"But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth." (Acts 1:8 AMP)
The work of the Lord is done not primarily by human effort
or ingenuity -- although God uses these -- but by the power of His Spirit.
Those who wish to rise above the status of the Lord's assistants by
establishing their own empires and demanding allegiance to themselves will not
accomplish the Lord's work. Those who endeavor to succeed without the resources
of the Spirit will be doomed to fail. But those who humbly, joyfully, and
willingly make themselves available to the Lord for all that He has in mind and
who keep their lives open to the full flow of His Spirit's power will assist
the Lord's work to its glorious consummation.
-- Stuart Briscoe in Daily Study Bible for Men
Friday, May 22, 2015
Thursday, May 21, 2015
A person can, indeed, shut the wind out. One can hide behind walls of willfulness until, in time, the Spirit's breath can no longer be felt. Not because the Spirit is unable to break down our walls of resistance, but because the Spirit won't. No one in heaven or on earth is so respectful of the integrity of human personality as is the Spirit of God. God's Spirit will plead but will not demand. The Spirit is not a bully, but a Lover; and while that love pursues passionately, it will not intrude where it is not wanted; after all, if it did, it would cease to be love.
-- J. Ellsworth Kalas in New Testament Stories from the Back Side
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Jesus said to them… "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…" (Acts 1:8)
Yesterday I arrived at church to find that the power was out as a result of planned changeover for our air-conditioning project. The building was dark; the computers were blank; the phones were silent, and the coffee was cold. By mid-afternoon the power was restored and we went on with 'business' as usual.
In our traditional worship services we sing, "Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee, perfect in power, in love and purity." And in our contemporary service we sing, "More love, more power, more of You in my life." The outage made me wonder what would happen if the power of the Holy Spirit were to be temporarily cut off from our lives, from our churches. Would we notice any difference?
How much do we rely on the power of the Spirit to deal with our personal problems and worries? How much do we rely on the power of the Spirit to accomplish ministry in and through us? How much do we rely on the power of the Spirit to witness to the Father's love demonstrated in the Son's sacrifice? Or are we simply relying on our own strength, our own wisdom, and our words?
This coming Sunday we celebrate Pentecost -- the commemoration of the coming of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus' followers following His ascension. Pentecost is considered the "birthday" of the church. (Acts 2:1-11) Pentecost is a good time to wrestle with these questions.
-- Rev. David T. Wilkinson
Monday, May 18, 2015
The fundamental mode whereby our rational Creator guides His rational creatures is by understanding and application of His written Word… the true way to honour the Holy Spirit as our guide is to honour the Holy Scriptures through which He guides us… The Spirit leads within the limits which the Word sets, not beyond them. "He guideth me in the paths of righteousness" -- but not anywhere else.
Packer in Knowing God
Friday, May 15, 2015
When did we start believing that God wants to send us to safe places to do easy things? That faithfulness is holding the fort? That playing it safe is safe? That there is any greater privilege than sacrifice? That radical is anything but normal?
Jesus didn't die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous. Faithfulness is not holding the fort. It's storming the gates of hell. The will of God is not an insurance plan. It's a daring plan. The complete surrender of your life to the cause of Christ isn't radical. It's normal.
It's time to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. It's time to go all in and all out for the All in All.
-- Mark Batterson in All In