Friday, November 20

The Spirit in the Church - Part 5

How good is a coffee cup without any coffee in it? How good is a mechanical pencil without any lead? How good is a car without any gas? How good is a Twinkie without any white stuff?

Not so good!

All of these are things that require filling.

Ok then, how good is a believer without any Holy Spirit?

Acts 4:23-31

23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord," they said, "you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
" 'Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.'

27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."

31 After they 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.

In this passage we see the Holy Spirit at work in the Church. There are a couple of cool things that are worth noting.

First, the Holy Spirit gave them God's words. The Holy Spirit spoke the Scriptures through people. The Bible is not the collection of men's thoughts but the words of the Holy Spirit written down through men. When David penned the words quoted above I am not sure he knew that he was writing Scripture but the Holy Spirit was writing through David.
"The main thing to keep in mind here is that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion. And why? Because it's not something concocted in the human heart. Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God's Word."

1 Peter 1:20-21 from the Message
Second, the Holy Spirit gave them God's presence. The Holy Spirit indwells all believers. We have God on the inside. God with a body. It is a great privilege to be have God on the inside but some believers experience more of God than others. You see, all are indwelt but not all are filled. Filling is a condition based on our dependence on the Spirit. As we are surrendered and dependent on Him so we are filled with Him.

As the disciples prayed they were filled. The dependence reflected in their prayers honors the Lord. There might be a principle here for us to learn.

Finally, the Holy Spirit gave them God's boldness. The disciples were facing death for sharing the good news about Jesus. Once filled they were without fear. They were able to finish the mission of sharing the word and presence of Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

We all live with some level of fear, rejection and pain. The Holy Spirit enables believers to speak about Jesus with boldness. In fact, this might be a good test as to our filling with the Spirit. If we are fearful of sharing Christ, if we are allowing our worry of rejection to override our calling to talk about Jesus we might need to pray as ask for boldness.

Seek to be filled with the Spirit of God. How do we do this?
1. Read the word He spoke! Read and expect God, the Holy Spirit, to speak to you. Read with an eye for obedience.
2. Pray for filling! Though this is not what they prayed for here in Acts, it is a byproduct of their prayer for boldness. I think it is good to ask the Holy Spirit to fill us and use us each day.
3. Speak Jesus to others! There are few things that honor God more than to speak about His Son. I can tell you that many times I have shared Christ with someone I usually get a strong sense of the Spirit's filling. Sometimes He will even give me the exact words to say to someone. This happens more often than not.

So many great things waiting for you today if you are filled with the Spirit. Be a Twinkie ... be filled ... seek it!

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.

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