The theme of the 2019 NALC Convocation was Walking by the Spirit with the Fruit of the Spirit. To “walk in the Spirit” means that you have first received the Holy Spirit. While we often think of the Holy Spirit in terms of a force, the Bible presents Him as a personal Being, calling the Spirit “He” & “Comforter.” He comes to us not of Himself but when Jesus sends Him: “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you”. (John 16:7 NIV) “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you”. (John 16:13,14 NIV) While Jesus is glorified in heaven the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts, of Jesus, to glorify Him, advance the Kingdom & to mature us spiritually by enabling our prayer life & giving us the power to overcome. He is also the rock bed of the assurance of our salvation. He sheds light on the Word & uses it to confirm our status as a “child of God.” He is given to us as a guarantee of our claim as heirs to the Kingdom. “Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come”. (2 Corinthians 5:5 NIV) Having the gift of the Spirit means we have the mind of Christ for as He lives in the heart of Christ, He is also in ours. “At this, some of his disciples said to one another, ‘What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’’?” (John 16:17)
A recommendation: The Heart of Christ in Heaven to Sinners on Earth – Thomas Goodwin
If you have a teenage daughter or granddaughter & are looking for a gift idea, I recommend a book by Kristen Hatton called Face Time: Your Identity in a Selfie World. There are talking points for you & your teen that include body image, drinking, sex, sexual identity & self-harm. She also emphasizes the cross of Jesus as the place to find yourself. She brings up justification, sanctification & idolatry. You will want to read it yourself first as Ms. Hatton provides a guide for parents at the end of each chapter.
If you are planning on retiring this year you might enjoy the nine-week study Retirement: The Good, the Bad, the Blessings by the Rev. Dr. Beverly C. Debord, put out by Sola Publishing.