September 14, 2020
Other than the coming of Christ, the single greatest historical event of the New Testament is found in Acts, Chapter 2. On this promised day, God sent His Spirit to the disciples who had followed Christ and instituted a new age.
In this next era, every true believer in Jesus would receive the Holy Spirit into their lives upon conversion. Jesus had promised this in John 14.
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
God authenticated this moment—just like He did on the night of Jesus’ birth—with great signs and wonders. Forever after in this life, each believer would have God’s Spirit indwelling them. He would provide the power to live the Christ-life. He would give the means to overcome the world, even in the darkest circumstances. He would give constant comfort and encouragement, protection and care. He would interpret His Word, the Bible to us. Jesus said, “I will be WITH YOU always, even to the end of the age” in Matthew 28:20 and this was the way that promised was accomplished.
THE ULTIMATE GOAL
The great purpose of this indwelling is that our lives would be restored to the Creators initial intent—that we would know God and glorify Him just as all of creation.
But the outworking of this indwelling is seen instantly in Acts 2. The Spirit came and there was a supernatural sign of “tongues of fire … resting on each one of them and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit was giving them utterance” (Acts 2:3-4). This was not a mindless gibberish, but they were speaking the gospel to the people who were gathered there for the Pentecost festival “from every nation under heaven.”
When asked what was happening, Peter (filled with the Holy Spirit) began to preach the gospel. Thousands of people were pierced to the heart and cried out for salvation. And then we read this amazing statement:
“So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer … and the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:41-47)
We are filled to be used by God! To be His voice to all those around us who have not heard the gospel. The Holy Spirit’s indwelling is the source for the greatest joy and personal satisfaction this side of heaven. We have God in us! What could be better?
But God in us wants more. He knows we will never be fully released until we cooperate with His promptings to speak the gospel to others without fear. And they will never be complete until they hear and believe. And their salvation will lead to the building of His Church, His Bride, His Body on this earth that will carry out His mission and give the world a right opinion of Him.
His presence in each believer makes this a daily, powerful reality.
Father, thank You for Your incredible plan! Thank you that Your Spirit lives in me today! I can enjoy Your presence without intermission. I can pray without ceasing. You can help me through everything I encounter. Your Spirit gives me all I need for everything in life. But let me not miss the endgame. Open my mouth to proclaim the life-changing gospel to everyone I meet unashamedly so they can know You and have life eternal!
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March 02, 2021
Jealousy is always viewed in humans as a horribly destructive trait. Daniel Webster described it in his original 1828 dictionary as “the apprehension of superiority.” For instance, a person is jealous when they fear that someone has taken something that they want or may think they deserve for themselves; a position, an affection, an opportunity.
But is jealousy always wrong? Is it possible to be jealous for the right things? Is there a holy jealousy?
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