known as a movement and ministry leader. Prior to this time, the trending rockstar was John the Baptizer, he was getting all the headlines. He baptizes Jesus and he says, “I’m gonna decrease, he’s gonna increase. All of my

followers now follow him.” John was very humble and handed over his ministry to Jesus. And at the baptism of Jesus, the entire Trinity was there. You’re at the Trinity Church, and we believe there’s one God in three persons. This is the unique and distinct view of God among any belief system in the history of the world. He is one God, but relational and personal in three persons. And so at the baptism of Jesus, the Father spoke from heaven. What He said was, “This is my son, in whom I am well pleased.” If you’re in Christ positionally, He speaks that over you. You work from the Father’s approval, not for the Father’s approval. Jesus started His ministry with the love of the Father. And I want you to start the rest of your life from the love of the Father. So you’ve got the Father speaking from heaven, you’ve got Jesus coming up out of the water. And we just learned that the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. So everyone who’s there is like, “Okay, the Father spoke, this is for sure the one we’ve been waiting for. And the Holy Spirit has come down to anoint and appoint Him.” Christ literally means anointed of the Holy Spirit, that’s literally what it means. And it mentions this baptism in multiple of the gospels. These are biographical books about Jesus’ life. But in this particular section, it has this one phrase that is unique and important. It says that the Holy Spirit, do you remember the word, rested on Him. In the original language, it means to abide or remain. It means that from that moment forward, the Holy Spirit would never be separated from the life and ministry of Jesus. What that means is everywhere Jesus went, the Holy Spirit went with Him. Everything that Jesus did, the Holy Spirit empowered Him. Jesus had a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. Now, a lot of times we will tell people you need a personal relationship with Jesus. And you do, you do. It’s great, and we all need to have a personal relationship with Jesus, but Jesus had a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. It was the secret to His life and success. In addition, it says number three, “Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Luke 4:1, it says, “Jesus full of the Holy Spirit.” The analogy that comes to mind, I just kind of see this. When our kids were little, there was one time that we took them to a beach. We lived up in Washington state and somebody gave us their cabin. We thought, oh we’ll go to the beach, but it was during the winter. So it’s 30 degrees with 90 mile an hour winds. And all of the sand is like a sandblaster just blasting your children. You’re like, “I’m a terrible dad, this was a horrible plan.” And so I’m feeling bad that I’m taking my kids to the beach and they’re rolling down it like tumbleweeds, just getting blown over in their little parkas. And I’m trying to figure out how do we redeem this kind of miserable memory? And I thought, you know what, we can buy kites ’cause we got ourselves gale force winds. And I wasn’t thinking at the time, we could lose a kid. But anyways, my thought was, so I went to the kite store and I told all the kids, “Pick any kite you want. This is your dad’s sorry day, I’ll spend whatever for the kite.” So my kids all got kites. And the kites are lifeless and their dull, and the kids were little and they hadn’t ever really flown a kite. And so they hadn’t really seen a kite do what a kite can do. And they’re just saying, “Oh okay, put it together.” And then we go to the beach, and guess what happens? The wind fills the kite. And what happens to the kite, it soars. And the kids are letting the line out as fast as they can. And I’ll never forget one of my daughters, the kite was dancing, guess what my daughter was doing?

– [Congregant] Dancing.
– She was dancing. The point is this, everything changes once it gets filled. That which is dead

