Power In The Spirit

30th April

Weekend Edition

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.””

Romans 8:15

Friends, brothers and sisters. We are no longer slaves to fear. We are longer slaves to sin. We are set free, we have been un-shackled, and we have been equipped to walk in that freedom, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to fully live as God’s own children. Yes, we are adopted into His Kingdom, our filthy rags have been taken off, we are baptised and cleansed in water and through the Spirit, and are clothed with God’s own righteousness. We call the creator of the world, Abba, Father. Dad! That is who you are. That is who all who call upon the name of the Lord are viewed by God Himself. Anything contrary to that is a lie. We are God’s precious children, heirs to His Kingdom and inheritors of His blessings.

We no longer have to give into to fear. We longer have to fear who we are in Christ. We longer have to fear our past. Jesus paid it all. That fear is washed away. We can take full confidence in who we are in Him. We are HIS! Be blessed and enjoy living in the freedom, blessings and identity of who you are in Christ. Live in the freedom of the Spirit and enjoy God’s inheritance.

Living By The Spirit

29th April

Therefore, brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”

Romans 8:12-14

Isn’t it amazing that the God all of creation, sent His Son Jesus Christ to be our substitution for our sins. God knew that we couldn’t reach His level’s of perfection by our own strength, so He sent One that could and now that One, Jesus Christ, continually stands as our mediator. If it just ended there then we have enough of a reason to celebrate God’s grace for eternity. Yet the incredible truth is that it didn’t end there. When Jesus left this earth, the Holy Spirit was given to us to help us continue to live as children of God. It’s like God almost said ‘ok, you are now made right with Me because of My Son, but I want to help you live even better lives, so I am sending the Holy Spirit too!

Living ‘better’ lives or lives that please God, isn’t just so He can watch us and say ‘look at my well behaved puppets’. On the contrary, it is so we can be free to live life in all of life’s fullness, it is to protect us from danger and it to live more like His children. Furthermore, living for Jesus, saves us from spiritual death, “for if you live by its (sins) dictates, you will die.”

Living by the Spirit moves us away from living in the regrets and the ‘ifs and buts’ of the past but helps us to look forward. It edges us closer to the fullness of God and life in Him. It is only there that you will experience true joy, freedom and happiness. God sent Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins and the Holy Spirit to lead us into Godly living. They are both a free gift of God.

Power And Supernatural Boldness

28th April

They bought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people……let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that He was healed by the powerful Name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead.””

Acts 4:7-8,10

Yesterday we discussed what it means to have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit, as promised by Jesus in His last words. On that wonderful day, on the day of Pentecost, almost 2000 years, God in His grace poured out His Spirit on the disciples gathered in prayer, and filled them with more of His presence, equipped them with Spiritual gifts, empowered them with ability to share Jesus with others, and the ability to have a deeper and closer walk with God. It is from that meeting, that the ‘church’ was birthed and from the ‘church’ missionaries were raised up to send the Gospel worldwide, a move which is still in action today.

Yet one of the most significant changes, after being filled and equipped by the Holy Spirit, is the change in the life of Peter. Before the gift of the Holy Spirit, Peter was like any other man. He bitterly denied Jesus three times, and after Jesus’ death returned to fishing, as if almost abandoning the commission Jesus had given him. Yet what is incredible, is that change that took place in Peter after the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Firstly in Acts 2 verse 14, we read that “..Peter stepped forward … and shouted to the crowds…” proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord, then again in Acts 2 verse 40 .. . “Peter continued preaching strongly for a long time..”, and in many other places, including in today’s passage. This is the same man who was so scared of the Pharisees that he completely denied even knowing Jesus.

When we are equipped with the right tools to share Jesus with others, our insecurities leave, and our weakness are made strong in Christ. May we all be filled with more of the Holy Spirit, daily, to preach Jesus with boldness and without fear!

The Holy Spirit

27th April

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit come upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:8

Jesus’ last words before He was taken up to Heaven, still stand as the most world changing words in the Bible. Of course John 3:16 is probably the most famous of Jesus’ words, and what wonderful words they are. Yet Jesus’ last words in Acts 1:8, are a constant reminder that it is not by our own might, strength or power that we can share Jesus with others, it is by the power of the Holy Spirit in us.

