Tag Archives: the Holy Spirit

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Maturity – In His Timing 

 

“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control” (Galatians 5:22,23).

One of my dear friends had a 25-year old son who had never grown past the baby stage mentally or physically. He had greeted the birth of his beautiful baby boy with great joy, but his joy turned to heartache and sorrow with the passing years as his son never matured.

Unfortunately and tragically, many Christians never pass the baby or childhood stages. Think of the heartache and sorrow that God experiences when He looks upon those of His children who have never matured, though they have been Christians for many years.

Martha, a new Christian, approached me with this question, “With all my heart I want to be a woman of God, but I do not experience the consistency of Galatians 5:22,23 in my life. What is wrong?”

Maybe you are asking the same question, if so, it will be helpful for you to understand that the Christian life is a life of growth. Just as in our physical lives we begin as babies and progress through childhood into adolescence, young adulthood and mature adulthood, so it is in our spiritual lives.

The Holy Spirit takes up residence within every believer at the moment of new birth. The growth process is greatly accelerated when a believer consciously yields himself to the lordship of Christ and the filling and control of the Holy Spirit. A believer who is empowered by the Holy Spirit and is a faithful student of God’s Word, who has learned to trust and obey God, can pass through the various stages of spiritual growth and become a mature Christian within a brief period of time. Some Spirit-filled Christians demonstrate more of the fruit of the Spirit within one year than others who have been untaught, uncommitted believers for 50 years.

Bible Reading: Romans 5:1-5

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I am determined that I will become a spiritually mature Christian, in whose life the fruit of the Spirit will be demonstrated. Through the enabling of the Holy Spirit I will dedicate myself to prayer, reading the Word and witnessing, and living a life of obedience.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Promise of the Spirit

 

“And Peter replied, ‘Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; then you also shall receive this gift, the Holy Spirit. For Christ promised Him to each one of you who has been called by the Lord our God and to your children and even those in distant lands!'” (Acts 2:38- 39).

The most important truth that I or anyone else could share with Christians is to help them understand the person and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. My own life was dramatically transformed when by faith I claimed the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit.

“One day in New York – what a day!” declared Dwight L. Moody. “I can’t describe it. I seldom refer to it. It is almost too sacred for me to name. I can only say that God revealed Himself to me. I had such an experience of love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand.

“I went to preaching again. The sermons were no different. I did not present any new truth. Yet hundreds were converted. I would not be back where I was before that blessed experience if you would give me Glasgow.”

The Holy Spirit is the key to revival. He is the key to revival because He is the key to supernatural living, and apart from living supernaturally – living in the fullness of the Holy Spirit – the believer has no power to introduce others to Christ and help fulfill the Great Commission.

The Holy Spirit is convicting many Christians of their lethargy, their coldness of heart and unbelief, the loss of their first love. A spiritual Mount St. Helens is about to erupt, spreading the good news of love and forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ far and wide through our land and the world. We shall see a resurgence in evangelism and a zeal unparalleled in church history as we endeavor – in the power of the Holy Spirit – to help fulfill the Great Commission.

Bible Reading: Acts 2:32-37

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I shall ask the Holy Spirit to empower and control my life so that I may be a part of a mighty spiritual awakening to help fulfill the Great Commission, beginning in my home, community and church in obedience to the Lord’s command.

Charles Spurgeon – The power of the Holy Spirit

 

“The power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13

Suggested Further Reading: Acts 2:1-21

In a few more years—I know not when, I know not how—the Holy Spirit will be poured out in a far different style from the present. There are diversities of operations; and during the last few years it has been the case that the diversified operations have consisted in very little pouring out of the Spirit. Ministers have gone on in dull routine, continually preaching—preaching—preaching, and little good has been done. I do hope that perhaps a fresh era has dawned upon us, and that there is a better pouring out of the Spirit even now. For the hour is coming, and it may be even now is, when the Holy Spirit shall be poured out again in such a wonderful manner that many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased—the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the surface of the great deep; when his kingdom shall come, and his will shall be done on earth even as it is in heaven. We are not going to be dragging on for ever like Pharaoh with the wheels off his chariot. My heart exults and my eyes flash with the thought that very likely I shall live to see the out-pouring of the Spirit; when “the sons and the daughters of God again shall prophecy, and the young men shall see visions, and the old men shall dream dreams.” Perhaps there shall be no miraculous gifts—for they will not be required; but yet there shall be such a miraculous amount of holiness, such an extraordinary fervour of prayer, such a real communion with God and so much vital religion, and such a spread of the doctrines of the cross, that everyone will see that verily the Spirit is poured out like water, and the rains are descending from above. For that let us pray: let us continually labour for it, and seek it of God.