comes to life when it gets filled, that which is weak becomes powerful when it gets filled, that which is lifeless becomes alive when it gets filled, every time I think of being filled with the Holy Spirit, I think of a kite dancing under the strength of the wind, and I think of my daughter dancing holding the string. Says Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit. He’s like a kite that’s always soaring and living by the power of the Spirit of God. In addition, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit. Matthew 4:1, “Jesus was led up by the spirit in the wilderness.” You and I, friends, we’re all gonna have times in our life we’re like, “I don’t know where to go.” Do we move, do we not move? Do we get married, do we not get married? Do we take the job, do we not take the job? Is it time to start having kids or stop having kids? Should I go to college, what college, what degree? Oh, I don’t know where to go. I don’t know what to do, what church should I be in? What friend group should I have?” There’s a lot of questions. And what can happen is you and I can get paralyzed with anxiety because we try to figure out, “Okay, well if I do this, but then there’s this risk. And if I do that, then there’s this liability.” But once God speaks, there’s confidence and there’s courage ’cause there’s clarity. God says, “Go there, do that.” “Okay, good.” Once you know the will of God, it changes how you proceed into the future. And Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit. He knew where to go, where not to go. He knew what to say and what not to say. He knew what to do and what not to do because of His personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. Now, as I say this, some of you are going to struggle ’cause you don’t know what I’m talking about. And I love you, and God wants you to learn what I’m talking about. Sometimes it’s even just stopping in the moment and inviting the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, I don’t know what to do, help me. Holy Spirit, I don’t know where to go, guide me. Just invite Him in, learn to listen. Here’s what I think, I think that God is often speaking and we’re rarely listening. Just because you’re not hearing from God doesn’t mean God isn’t speaking, you may be very busy, and distracted and not listening. And Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit. And it also says that He often withdrew to lonely places to be alone with the Father. He got away from the hurry, and the worry and the busy, the trinity of distraction, and diversion and discouragement so that He could pray and He could listen. And once He knew what He was supposed to do, then he could do so courageously. In addition, Jesus did miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit. Luke 4:14 and 15, “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee.” And let me just say this. When we start talking about the Holy Spirit, there are certain Christians that are weird, and they talk a lot about the Holy Spirit. Can I get an amen?

– [Congregation] Amen.

– Okay, the Holy Spirit, okay, the chuckles, we know where you went to church previously, thank you for testifying. The Holy Spirit doesn’t make you weird, He makes you like Jesus. A lot of people are like, “I wanna be like Jesus.” Well, that’s the Holy Spirit’s ministry. He doesn’t make you weird, He makes you like Jesus. “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about Him went through all the surrounding country, taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.” So here’s what happens. He’s outdoing ministry and then there’s this report, you can’t believe His power, power is what they’re talking about. This is where the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, the mute sing the praises of God, and occasionally the dead even rise. And what happens is oftentimes we look at Jesus and we’re like, “Well, Jesus is God. And

so Jesus does supernatural things. But I’m not God, I can’t do supernatural things.” I don’t wanna get too into this, it’s complicated. Jesus retained His divinity, but He did most of His ministry out of His humanity by the power of the Holy Spirit. And it tells us here that He went and He did powerful, incredible things. And the report went about, and He did so by the power of the Spirit. And what that means is if He lived a human life as we live, and He did ministry supernaturally by the power of the Holy Spirit, and He gives us the Holy Spirit, we should be praying for people to get healed ’cause God can heal. We should pray for God to give deliverance and breakthroughs for people who have been through trauma or addiction, because God can heal and God can deliver. And the point is this, I love you and I’m so excited for you. But the life of Jesus is not just one to admire, it’s one to experience, to live by His power. In addition, Jesus cast out demons by the power of the Holy Spirit. Luke 11:20, “If it is by the finger of God.” And that is an analogy for the presence of the Holy Spirit. “That I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Now, you need to know that in addition to God, there is an enemy of God named Satan. In addition to angels, there are fallen angels called demons. You need to know in addition to the world that we see, there’s a world that God sees. And the Bible says that our war is not just against flesh and blood, but powers, principalities and spirits. There are demonic, despicable, damnable forces of evil at work in the world. And what they do, they torment people, they break people, they traumatize people. They bring out the worst version of human beings. And when Jesus showed up, He would send, and cast and command those unclean spirits away to be replaced by the Holy Spirit so that people could be healed, delivered, and the best version of them could then be experienced by others.

– [Congregant] That’s right.

