Pastor Joshua Sponsler | Good, Good News
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Pastor Joshua Sponsler

Loving God with Everything | Mark 12:28-31

Loving God with Everything
By: Pastor Joshua Sponsler

“And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31 ESV

God has brought me back to these verses over and over again this year. I love God so much, but I do not love him with everything inside of me. I love people a lot, but I do not always love them like I love myself.

Anytime there is any command in the Bible the seems impossible, it is in our own ability. That is why God sent us the Holy Spirit, to dwell in us and lead us into all truth. Because of the Holy Spirit, these impossible things become invitations to those who are in Jesus. Invitations to grow closer to Him. The Jews lived under the law. There were 613 laws that had to be followed perfectly to be right with God. Jesus summed them all up into two invitations: love God with everything you have, and love people with the love of Jesus.

“Success in the kingdom of God looks like love.”

As I was reading over these verses, God showed me something. He said, “Success in the kingdom of God looks like love.” This is not the love of the world, but the pure, unconditional love that God first loved us with. The only way we are able to love God is by Him first loving us with His perfect love. “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 ESV As we are loved by God, His love transforms us and shifts our hearts to love Him with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind and all of our strength.Following Jesus is not hard. Our Jesus made it so simple, love God and love people. Let’s pursue His kingdom together.

* Find three days and take 10 mins to get by yourself. Turn on some instrumental music and ask God what He loves about you. Write down the first thing that comes into your head. Everything God says to us is full of love, encouragement, and truth. If it does not line up with love or the Bible, it is not God. Take what you wrote down and share it with a close friend who is walking with God to see what they think. Come into the love of God.

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit | Mark 3:28-30

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit | Mark 3:28-30
By Pastor Joshua Sponsler

Mark 3:28-30

28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

If the Bible says that there is sin that has eternal consequences, and cannot be forgiven, I definitely would like to understand it. I have never understood what it meant blaspheme the Holy Spirit. I have thought that it could mean if you curse or disagree with the Holy Spirit you would have committed the unforgivable sin, but about those who don’t know Jesus yet, or those who don’t know what they are doing, and they commit it ignorantly? What happens to them? Let’s look at what the Mark says.

To understand any passage in the Word, it is helpful to read and understand the surrounding context of what you are reading. To clarify the context, Jesus was speaking to the scribes, some of the religious leaders of their day, according to verse 22. Earlier in Mark chapter 1, Jesus was baptized in water and the Holy Spirit. After this baptism he began spreading the good news of the kingdom of God and showing the kingdom through many signs, wonders and miracles. When Jesus would speak, demons would manifest in the audience. When they did he would simply cast out them out. The kingdom of heaven was advanced through the power of the Holy Spirit. These religious rulers accused Jesus of casting out demons by being possessed  and using the devil’s authority. Not only did they miss the kingdom of God and eternal life, but they condemned Jesus and the one who sent Him (God). Along with this grievous and conscious choice to oppose God, the people who were supposed to teach Israel how to follow God instead used their authority to try to turn others away for God’s kingdom. That is why the consequence of this sin is so weighty.

Today the Kingdom of Heaven is still advanced through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is still blasphemed. Have you blasphemed the Holy Spirit? Can you still be saved if you are not sure of this answer? If you are asking these question, the answer is no, you have not. Blaspheming this aspect of the Trinity is conscious and willful opposition to the the advancing of the kingdom of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. A person who commits it would know that they had because it is a willful decision. If a person consciously and willfully speaks against the Holy Spirit, who is testifying about Jesus, it is sin that carries eternal consequences.

Search your heart and see if there is anything in that stands in opposition to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life

Search your heart and see if there is anything in that stands in opposition to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. We do not want anything that comes close to blaspheming the Holy Spirit, because it holds us back from walking in the fullness of what God has for us. If there’s anything that feels resistant to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life or the message of Jesus, lay down your resistance at the feet of Jesus and let God come and fill you all in all.  Give these unsurrendered parts  to him today, turn away from them and ask for forgiveness. When you do this He will be faithful to wash clean you through the blood of Jesus.