For meditation: Spurgeon saw answers to his prayers in the 1859 revival. What are your visions for revival? Lots of excitement with extravagant claims that the Holy Spirit is involved? Or a genuine work of the Spirit which speaks for itself in real conversions, true fellowship and godly living (Acts 2:37-47)?

Sermon no. 30
17 June (1855)

Charles Stanley – The Holy Spirit’s True Identity

 

John 15:26

During the early weeks of my seminary education, a doctoral student invited me to his dorm room. When I arrived, he sat me down, put a Greek Bible in my hands, and said, “I noticed that you called the Holy Spirit an ‘it’ while we were talking at dinner tonight. He is not an ‘it.’” This man then led me through the New Testament, translating scriptures concerning the third person of the Trinity. An hour later he said, “The one thing I want you to remember is that the Holy Spirit is a Somebody.”

God’s Spirit possesses three defining characteristics of personhood: intelligence, will, and emotion. Let me prove these points by guiding you to some New Testament verses, just as that doctoral student did for me. First Corinthians 2:10-11 explains that the Spirit knows God’s thoughts and illuminates the truth for us. Later in the same book, He is identified as the One who determines the spiritual gift(s) of each believer (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). Finally, the Holy Spirit’s feelings are revealed in verses like Romans 15:30, which tells of His love, and Ephesians 4:30, which warns against grieving Him.

Consider also that Jesus spoke of a Helper who would come after Him (John 14:16, 26). Aiding and assuring others are the acts of a person, as is teaching—these are some of the Holy Spirit’s primary tasks.

Perhaps you misunderstand the Spirit of God as I once did. He isn’t an “it” any more than God the Father or Jesus Christ is. The Spirit is a member of the Trinity, and if you’re a believer, He is with you now. God has given you His Spirit as a special Helper—one who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

Charles Spurgeon – The teaching of the Holy Spirit

 

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26

Suggested Further Reading: Galatians 1:10-17

The Holy Spirit specially teaches to us Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who manifests the Saviour to us in the glory of his person; the complex character of his manhood and of his deity; it is he who tells us of the love of his heart, of the power of his arm, of the clearness of his eye, the preciousness of his blood, and of the prevalence of his plea. To know that Christ is my Redeemer, is to know more than Plato could have taught me. To know that I am a member of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones; that my name is on his breast, and engraved on the palms of his hands, is to know more than the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge could teach to all their scholars. Not at the feet of Gamaliel did Paul learn to say—“He loved me, and gave himself for me.” Not in the midst of the rabbis, or at the feet of the members of the Sanhedrin, did Paul learn to cry—“What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” No, this must have been taught as he himself confesses—not of flesh and blood, but of the Holy Spirit. I need only hint that it is also the Spirit who teaches us our adoption. Indeed, all the privileges of the new covenant, beginning from regeneration, running through redemption, justification, pardon, sanctification, adoption, preservation, continual safety, even unto an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ—all is the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

For meditation: The Holy Spirit exercises a perfect teaching ministry (1 John 2:27); how good a pupil (disciple) are you?

Sermon no. 315
14 May (Preached 13 May 1860)

Charles Spurgeon – The great revival

 

“The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” Isaiah 52:10

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 14:26-40

In the old revivals in America a hundred years ago, commonly called “the great awakening,” there were many strange things, such as continual shrieks and screams, and knockings, and twitchings, under the services. We cannot call that the work of the Spirit. Even the great Whitefield’s revival at Cambuslang, one of the greatest and most remarkable revivals ever known, was attended by some things that we cannot but regard as superstitious wonders. People were so excited, that they did not know what they did. Now, if in any revival you see any of these strange contortions of the body, always distinguish between things that differ. The Holy Spirit’s work is with the mind, not with the body in that way. It is not the will of God that such things should disgrace the proceedings. I believe that such things are the result of Satanic malice. The devil sees that there is a great deal of good doing; “Now,” says he, “I’ll spoil it all. I’ll put my hoof in there, and do a world of mischief. There are souls being converted; I will let them get so excited that they will do ludicrous things, and then it will all be brought into contempt.” Now, if you see any of these strange things arising, look out. There is that old Apollyon busy, trying to mar the work. Put such vagaries down as soon as you can, for where the Spirit works, he never works against his own precept, and his precept is, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” It is neither decent nor orderly for people to dance under the sermon, nor howl, nor scream, while the gospel is being preached to them, and therefore it is not the Spirit’s work at all, but mere human excitement.

For meditation: The Holy Spirit produces self-control, not loss of control (1 Corinthians 14:32; Galatians 5:22,23; 2 Timothy 1:7).