– Let me say this, some people, they’re broken, some people are tormented, some people are traumatized. And what they need is God the Holy Spirit to cast out what is damaging them, and then for the Holy Spirit to heal them. And we see this, it comes to mind, there was a guy in the Bible, he’s called the demoniac. You know you’re not doing good when that’s your name. He was a guy who lived out in the middle of nowhere, the outta town, and people literally just walked around him. This guy’s, he’s naked, he’s violent, he’s got mental health, he’s dangerous, he’s murderous. And they’d chain him up and he’d break chains. So they’re like, “Just avoid him.” Guess what, he got delivered, and he got healed, and he met Jesus and he got healthy. He took a bath, he put his clothes on and it was the best version of himself. I’ve actually been to the place where God delivered him, and history records outside of the Bible that he became a pastor and planted a church there and told other people about the delivering power of the Holy Spirit. See, here’s what I’m telling you. We all know someone that that is the worst version of them. But if the Holy Spirit shows up, you could quickly see the best version of them. That the oppression could be lifted and God’s presence could replace it. In addition, Jesus’ emotions were regulated by the Holy Spirit. Luke 10:21 says, “He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit.” Well, that’s joy, that’s an emotion. There’s more than 50 texts in the four gospels that tell us of the variety of Jesus’ emotions. Sometimes He was angry, sometimes He was joyful, sometimes He was sad, sometimes He was frustrated. He had the full range of human emotions. Jesus lived a perfect emotional life because His emotional life was regulated by the Holy Spirit. Here we see that the

Holy Spirit brought Him the emotion of joy. Now, what counselors will tell you is that when you get triggered, you don’t have emotions, emotions have you. We all know when we’ve been triggered, you’re just very emotional, and you don’t have your emotions, your emotions have you. The Holy Spirit is the one who allows you to have emotions and keeps your emotions from having you. Again, the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Let me say this, you can’t be a healthy, emotional person without the Holy Spirit. I’ve been doing this job too long. I don’t believe that self-help helps. I don’t know about you, I need something bigger than me. I tend to be my biggest problem, I’m not sure I’m the solution. In fact, I’m sure I’m not. If I got myself into trouble, I need someone else to get me out of trouble. That’s the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He will change your emotional life. And let me say this, there’s an analogy. Some of you are new. There’s an analogy I’ve used over the course of many years, and that is, here’s very simple. What’s in the bottle?

– [Congregant] Water.
– Water, it’s not a trick question. Just, okay, now what happens if I bump it, what comes out? – [Congregation] Water.

– Water. Because whatever is in comes out when it’s bumped. Jesus says, “Outta the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. “Outta the overflow of the heart,” Proverb says, “Life is lived.” What happens when we get bumped, when we get frustrated, when we get used, abused, betrayed, we get sinned against, we get hurt. It’s not going according to plan. Whatever’s in here comes out. So we try to manage, we try to guard it. We try not to have people trigger or trouble us. We try not to get frustrated and we fail. So we’re coming up on that season. We have New Year’s, lies. They’re lies, they are, we’re all false profits. So this year I’m gonna lose weight and go to the gym. On January 1st, you will and then it’s over. Okay, that’s just the way it works. Because at the end of the day, only God can change what’s in here, right? Only God can take bitterness and turn it into forgiveness. Only God can take hopelessness and turn it into hope. Only God can take fear and turn it into faith. And what happens is the Holy Spirit is the only one who can change your soul and who can guard and regulate your emotional life. And Jesus lived by the power of the Holy Spirit. And so oftentimes what we say is, “Well, that’s just how I feel.” It’s like, yeah, but you need to invite Him to change how you feel. Because our allegiance isn’t to how we feel, but our allegiance is to the will of God, who has the right to regulate how we feel.

– [Congregant] Amen.

