Tag: Holy Spirit
Scripture reading for May 2nd: 1st Samuel 18-19, 1st Chronicles 3, Psalm 59, Acts 13
Acts 13:1-4 “Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.” So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus.”
The early church had certain gift people who were listed by name and called prophets and teachers. In this passage of Acts, Luke lists two of these men, Barnabas and Saul, who were prophetically called out during a time of worship and fasting and set apart for a mission. This mission had already been revealed by the Holy Spirit to both Saul and Barnabas but was now confirmed to them and the entire church body at Antioch. The church then prayed and fasted and then laid their hands on these men and sent them off on their assignment to reach lost people in places where the Gospel had not yet been preached. The Holy Spirit is Who is really speaking the Word of God to those who need it through those He chooses. God’s work is accomplished in God’s time and way in spite of opposition or dangers for God is with them.
Psalm 59:16-17 “But I will sing of Your strength; I will sing aloud of Your steadfast love in the morning. For You have been to me a Fortress and a Refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to You, for You, O God, are my Fortress, the God Who shows me steadfast love.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the Holy Spirit and the gift of prophesy and prophets. I offer my mind, body and tongue to be used by You to speak Your Truth and fulfill Your sacred work. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and wisdom today to speak Truth even in the face of persecution or rejection. I worship You and honor Your Holy Name!
1st Samuel 19:23-24 “And he (King Saul) went there to Naioth in Ramah. And the Spirit of God came upon him also, and as he went he prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. And he too stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay naked all that day and all that night. Thus it is said, “Is Saul also among the prophets?””
Scripture reading for April 28th: 1st Samuel 15-16, 1st Chronicles 1, Psalm 39, Acts 11
Acts 11: 13-18 “And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter: he will declare to you a message by with you will be saved, you and all your household.’ As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the Word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave the same Gift to them as He gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “‘Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.””
The early church leaders, being trained as Jews, often had trouble grasping God’s plan to save Gentiles. They had been taught that they must avoid the Gentiles because they were ‘uncircumcised’ and ‘unclean’. God had to give Peter a vision of a sheet with unclean foods on it coming down from heaven with the command to eat. He then instructed Peter to go to Cornelius’ house and Peter obeyed, taking other Jewish believers with him. When Peter shared the Gospel there, God poured the Holy Spirit out with the evidence of speaking in tongues. This silenced the resistance and broadened the Jewish believers understanding of God’s heart to reach both Jew and Gentile! He hears all cries for help and salvation!
Psalm 39:12-13 “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not Your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers. Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your patience and care for all people, regardless of nationality or social status. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, empowering us to pray and praise Your Name and share the Gospel message. Thank You for bringing repentance leading to eternal life to me and all who will receive the Good News of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!
1st Samuel 16:6-7 “When they came, he looked on Eliab and though, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.””
Scripture reading for March 25th: Deuteronomy 23-26, Luke 11
Luke 11:9-12 “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?””
God’s Word declares that He is a Good Father and that He gives good gifts to His children. Jesus gave His disciples the privilege of asking, seeking and knocking and promised results from God, His Father. He declared that as an earthly father looks out for the welfare of his children, God, the Father, would give them the best Gift, the Holy Spirit. The asking, seeking and knocking was an act of faith and centering on God and honoring Him. God views His children as His treasured possession and has promised to bless them with fame, honor, and holiness in His family forever and ever! Amen!
Luke 11:13 “”If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!””
Father God, thank You for daily and continual access to speak with You. Thank You for the promise of receiving, finding, and opening. Thank You for the best Gift, the Holy Spirit to live in me and be with me every minute of my journey on earth. Thank You that the Holy Spirit is forming holiness in my soul through taking Your Word and applying it to my life.
Deuteronomy 26:18-19 “And the Lord has declared today that you are a people for His treasured possession, as He has promised you, and you are to keep all His commandments, and that He will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that He has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the Lord your God, as He promised.”
