Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Devotional 270509

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. We thank God for another beautiful day, which is a sign of God’s grace for our lives. This grace is a free gift from our Creator God. As we receive this free gift from above each day, we are reminded to live gracefully to one another in return. John said, “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). If we experience free gifts and blessings from God, we should learn to give ourselves gracefully to help others in return. Amen?

"I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). The disciples had to wait until the day of Pentecost not for their own preparation only; they had to wait until the Lord was glorified historically. As soon as He was glorified, what happened? "Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear" (Acts 2:33). The parenthesis in John 7:39, "For the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified" does not apply to us because the Holy Spirit has been given, the Lord is glorified; the waiting depends not on God's providence, but on our fitness or readiness.

The Holy Spirit's influence and power were at work before Pentecost, but He was not here. Immediately Our Lord was glorified in Ascension, the Holy Spirit came into this world, and He has been here ever since. We have to receive the revelation that He is here. The reception of the Holy Spirit is the maintained attitude of a believer. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive quickening life from the ascended Lord.

It is not the baptism of the Holy Spirit that changes men, but the power of the ascended Christ coming into men's lives by the Holy Spirit that changes them. We too often divorce what the New Testament never divorces. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not an experience apart from Jesus Christ: it is the evidence of the ascended Christ.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit does not make you think of Time or Eternity, it is one amazing glorious NOW. "This is life eternal that they might know Him." Begin to know Him now, and finish never. Once we respond to the work of the Holy Spirit within us, we begin to know our Lord Jesus more each day. It is the role of the Holy Spirit, who reminds us the Word of God and shows us the Will of God.

A lot of time, we neglect the work of the Holy Spirit or even ignore His presence in our lives. We seldom pray to the Holy Spirit because of fear. We are afraid that we may connect to a wrong source of supernatural power. Therefore we try to tackle the evil forces by our own might. As a result we become helpless and hopeless. We even doubt whether God exists or cares. But in reality, we never live according to the Will of God as Paul pointed out in 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 (the text we studied yesterday). And we seldom listen to the Holy Spirit. Paul continued to encourage us in verse 19-22, “Do not restrain the Holy Spirit; do not despise inspired messages. Put all things to the test: keep what is good and avoid every kind of evil.” By doing so, we walk by the Holy Spirit and experience God in an intimate way.

May the power of the Holy Spirit sustain you each day, and His presence will help you understand and obey the Will of our Father God.

Love you in Christ,

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