The Holy Spirit’s work in sharing the Good News to others, first starts in our hearts. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:10 that it is the Holy Spirit who reveals and “shows us God’s deep secrets”. God’s secrets are not hidden or unattainable things, but truth that God reveals through the Holy Spirit to those searching and seeking after Him. Jesus says of the Holy Spirit, in John 16:8 that “..when He comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgement.” The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, almost like a holy alarm bell in our hearts, and then shows us Jesus, the One who can heal and forgive our sins because of what He did on the cross. Jesus adds in verse 13 that, “when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you (us) into all truth..” The truth is that we need to be saved by a Saviour, and that Saviour is Jesus Christ.

It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can know fully what Jesus did on the cross and by His power we can share that truth with others. Praise the Lord.

Our General

26th April

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”

Proverbs 16:9

So often we are told that as Christians, planning for the future is not good, as we should just take one day at a time and not trust in our own plans. Although there is a tiny amount of truth in the above statement, planning for the future is not in and of itself wrong. Rather it is wisdom. Jesus Himself planned for the future and promised the Holy Spirit after His ascension. Nehemiah diligently planned for the future in his God-given desire to re-build Jerusalem’s walls. Paul planned his visits to the many churches he planted after his release from prison.

What is important to note, is that a plan without God at the centre, can turn out to be disastrous and become self-glorfying rather than Jesus-gloryfing. It is in fact the Lord who leads and guides us when we make decisions and plans for our futures. It is the Spirit’s guiding that prompts us to make the right decisions. When we are lead by the Lord, we can have full trust that even when tough times come, even when there may be opposition to our plans and ideas, God is at the centre and will bring it to pass. In addition, if our plans are birthed from God’s heart, then we can take full confidence that our plans are in the centre of God’s will for our lives too. As the writer of Proverbs says, “Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”

Let us surrender our lives to Him, allow Him to reveal His perfect will as we plan for our futures and allow Him to lead us in that path. Let the Lord determine your steps.

Our Kinsman-Redeemer

25th April

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).”

Galatians 3:13

Israel had statutes that provided for stability in society: regulation of debt, slavery, poverty, the transfer of property, and the preservation of families and clans. The story of Ruth is an example. When she found herself a young widow, one of her former husband’s relatives—Boaz, known as a kinsman-redeemer—stepped in to marry her and purchase her former father-in-law’s property.

When people found themselves in unfortunate circumstances, God provided ways of redemption—a way to be delivered from trouble through the extended family. That provision is fully manifested in the New Testament. Christians are adopted into God’s family (Romans 8:15-16), a family in which Jesus Christ is the firstborn Son (verse 29), and we are co-heirs with Him of all God’s promises (verse 17). When we found ourselves in trouble—guilty of sin—God sent His firstborn Son to redeem us and incorporate us into God’s family. Jesus Christ is our Kinsman-Redeemer.

Thank God today that, though you were once an orphan and cast out, you have been purchased by Christ’s blood and made an heir of God.
 

I know that my Redeemer lives! What joy the blest assurance gives!

Samuel Medley1

 

1Today’s devotion is taken from Turning Point, Daily Devotions

Whats Does Jesus’ Sacrifice Mean For Me? Freedom

23rd & 24th April

So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

John 8:36

Jesus said in John 10:10, that the enemies purpose is to steal, kill and destroy, yet His purpose is to give us life and life in all of its fullness. Yet what does that look like for a believer? It means freedom!

We, as believers and followers of the resurrected Christ, have been given freedom from the bondage that sin brings, the condemnation, the lies, the hurts and the bitterness. We no longer have to hold on to those things but can live as free people. The Apostle Paul, in Romans 6:6 puts it like this, “we know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.” We are free. We are free to live shackle-less lives. We do not have to be bound by sins grasp.

