Tag: filled with the Holy Spirit

“Fill us with boldness!”

Scripture reading for May 10th:  Acts 4

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Acts 4:29-31 ” “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable Your servants to speak Your word with great boldness.  Stretch out Your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”  After they had prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”  

The disciples prayed to God after the arrest and release of Peter and John.  They did not ask for relief or vengeance on their persecutors, as one might expect.  Instead, they asked for more power and courage to preach the word of God!  They entrusted themselves even more fully to God and asked Him for miracles and signs in the Name of Jesus.  God was so pleased, that His answer came in a shaking of the place where they were gathered and a fresh infilling of the power of the Holy Spirit!

Observations for over-comers:  God delights in those who ask Him for courage and boldness to speak His word!  Always ask and expect a quick reply!  God is with you on this assignment!   “Do not let this book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Have I not commanded you:  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  (Joshua 1:8-9)

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Power to be a witness for Christ!

Scripture reading for November 6th: Acts 1-4

I was saved as a young teenager in a country Methodist Church in Iowa.  I gave my life to Jesus but did not know about the Holy Spirit or His work on my behalf.  I grew up, went to college, got married and began to build a family and farming business, still unaware of His presence and power.  I rededicated my life and my wife got saved in our late twenty’s and we began to hear about the Holy Spirit.  The people we were studying the Bible with were different.  They had power in their lives and were full of joy.  The talked about being filled with the Holy Spirit and we heard some of them praying in a different language!

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

As Jesus ascended into heaven and two men dressed in white told the disciples that this same Jesus would come back in the same manner as He left.  They were to wait for the promise of the Father as Jesus had instructed them!  (Luke 24:49-53)  This power from on high was sent from the Father to bless the disciples and enable them to do the work of God.

On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were all together in the upper room and suddenly, the wind began to blow!  Tongues of fire entered and rested on each one and they all began to speak with other tongues and glorify God.  They went out from that room speaking in other languages telling the wonderful works of God.  Peter stood up and preached and three thousand repented, were saved, baptized and told to receive this gift of the Father for power!  (Acts 2:38-41)

Let me encourage you to ask the Lord for this power.  (Luke 11:9-13)  The Holy Spirit is our “helper” sent from the Father to live in those who believe on Jesus Christ.  (John 16:7-15)  He takes the Word of God and reveals it to us.  He is our Counselor.  He is our “baptizer” and fills us with the power we need to be effective witnesses for our Lord Jesus!

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The Holy Spirit and Missions

Scripture reading for June 19th:  Acts 12:24-13:15

We see the Holy Spirit deeply involved in the missions effort of the early church.  At Antioch, the church met with various prophets and teachers gathering together for worship and fasting.  During a worship service, the Holy Spirit spoke through one of the prophets, giving a word of knowledge and instruction.  “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)  The church continued the time of fasting and worship and then laid hands on these men and sent them on their journey.  The Holy Spirit had already been leading them and this word confirmed that now was the time to go.

They went by boat to the Island of Cyprus.  They went to the Jewish synagogues and preached to the Jews the word of Christ.  As they traveled, they met a Jewish false prophet and sorcerer named Elymas, who was an attendant to Sergius Paulus, the Proconsul of the island.  Sergius Paulus sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God.  They were opposed by Elymas and he tried to hinder their ministry.  The Holy Spirit rose up in Saul (Paul), and he looked at this sorcerer and rebuked him: “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right!   You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery.  Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?  Now the hand of the Lord is against you.  You are going  to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.” (Acts 13:10-11)  This blindness came on Elymas immediately and when the Proconsul saw this happen, he believed!

These missionaries traveled from city to city, led by the Holy Spirit.  Their pattern was to go first to the Jews and preach Jesus Christ.  When opposition arose from the Jews and religious spirits, they went to the God-fearing Gentiles who were open to be saved.  (Acts 13:42-48)  This was the word of the Lord that they followed and God through the Holy Spirit brought a harvest  among the Gentiles!  When persecution came up against them, they did what Jesus had taught them, shaking the dust from their feet they went to another city!  (Acts 13:51-52)  Even with the persecution, these disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit!

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Sunday Rest and Reflection:Wise Living

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the wonderful name of the Lord!  The earliest church members were accused of being drunk on wine on the day of Pentecost!  Instead, they had the best “high” of all, they were filled with the Holy Spirit!  I pray that you will find joy and fellowship in God’s house today with the people of God!  Worship and God’s word have wonderful after-effects of hope, encouragement and peace in our souls.

As I reflect on the readings of the last week in Proverbs, I am struck by the great need for God’s wisdom in our lives today.  We can so easily become drunk, not just with alcohol, but with the ways of this world and our flesh.  Material things and indulgence also dull our souls and cause us to live without purpose.  Living for self and things is empty and leaves no lasting satisfaction because stuff doesn’t last and we always want more and better.  It becomes outdated, breaks down, or loses it’s ability to give us pleasure.

The fear and honor of God is the beginning of wisdom and source of all true purpose and satisfaction.  When I live for God and seek to love and honor Him, I find myself thinking His thoughts and desiring His ways.  He is loving and compassionate to all.  As I love God, I find myself loving others and wanting the best for them.  When I love God and love others, I am most like God and most satisfied with my life and purpose!  This is the essence of wise living and a life that God can bless.

May the Lord give you wisdom today to live wisely in this life!  “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is our righteousness, holiness and redemption.  Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”” (1st Corinthians 1:30-31)

In His Love,  Pastor John

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