I Will Pour Out My Spirit

5th June

“‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out My Spirit upon all people.’ Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out My Spirit even on my servants – men and women alike – and they will prophesy.’”

Acts 2:17-18

Long ago, through the prophet Joel, a prophecy was foretold, that God’s very Spirit would be poured out on all mankind. Jesus alluded to this many times throughout His earthly life and ministry. He promised that when He ascended after His resurrection, that all the disciples and followers of Jesus would be ‘baptised with the Holy Spirit’. Yet what does this mean for us now?

Well, firstly, we must realise, that this promise was not exclusive to the disciples, but for all who put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Notice that God said through Joel’s words that His Spirit would be poured out on all people; men, women, servants, kings, rulers and workers. It is not restricted or hindered by who you are. If you believe, He will freely give you the gift of His Spirit.

Secondly, the Holy Spirit, is not some strange mist flowing around us. The Holy Spirit is a person. He lives in us, to empower us to live for Jesus, He supernaturally reveals Jesus to us, He leads us, He guides us, He comforts us, He convicts us of our sins when we do wrong but also leads us to the grace and mercy found in Jesus’ love. He helps us pray. He gives us supernatural gifts to extend God’s Kingdom here on this earth. He produces Godly fruit in us, so that we might reflect Jesus in the world around us. He makes us brave and bold to share the Good news. He reveals God’s word to us, helping us understand the mysteries of God’s heart. This is who the Spirit is and He lives in us. Let us thank Him for the work He does, and for the wonderful day of Pentecost when He poured Himself out for ALL of humanity!

 

What Does Jesus’ Sacrifice Mean For Me? Power

19th April

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”

Romans 8:11

Did you know that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead after His gruesome and treacherous death, is the same power that lives in us if we have accepted the gift of salvation in our lives.

The book of Romans describes the power that sin had over our lives before the great exchange happened, when Jesus our Lord and Saviour, willingly gave His life as an exchange for our sin, and paid the debt that we owed. Before we accepted this outrageous act of love, we were what Paul describes as dead: dead in our sins (spiritually dead). Yet when we accepted Jesus into our lives, we agreed that the resurrection power of the Spirit of God would come and co-habit our lives. Yes, that same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. WOW.

The One who made the very breath that we breathe has given us new life. We are alive in Christ because of the Holy Spirit’s work in us! What an awesome opportunity to get to know the person of the Holy Spirit. Yet why does His power live in us? Is it just so we can have a happy life, see signs and wonders, or is it more than that?

Well the answer is all of the above. The Holy Spirit lives in us to open our hearts and minds to what Jesus did for us on the cross and help us to accept the gift of salvation that is freely presented to us, enabling us to have an intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Yet salvation was never meant to be a secret. In fact you are not saved to be an individual locked inside a cushioned room. If the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us and resurrected you from your sin, then use that power to tell others. Show them that God is real and is longing for a relationship with them!

Receiving Power

9th – 10th

Weekend Edition

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on 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 said a lot of things to His disciples throughout His lifetime, but these words here in Acts, the final before His ascension, are arguably the most significant words He ever said to them. First, He spoke of the imminent baptism of the Holy Spirit, which would in fact change the dynamics of ‘evangelism’, then, He told them how the gospel would be spread across the world.

The most significant thing in sharing God’s word with others is the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads us, guides us, reveals God’s plan for ours and others lives and equips us with the tools (Spiritual gifts) to share Jesus with others. Well what do we share about Jesus? Answer: Everything. Jesus came and showed us how to live, He showed us God on earth and His teachings changed and continues to change the world. His wisdom, His love, His grace, His teachings and His life are a ‘prototype’ for our lives and an example we have to follow and teach others to follow too. Jesus’ own commission to the disciples was that they were to share about Him to everyone, everywhere.

Because of the above reasons, many today and in the past have committed to serving Jesus, following His teachings and making Him their God. The Holy Spirit’s power in equipping people with the tools to share about Jesus with others is as real today as it was on the day of pentecost. Many have been saved but there are still many more people in the world who need to hear about Jesus. May Jesus’ prayer be for you today .. . . .’Go and share Jesus with others: Be empowered by the Holy Spirit.’

Living In The Spirit

23rd -24th January

Weekend Edition

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

Galatians 5:16-17

So often we fight to live righteously because we want to obey God’s commands and keep holy. Yet Paul writes in verse 4 of chapter 5 that, “.. if you are trying to make yourself right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.” These may seem like strong words, but the context of this verse is a people group (the church in Galatia), trying to please God by obeying Moses’ law, rather than relying on the grace of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit. We too can fall into this bracket when we tirelessly try to uphold the law, even with our best intentions. Yet even our best intentions will fall short because our motives are in “doing” rather than “being led”.

Simply put, the way to live righteously before God, is not to get caught up in trying to keep God’s commandments, but rather by being led by the Holy Spirit. Let us be clear, that it is in surrendering to the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives that we can have victory over our sinful nature’s cravings, as He leads us to righteous living, rather than we trying to live righteously. It is only when we fully submit to the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives, that we can be free of “doing” and “religious works”, and be” fully alive in the grace of Jesus. The weight of trying to gain God’s favour by the obeying His law is lifted and we are set free to fully live liberated lives.

If we know that there is nothing we can do that will make God love us more, and nothing we can do that will make God love us less, then we will gladly rejoice in the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives, and can be free of our sinful nature’s cravings. Yes, there will always be a spiritual battle going on, but rather than trying to win it, we just need to rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us closer to God and further away from fleshly desires.

The Breath Of Jesus

7th April

“And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.””

John 20:22 

When Jesus rose from the dead, He returned to His disciples to encourage and commission them. However, the disciples were mourning their chosen King who was crucified. He even was handed over to the Romans by one of their friends. Not only were they mourning their Rabbi but also they were living in fear of persecution by the Jews. It is interesting to note that when Jesus revealed His identity to the disciples, He came bearing peace. Sometimes in our lives, when we are rocked by sad and shocking news, we need to invite Jesus into our situations and allow Him to being peace. Peace is not an emotion, peace is a person and that person is Jesus Christ. And His peace makes us glad, as it did for the disciples.

Jesus goes on to commission His disciples, and by doing so, sends them out into the world to share the good news of His salvation. However, as promised, He leaves them with a parting gift. Jesus knew that in and of their own strength, the disciples would fail. Jesus breathed on His disciples giving them the Holy Spirit. This is the same breath that breathed life into mankind from the beginning of time. When Adam was without life, God breathed His Spirit into his nostrils and gave him life. Here, Jesus breathes His Spirit into the disciples and gives them life; Life to be able to fulfil the great commission.

Our new birth is a fruit of the breath and peace of God in our lives and situations. It is this breath that gives us the strength to preserve through life’s hardship, and to fully fulfil the great commission that was given to all the children of God, not just the disciples. May Jesus breath His life giving Spirit in you and fill you with His perfect peace!