– My wife said, amen, pray for me. Apparently I’ve got some work that needs to be done, okay? And that’s true. And then here’s the last one, number eight, “Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit.” So while Jesus is on earth, in John 14, He says, “I will not leave you as orphans, the helper, the Holy Spirit, the Father will send in my name.” Here’s the question, Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. That’s what we celebrate at Christmas. He’s gonna live, He’s gonna die for our sins. He’s gonna rise as our savior, He’s gonna return to heaven. And the question is, when He goes up,

are we orphaned, is God gone? Is this like the dad who left when we were little and we’ve not seen him since, are we on our own? And He says, “No, no, no, when I go up, I’m sending the Holy Spirit down.” The Holy Spirit is available to every believer in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit, He is there to help you, He is there to lead you, He is there to guide you. He is there to do all the things for you that He did for Jesus Christ. This holiday season, I don’t want you to just look at Jesus and say, “I really admire Him.” I want you to experience the Holy Spirit and to follow in His example. And let me say this, here’s what we’re learning from Jesus’ family. The key to healthy relationships with extended or church family is people are following the Holy Spirit. The key to a good marriage, as we see from his mother and father, and his aunt and his uncle, is a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. The way to raise healthy kids, we see from his brothers, personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. How to live a healthy life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, just close, making it kind of practical for you. Some of you who’ve wonder say, “Well, how do I experience the Holy Spirit?” Well, Jesus says, “If a father knows how to give good gifts, how much more so does the Father in heaven?” And He says, “The Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who?”

– [Congregant] Ask.

– “Who ask.” How many of you’ve got a kid? How many of your kids ask for things? And if your kid asks for something good, what do you give them? “Can I have water?” “Yeah, we live in Arizona, here’s two cups.” “Can I have a snack?” “Yeah.” “I’m tired, can I go to bed?” “Please do.” When our kids ask questions, and what he says is, God is a father, and if you need the Holy Spirit, all you gotta do is just ask. You’re frustrated, “Holy Spirit, I’m gonna be honest about where I’m at, I’m really frustrated.” He’d be like, “Yeah, I knew, thanks for calling.” “Holy Spirit, I really am angry and I need to forgive them. Holy Spirit, I’m scared, I don’t know what to do. Would you tell me?” And He will lead, and guide you and speak to you. He’ll do this through scripture. He’ll do this through prayer, He’ll do this in worship. He’ll do this as we listen. He’ll do this through wise counsel, people who also live by the power of the Holy Spirit. I’m a bit over time. I’m still gonna say a few things, though, ’cause I feel like clocks and the speed limit are adorable recommendations. And so let me close with this, let me make this about parenting, okay? When we parent our children, there are two variables and we need to figure out what the percentage will be. Rules and relationship, rules and relationship. The Bible will call these law and grace, but it’s rules and relationship. As parents, we tend to want to control and protect the people and things we love the most. Which is why parents become high control and lots of rules about their child, because they’re trying to keep their child from harm, but they become the one who harms their child. It’s almost like, “Mom, dad, you’re squeezing me too tight. There’s too many rules. I’m feeling choked, I need some breathing room.” Every family needs some rules. Okay, can I get an amen from the moms and the dads? Okay, so it’s like, “Hey, you need to eat your dinner, you need to go to bed. You need to go to the bathroom in the bathroom. Unless you’re a boy, then you can go outside.” There’s just some rules. Those were rules at our house, and so there’s just some rules. But the point is, if you have too many rules, you don’t have any relationship. Okay, so let me say this, I’ll give you a clear example. Have you heard of the thing called the IRS? You have a relationship with them, no. You don’t pray for them, they don’t pray

