Tag: Gift of the Holy Spirit

Understanding our inheritance!

Scripture reading for August 26th: Isaiah 20-22, 1st Corinthians 2

1st Corinthians 2: 9-14 “But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him”–these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit Who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

God’s Word reveals amazing truths to those who believe in Jesus Christ. These truths cannot be understood or seen visibly by natural men and women, who do not have God’s Holy Spirit residing in them. God wants His children to know Him and to know who they are and what belongs to them. The Holy Spirit knows even the depths of God and can bring knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to God’s children as He wills and they have need to know. He will also use them to impart this wisdom, even giving them the words and wisdom at the appropriate time. Natural man looks on these truths as folly!

1st Corinthians 2:16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, baptize me again with the Holy Spirit! I realize my dependence and the awesome Gift that You have given me to help me understand Your thoughts and my own part in Your amazing plan of salvation. Fill my mouth with spiritual words to meet the needs for ministry to lost and hurting people in these last days before Your glorious return.

Example of spiritual truth and wisdom: Isaiah 22:15-17 “Thus says the Lord God of Hosts, “Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the household, and say to him: What have you to do here, and whom have you here that you have cut out here a tomb for yourself, you who cut out a tomb on the height and carve a dwelling in the rock? Behold, the Lord will hurl you away violently, O strong man. He will seize firm hold on you and whirl you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a wide land.””

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The promised Holy Spirit

Scripture reading for April 15th: Judges 19-21, Acts 2

Acts 2: 37-41 “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”

Jesus had told His disciples before He ascended to heaven to wait in Jerusalem until they were clothed with power from on high. (Acts 1:8) After the visitation of wind and tongues of fire resting on the 120 disciples in the Upper Room, Peter began to preach to the crowd that had gathered for the celebration of the Jewish Feast of Pentecost. They fell under conviction of the Holy Spirit at the preaching of the Gospel and asked Peter what to do. He gave them the simple command to repent and then to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. He encouraged them to receive the gift of the Father, the Holy Spirit, Who was available to everyone! About three thousand responded in faith!

Acts 2:46-47 “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their home, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit and adoption into Your forever family. I thank You that this promise is all-inclusive and for all nations and peoples. Thank You that it is by grace through faith as we repent and believe. I am full of gratitude and want to give away Your gift to all You send me to. Day by day, add to Your Church those who are being saved! Not my will, but Yours be done!

Judges 21:25 “In those days thee was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

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God is no respecter of persons!

Scripture reading for May 19th:  Acts 10

Peter, now a Christ follower, had been a well-trained Jew.  He had been taught that Jews should maintain separation from Gentiles.  Gentiles were not to be associated with because they were not “God’s people” or “Abraham’s offspring.”  But God was interested in reaching Gentiles as well as Jews and making them all His children!

Cornelius was a Roman centurion stationed in Judea.  He was a man of prayer who feared God and helped the poor. An angel appeared to Cornelius and told him to send for Peter to come to him from Joppa.  At the same time, God gave Peter a vision of a large sheet with unclean animals on it.  “Get up, Peter, Kill and eat”  was what he heard.   Peter responded back, “Surely not Lord, I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”  (Acts 10:13-14)   After three exchanges like this, men from Cornelius appeared on the scene looking for Peter.  The Holy Spirit told Peter to go with them, even though they were Gentiles.

When Peter arrived at the centurion’s home, he found a large group of people waiting for him.  Cornelius told him how God had given instructions to send for him and now they were ready to listen.  “Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.  You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.””  Acts 10:34-36

As Peter preached the message, the Holy Spirit came on the Gentiles and they began to speak in other tongues and praise God.  Peter ordered that they all be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ!

 

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Pentecost continues in Samaria!

Scripture reading for June 12th:  Acts 8:14-40

Some in today’s religious community teach and believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was only for the days of the early church.  The apostle Peter stated in his opening message in Acts 2:38, that the gift of the Spirit was for them, their children and all who were far off–all the Lord our God would call.  This promise of the Holy Spirit was initially fulfilled on Pentecost after the resurrection.   Luke records the spread of this gift from Jerusalem to Samaria and then to the Gentiles. Today’s reading is about the Samaritans receiving the gift!

Luke tells us that after Stephen’s stoning, persecution caused the apostles and believers to spread out.  Saul was behind some of this persecution for he was enraged at the church and sought to destroy it.  He went from house to house and found believers and had them killed or imprisoned.  But God is not stopped by man’s anger!  In fact, during times of persecution, the light of the Gospel shines brighter through those whose faith is strong and secure!

Philip went to Samaria and proclaimed Christ there.  He did many miracles and cast out evil spirits, bringing healing to cripples and paralytics.  There was much joy in the community.  A man called Simon was a sorcerer and boasted that he also had great power.  He did magic and many had followed him, but when Philip came doing miracles, many believed in Jesus and were baptized.  Even Simon believed and was baptized and followed Philip everywhere. (Acts 8:9-13)

The apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of Christ, and Peter and John came for a meeting.  While there, they prayed for the new believers to receive the Holy Spirit and many were baptized as they laid their hands on them.  Simon saw this demonstration of power, most likely he heard them speaking in tongues.  He tried to offer money to the apostles so that he could get that ability.  Peter rebuked him sharply, calling on him to repent of his wickedness, bitterness, and sin.  Simon asked for prayer then as well.  (Acts 8:20-24)

God’s gifts are just that–gifts!  They can’t be bought, only received by faith with thanksgiving.  God is no respecter of persons either.  He will pour out His Spirit on all who seek!

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