Being free, gives us a platform to be who we are supposed to be in Christ. We longer have to hide behind the masks of ‘fitting in to look cool’ to a sinful world but rather when our identity is found in Christ, there is no one we have to impress anymore. We know we are loved and accepted by Christ. Period. This knowledge gives us the ability to live free lives. We can be all that God intended us to be. Free from all that caged us in!

So, as Jesus said, If the Son sets you free, YOU ARE FREE INDEED!

Whats Does Jesus’ Sacrifice Mean For Me? A Discipling Commission

22nd April

“….“I have been given all authority in Heaven and on the earth. Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all of the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18b-20

When Jesus was just about to leave earth after His bodily resurrection, He commissioned His disciples with the words found in today’s verse. Those same words are applicable to our lives and that commission stands as our commission too. Not only are we to be a light to the world, but also we are to disciple people into a loving relationship with the Father.

When someone gives their life to Jesus, surrenders their own will and desires and accepts God’s loving gift of salvation, they enter into a relationship with Jesus. Our walk and journey with Christ is not always easy as there are so many distraction in this world to lead us away from spending time with Christ and staying faithful to Him. This is where discipling comes in. We are called to help young believers along the path of life, as they walk and journey into new depths in their relationship with Christ. In truth, as a Bible College lecturer once said, ‘in our lives there should be at least one person you are discipling and one person you are being discipled from‘. We all can benefit from discipleship.

So what is discipleship? It is spending time with someone, showing them what Jesus taught His own disciples. Or as Jesus put in His words, “teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.” In essence, discipleship is journeying along side someone, teaching them how to live lives as sons and daughters of God. If you feel that task is too daunting or feel like you are not good enough, then think again. Jesus Himself assured us that He will be with us, even to the end of the age! That means forever. Go and make disciples of many!

Whats Does Jesus’ Sacrifice Mean For Me? Healing

21st April

Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the Name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”

Acts 3:4-6

Do you realise that after you were born again, you became part of God’s family? You joined millions on this earth who would call you brother or sister! Furthermore, you join the billions who have gone before us, but yet whom we will meet again when Christ returns. We are all one big family. You are not on your own. The best news of all is that our loving Father shows no partiality or favour with any of His children. We are loved the same, and can all access the unlimited grace of God, whether we have been believers for seconds, years or lifetimes. Because of the inheritance we have as sons and daughters of the Most High God, we too can access the power that is in the Name of Jesus.

Today’s Bible verse is an extract from the story of Peter and John’s healing of the man crippled from birth, found in the book of Acts. In this story we learn that Peter and John accessed the power of Jesus’ Name, as Sons of God, to pray for a crippled man and see a healing miracle. Guess what, that same power is available to us today. Jesus’ time on this earth was spent healing people. Form physical sickness, spiritual oppression, emotional healing and even natural phenomenons, Jesus showed that He was God and that He cared for His creation through His works. Jesus today promised us with His own words that we will be equipped with power from on High, to heal the sick, cast out evil spirits and bring many to Him.

Let us join Peter and John and live out the great commission. Let us access the healing power of Jesus Christ, for our own lives and to spread Christ to the nations, through signs, wonders and miracles. Let us fully understand the greatness of Jesus, God who lives in us!

What Does Jesus’ Sacrifice Mean For Me? Being Born-Again

20th April

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by His great mercy we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead…”

1 Peter 1:3a

Over the last few weeks we have been looking at all of the benefits we can participate and rejoice in, due to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today we continue with this theme as we celebrate our lives, as born-again children of God.

Put plainly, being born again is not a physical re-entry into the mother’s womb to be born again, but it is an inward death of your old lifestyle and a new beginning in Christ. When Jesus enters our lives, we are given a new life. This new life is in tune with God’s heart, aware of right and wrong and free to live fully in the freedom that God has always desired for us His children. We are created to worship, to rejoice, and to live life in all of its fullness. Being born again is like you have come alive again.

Because Jesus was raised again on the third day, we can rejoice in His resurrection and we too can be resurrected with Christ. Our sinful lives put to death when Christ breathed His last breath and our new lives resurrected with Him. So rejoice, we have been born again.