Scripture reading for March 15th: Numbers 30-33, Psalm 35, Luke 3
Luke 3:15-18 “As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but He Who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of Whose sandal I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire, to clear His threshing floor and to gather the wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.”
John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin, born slightly before Him. John was called by God to be a prophet and to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. In doing so, He confronted the sins of the people and called them to repentance and to baptism as an act of cleansing. This preparation was not the end, but the entrance into a new relationship with God. Jesus Christ would complete the work necessary for the cleansing of all mankind from sin and its power on the cross through offering His body and blood. He would take the keys of death and hell from Satan and open the curtain for all who would believe to be in God’s presence. He would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Father, and fire to deeply cleanse and empower them. This all was amazing ‘good news!’
Numbers 31:21-23 “Then Eleazar the priest said to the men in the army who had gone to battle: “This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded Moses: only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, and everything that can stand the fire, you shall pass through the fire, and it shall be clean.”
Prayer: Father God, I thank You for preparing the way for Your Son to bring salvation to me and all mankind. I know that my faith through Your grace has brought salvation. Repentance too is a gift of grace received humbly by faith. Help me to share the ‘good news’ with those headed for the fire of Your judgment, that they might receive the gift of eternal life and be filled with the Holy Spirit and holy fire.
Psalm 35:27-28 “Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the Lord, Who delights in the welfare of His servant!” Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.”
Scripture reading for September 10th: 1st Corinthians 13
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 12:31; 13:1-3 “But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
Paul understood God’s amazing love and knew that no human could love like God unless God had first revealed His love to them in Christ Jesus. The Corinthians were zealous for the gifts of the Holy Spirit and according to Paul, that was proper to desire them, especially the ‘higher’ gifts. (prophesy?) But there was the ‘more excellent way’ that Paul wanted to emphasize. Love must be pursued first in all things and must flow to empower the gifts of the Holy Spirit. God’s love is “agape” love, a love that always seeks the best for those it loves. God’s Love stands above every form of worldly love and love is God and God is love! Through the Holy Spirit, a river of God’s love is released into our hearts when we repent and place our trust in Jesus. (Romans 5:5) All gifts and service to God must flow with His heart of love!
1st Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. Love never ends. . .”
Faith confession and prayer: Loving Father, thank You for the river of love given me by the Holy Spirit that flows from Your heart to this world of lost people. Fill me afresh today with Your love and remind me of it in every conversation, encounter, and activity. May I always use the gifts You have given me in the ‘more excellent way,’ pursuing love first!
1st Corinthians 13:13; 14:1 “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.”
Scripture reading for September 9th: 1st Corinthians 12
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 12:1-7 “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit; and there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God Who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
The Corinthians church was full of people who were once pagans and served dumb idols. The term ‘dumb’ means the inability to speak. But in the church of Jesus Christ, we serve a God Who is alive and speaks and gives gifts and empowers! Paul wanted none of the church to be ignorant concerning the Holy Spirit and the gifts He gives. He wanted them to grow in the grace of the gifts God had put within each member of the greater body. There is only one God, one Holy Spirit, and one Lord Jesus and when someone has been born again by the Holy Spirit, they will confess “Jesus is Lord.” They will never curse their Lord! There are also varieties of gifts of the Holy Spirit and varieties of service to the Lord, but our God is the only one to empower believers. These gifts and activities are all given for the common good, never to be boasted about or used for selfish purposes.
1st Corinthians 12:8-10 “For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for the wonderful Gift of the Holy Spirit, living in me and all who believe. Help me to grow more knowledgeable about the Holy Spirit and Your gifts that I might use the gifts you give to be a blessing to Your body, the Church. I proclaim by the Holy Spirit: “Jesus is Lord!”
1st Corinthians 12:11 “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, Who apportions to each one individually as He wills.”
Scripture reading for September 3rd: 1st Corinthians 8
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 8:7-11 “However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died.”