for you. They don’t love you, you don’t love them. And the reason that they can have so much control in your life without any relationship is they have lots of rules. You’ve gotta do this, do that, or you do prison ministry from the inside. That’s how the IRS works, okay? And so as parents, we need to have some rules. But what oftentimes happens with parents, too many rules, too little relationship, right? And what we tend to think as parents is, “They need to be under control.” The truth is they do, and His name is the Holy Spirit. Let me say this, you can’t control your kid, you can’t. And even if you can, they’re gonna grow up, and then you can’t. And you can’t always be there, but He can always be there. And you’re not always right, but He’s always right. And you don’t know exactly what God’s will is for them, but He sure does. And I’m telling you that the best parent is still a bad Holy Spirit. And so I would encourage you, as we’re looking at the life of Jesus, and Mary and Joseph, and how they raised their children and their sons. Here’s what I want you to know, somehow the extended family and the immediate family had a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. And guess what they taught their kids? How to have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. They knew how to hear from God. They knew how to follow God, they knew how to obey God. They knew how to study the Bible, they knew how to pray, they knew how to worship, because they had a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. The most important thing that we can have as parents is a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. ‘Cause you think you’re a good person until you get married, then you realize you’re not. And then you start doing better and you feel pretty good. Then you have children, and you realize you’re worse than you thought. And so not only do the children need the Holy Spirit, so do the parents. Somehow Jesus’ parents were able to help Him and His siblings have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. So let me close with a few things. When our kids were really little, sometimes they would act up, and rebel and disobey. Here’s what I found was powerful. I would lay my hands and pray over them with love, and I would pray that the Holy Spirit would change their heart. ‘Cause I don’t have access to their heart, but He does. I saw my children’s heart melt before me as the Holy Spirit did His magnificent work. We prayed together, we read the Bible together. I’m not saying I’m the greatest father, but I’m saying without the Holy Spirit, I don’t think you can raise a healthy child. And when the kids were little, they’d say, “Okay, I got a question about this or I’m trying to figure out that.” And so what I would say is, “Okay, well, let’s pray about that together. Let’s go to this section of the Bible and talk about that. Why don’t you go get some time with the Lord, and just talk to Him and see if He doesn’t give you anything.” I was able to see, and I wanna publicly honor my kids, they’re amazing and I love them. And I would just ask a lot of leading questions like, “What is God teaching you,” and I just listen. “What are you thankful for? Is there anyone or anything that I can be praying for?” And then they would talk. And I just always wanted to see into their heart, and then invite the Holy Spirit to do His work in their heart. “Is there anything I can do for you? Is there a burden I can lift for you? Is there any gift I can give to you?” My kids know the questions, I still ask ’em all the time. And what I found was the best thing I could do for my child, or we could do for our children was help them to nurture a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. At a very young age, the kids had come, they’d be like, “I was praying and I feel like God said this.” Yay, if you know the will of God, oh, I am so relieved. Even when our kids went to get married, they’re like, “Okay, I think I’ve found the person.” They’re like, “What do you think?” I’m like, “Great, you picked great people, amazing, but are you convinced that this is God’s will for you?” And our married kids

went and they met with the Lord. And they came back, they’re like, “I prayed, fasted, I journaled, I talked to the Lord, I listened. The Lord spoke to me and said that I’m supposed to marry this person, that is the will of God.” Oh great, praise God. I think that it is impossible to parent without the Holy Spirit. And I think the reason that we’re having so many problems with parenting and children in our day, is we have allowed most of the teaching and most of the teachers of children, from counselors, to psychologists, to parenting experts, to teachers, we have allowed that to be dominated by people who don’t even have the Holy Spirit. And how in the world can you teach someone to have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit if you don’t have a relationship with the Holy Spirit? And so I love you, it’s an honor to teach. I’m gonna pray. How about we dedicate some really cute little kids? Would that be better? Okay, amen. So Father God, I do pray now, and I invite the person, and the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. God, if there’s any here that don’t know and love Jesus, I pray right now that they would be born again, brought from death to life through the powerful work of the Holy Spirit. God, for those of us who are single, as Mary and Joseph were, I pray that you would fill us with a spirit so that we could find and walk in your will. For those of us who are married, like these married couples Elizabeth and Zachariah, and Mary and Joseph, I pray that we husbands and wives would be filled with, and led by and empowered by the Holy Spirit. God, as we raise children, I pray that we would invite the Holy Spirit into our conversations, invite the Holy Spirit into our discipline, invite the Holy Spirit into our fun and memory making times, invite the Holy Spirit into the good days and the bad days. And God, it is my prayer that we would dial up the relationship with our children, that we will dial down the rules. And that as we’re building a relationship with them, that we would help them to have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, would you change the hearts, and natures, and minds and desires of our children? Would you speak to them, would you lead them, would you guide them, would you instruct them, would you comfort them? Would you give them regulated emotional life and a wonderful worshipful life? In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Mark Driscoll
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