Tag: Holy Spirit

Receiving the Holy Spirit!

Scripture reading for May 30th:  Acts 19, Psalm 108, Proverbs 15

Key Scriptures:  Acts 19:1-6 “. . .Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus.  there he found some disciples.  And he said to them,”Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”  And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”  And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?”  They said, “Into John’s baptism.”  And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the One who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”  On hearing this, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.”  

Paul found twelve disciples at Ephesus who had only been baptized by John the Baptist.  They had not received or heard of the gift of the Holy Spirit.  As Paul shared how John pointed all to Jesus, they believed and were baptized in Jesus’ Name.  Paul laid his hands on them and prayed and the Holy Spirit filled them with the evidence that they spoke in tongues and prophesied.  This was about 20 years after the first Pentecost.

Faith Confession:  I believe in Jesus Christ and have been baptized in the Name of the Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit.  I have also been baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.  I believe this gift is for all who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord.

Psalm 108:5 “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!  Let Your glory be over all the earth!”   

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Wind and Fire!

Scripture reading for May 24th:  Acts 15, Psalm 104, Proverbs 11

Key Scriptures:  Acts 15:7-11 “And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the Gospel and believe.  And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as He did to us, and He made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.  Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?  But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.””

Jewish believers in Jesus wanted to demand that all Gentiles be circumcised in addition to faith in Jesus.  Peter refuted them with the fact that God shows no favoritism in giving the Holy Spirit to Jew and Gentile who believed by His sovereign grace.  Salvation is by grace through faith for all who believe with no strings attached.

Faith Confession:  Lord, Thank You for Your saving Gospel and the gift of faith and the Holy Spirit.   Empower me with the ‘wind’ and ‘fire’ of Your Holy Spirit to reach out to the lost today.

Psalm 104:4  “. . He makes His messengers winds, and His ministers a flaming fire.”  

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God shows no partiality!

Scripture reading for May 17th:  Acts 10, Psalm 99, Proverbs 6

Key Scriptures: Acts 10:34-38 “So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him.  As for the word that He sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.  He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”  

Peter had been sent by the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel at the home of the Gentile centurion Cornelius.  As he opened his mouth to share, he noted that God shows no partiality between Jew or Gentile, but accepts all who come to Him in repentance and faith.  He simply shared Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection and that forgiveness of sins was available in His Name.  The Holy Spirit filled this group of Gentiles and they began to speak in tongues!

Faith Confession:  God is impartial and shows mercy to all who sincerely come to Him.  Help me to clearly share the Gospel with those who are open.  Send me to those needing understanding of Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 6:20-22  “My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.  Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck.  When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you are awake, they will talk with you.”  

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Repentance, baptism and the Holy Spirit

Scripture reading for May 7th:  Acts 2, Psalm 91, Proverbs 29

Key Scriptures: Acts 2:36-39  “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.  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.”  

As Peter preached the Gospel message of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection to the crowd gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost, the Holy Spirit brought conviction on many in the congregation.  They asked Peter what they could do, having taken part in this event.  Peter told them plainly to repent–change their mind and their ways and identify with the crucified and risen Savior through water baptism (immersion).  After that, they must receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, available to all who would believe and receive.

Faith Confession:  I believe that the Holy Spirit convicts those who hear the Gospel and brings them to repentance.  Those who hear must respond by repentance and faith, receiving the Holy Spirit and testifying by water baptism if possible.

Proverbs 29:25  “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”   

 

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The promise of power!

Scripture reading for May 6th:  Acts 1, Psalm 90, Proverbs 28

Key Scriptures:  Acts 1:6-9  “So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He said to them, “It is not for you to know times and seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  And as He had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.”

Jesus’ disciples asked Him, right before He ascended to heaven, if He was going to restore the kingdom to Israel.  They were expecting Jesus to soon establish His kingdom.  Jesus told them not to be concerned.  The Father had fixed them time and that was His to know.  Their main need would to received the infilling of the Holy Spirit and be empowered to share the gospel with the world.

Faith Confession:  Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit and  power to be a witness to the world.  Teach me to treat each day as an opportunity to work for You and Your kingdom.

Psalm 90:11, 17 “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”  . . .”Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” 

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Lamb of God, Son of God!

Scripture reading for April 5th:  John 1, Psalm 69, Proverbs 7

Key Scriptures: John 1:29, 32-34 “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world! . . . .And John bore witness:  “I saw the Spirit descend from  heaven like a dove and it remained on Him.  I myself did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on Whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.””

When Jesus appeared where His cousin John the Baptist was baptizing, John made a faith declaration concerning Jesus.  John plainly stated that Jesus was the “Lamb of God” who takes away the sins of the world.  He also stated that He would be the One who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and Jesus was the “Son of God.”  John stated that the Father who had sent him had revealed this to him.

Faith confession:  Jesus is the Lamb of God, Son of God, who gave His body and life blood to obtain my forgiveness and allow me to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit.  I hold fast to these truths forever!

Proverbs 7:1-3 “My son, keep My words and treasure up My commandments with you; keep My commandments and live; keep My teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”  

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Christ sends out His Disciples!

Scripture reading for April 4th:  Luke 24, Psalm 68, Proverbs 6

Key Scriptures:  Luke 24:45-49 “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His Name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you.  But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Jesus appeared to His disciples several times after He rose from the dead.  They had opportunity to touch Him and share meals with Him.  He taught them to understand the Scriptures that revealed Him and the Gospel message.  He declared that repentance and forgiveness of sins in Christ would be proclaimed by them as His witnesses in Jerusalem first and then to all nations.  They were to wait in Jerusalem for the Gift of the Holy Spirit for power and boldness to proclaim the message.

Faith Confession:  I believe that Jesus has empowered me through the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit to be His witness to a lost world.  I ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit each day, that I might be His voice.

Psalm 68:32-33 “O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord, to Him Who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, He sends out His voice, His mighty voice.”  

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Joy in Truth!

Scripture reading for November 27th: Ezekiel 38-40, 3 John

Key Scriptures:  3 John 2-4  “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.  For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth.  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”  

John, the Apostle, wrote this short letter to a beloved friend, Gaius.  Gaius may have been saved under John’s ministry.  His prayer for this friend was for God’s blessing and good health as he walked with the Lord Jesus.  John was blessed by the testimony of other believers who had been with Gaius and saw how he walked in the truth of the Gospel and welcomed other traveling ministers and missionaries.  In doing so, he was helping fulfill the Lord’s command to take the Gospel to the nations.  This is how to walk in truth.

Ezekiel 39:28-29 “Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God,  because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land.  I will leave none of the remaining among the nations anymore.  And I will not hide My face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”  

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for the Truth of the Gospel revealed to me by the Holy Spirit.  May there be reports of my walking in Your truth bringing a smile to You and others.  Amen.

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You are God’s Holy Temple

Scripture reading for July 9th:  Psalms 2-5, 1st Corinthians 3

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 3:16-17 “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him.  For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.  Let no one deceive himself.  If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.”  

Paul was writing to the Corinthian church that was struggling with divisions.  He reminded them that they were God’s temple–collectively.  God’s Holy Spirit dwelled among them as they gathered.  Disunity and division was destroying the temple, putting those causing the division in danger.  Self-deception is a dangerous place to be.  True wisdom is humble and submissive to the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.

Psalm 2:12 “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled.  Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.”  

Prayer: Lord, help me to recognize and obey the voice of Your Holy Spirit speaking and to honor the unity of the Church, Your body.  I ask for wisdom.  Amen.

 

 

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