Paul was talking to the Corinthian believers who had come out of idolatry and found new freedom in Christ. Some were freely eating meat sacrificed to idols knowing that their eating had nothing to do with their salvation. This liberty was causing some of the believers, whose consciences were still weak, to stumble in their new-found faith. We can be right in our actions, but still be wrong if we cause others to stumble. The law of love says that I temper my actions and liberty to help and encourage my weaker brothers and sisters to grow in grace. I will do nothing that knowingly causes my brothers to stumble. Love never fails! Because of Christ’s love of all people and His desire for their salvation, we who have knowledge can limit our liberty to demonstrate our sincere commitment to Christ and build up weaker believers.
Romans 14:14-15 “I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for declaring all foods clean and the liberty given by grace to believers. I am thankful for knowledge through Your Word but mindful of Your great love for all. Give me grace to know when to limit my liberty to help those who are still weak in their faith and not cause them to stumble. Fill me with Your love and wisdom through the Holy Spirit.
Romans 14:17-19 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and mutual upbuilding.”
Scripture reading for September 1st: 1st Corinthians 6
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 6:9-11 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God And such were some of you. But you were washed, your were sanctified, you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
The Corinthian believers lived in a very carnal and immoral culture. Most of the believers had been saved from the sins of that culture and were growing in Christ. However, some in the Church still were involved in their past sins and failed to repent or allow the washing and sanctification of the Holy Spirit to cleanse them. Some were deceived and it was also confusing the whole church. Paul reminds them that those failing to repent and turn away from their sins will not inherit the kingdom of God. True repentance and salvation brings cleansing and washing from sin’s grip and increasing holiness as the Spirit sets us apart for Christ alone for eternity. Those claiming to be believers must be held to account by the body and leaders.
1st Corinthians 6:14-15 “And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!”
Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for clear instructions about what the Holy Spirit truly does for us in washing and cleansing us and preparing us to live in Your presence for eternity. As we await the resurrection of our bodies and total transformation at the return of Jesus Christ, help us to live like Your sanctified children, glorifying You in our bodies.
1st Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, Whom you have from God? You are not you own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Scripture reading for June 28th: Titus 3
Key Scriptures: Titus 3:3-7 “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, Whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
All believers have a past life. Paul described it in this passage and it is not very complementary. Paul says we were foolish, slaves, full of malice and envy and specializing in hatred and headed for God’s wrath and judgment. This was all that was possible in our sinful condition that we inherited from birth. But God through His Son, Jesus Christ, showed us His own goodness and kindness, leading us to repentance and faith. Through faith, not works, we gained mercy and were washed and renewed and filled with the Holy Spirit. God Himself, through Christ’s sacrifice, justifies all who believe and adopts them into His eternal family giving them an everlasting inheritance: the sure hope of eternal life! What a miraculous turn-around in our life and destiny because of God’s mercy in Christ! In response, we offer ourselves to God for His use in good works through faith.
Titus 3:14 “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great mercy and willingness to sacrifice Your own body on my behalf. Thank You for pouring on me and all who believe the Holy Spirit and revealing the hope of eternal life. In response to your great love, I give myself to You to be used as You will to accomplish Your great plan of salvation in all who will believe! To You be all glory, now and forever!
Romans 2:4-5 “Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”
Scripture reading for April 19th: Acts 10
Key Scriptures: Acts 10:30-33 “And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter, He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”
Peter was the chief of the apostles of Jesus Christ and he was a devout Jew. Jews must never go to the house of a Gentile, or so Peter was taught. However, God gave him a dream of a sheet coming down from heaven with all kinds of unclean foods. He was commanded to arise, kill and eat. This happened three times and Peter was struggling to understand when the three men sent by Cornelius arrived at Peter’s lodging. The Holy Spirit spoke to Peter that he should go with them to Cornelius’ home. As he arrived, Cornelius shared his side of God’s directions and asked him to share what God had given him! Now that is a preachers dream come true! Peter preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God gave them salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit!
Acts 10:44-46 “While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the Word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for preparing hearts of seekers to hear the Gospel message. Thank You for sending Your people to preach that salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit would be poured out through their obedience. Open doors for me today to share Your Word with seekers who are ready to receive Your Word.
Isaiah 9:2 “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.”