Sermon no. 185
28 March (1858)

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – The Holy Spirit Enlightens

 

“But the man who isn’t a Christian can’t understand and can’t accept these thoughts from God, which the Holy Spirit teaches us. They sound foolish to him, because only those who have the Holy Spirit within them can understand what the Holy Spirit means. Others just can’t take it in” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Though I have been a Christian for more than 35 years, I still have much to learn. I am far from perfect. And I do not ever expect to be – in this lifetime. Only our Lord Jesus Christ was without sin.

However, I know from experience that the more time I spend with God through reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on His Word, with the help of the Holy Spirit to interpret God’s truth to me, the more I become like our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son.

When you spend time daily in Bible reading and study, your life will change. After reading God’s Word consistently for several months, you will be amazed by the things God has done in your life.

How can we understand the Bible? How can we experience its life-changing influence in our lives?

The non-believer and the disobedient, carnal Christian have difficulty in understanding the Bible because they must rely on their human faculties in their attempt to understand things that are of a spiritual nature in God’s Word.

As Paul writes to the church at Corinth,” …the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (KJV).

Bible Reading: I Corinthians 2:9-13

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Since the Holy Spirit inspired holy men of old to record God’s Word, the Bible, I will ask Him to interpret God’s message to my own life, and today I will encourage someone, or several others, to depend upon the Holy Spirit and to join me in living a supernatural life for the glory of God.

Joyce Meyer – He Will Tell You What’s Ahead

 

He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]. – John 16:13

One of the many benefits of hearing from God is that listening to His voice helps us prepare for the future. The Holy Spirit gives to us the messages the Father gives to Him, and He often tells us things that will happen in the future.

We find many instances in the Bible in which God spoke to people and gave them information about the future. He told Noah to prepare for a flood that would come to destroy the people of the earth (see Genesis 6:13–17). He told Moses to go to Pharaoh and ask for the release of the Israelites and that Pharaoh would not grant this request (see Exodus 7). Obviously, God does not tell us everything that will happen in the future, but His Word promises He will tell us some things.

There are times when I sense that something good, or perhaps something challenging, is going to happen. When a challenge awaits me and I have some prior knowledge of it, that knowledge helps to cushion the blow when the difficult situation comes. If an automobile with good shock absorbers hits a pothole, those absorbers protect passengers in the car from the jarring impact that would result and no one gets hurt. God’s giving us information ahead of time works the same way.

Part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to tell us things to come. He knows the mind of God and He knows God’s individual plans for our lives. He will reveal what we need to know when we need to know it in order to fulfill the good plans God has for us.

God’s word for you today: Trust the Holy Spirit to tell you what you need to know about the future.

 

Our Daily Bread – Ask The Author

 

 

 

We have the mind of Christ. —1 Corinthians 2:16

Read: 1 Corinthians 2:9-16
Bible in a Year: Numbers 4-6; Mark 4:1-20

Over the years I’ve been part of various book groups. Typically, several friends read a book and then we get together to discuss the ideas the author has put forward. Inevitably, one person will raise a question that none of us can answer. And then someone will say, “If only we could ask the author.” A popular new trend in New York City is making that possible. Some authors, for a hefty fee, are making themselves available to meet with book clubs.

How different it is for those of us who gather to study the Bible. Jesus meets with us whenever we get together. No fees. No scheduling conflicts. No travel expenses. Furthermore, we have the Holy Spirit to guide our understanding. One of the last promises Jesus made to His disciples was that God would send the Holy Spirit to teach them (John 14:26).

The Author of the Bible is not limited by time or space. He can meet with us at any time and any place. So whenever we have a question, we can ask with the assurance that He will answer—though perhaps not according to our timetable.

God wants us to have the mind of the Author (1 Cor. 2:16) so that through the teaching of the Spirit we will comprehend the greatness of the gift He has freely given us (v.12).—Julie Ackerman Link

Lord, thank You that You are meeting with me right now. I want to be taught by You. I don’t want just to have more knowledge about You; I want to know You in the depths of my heart.

When you open your Bible, ask the Author to open your mind and heart.

INSIGHT: One role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the follower of Christ is that of a guide to help discern spiritual truth. In John 16:13, Jesus said, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (niv).

Charles Stanley –Why are men saved?

 

“Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake.” Psalm 106:8

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Peter 1:1,2

Jesus Christ is the Saviour; but not more so than God the Father, or God the Holy Spirit. Some persons who are ignorant of the system of divine truth think of God the Father as being a great being full of wrath, and anger, and justice, but having no love, they think of God the Spirit perhaps as a mere influence proceeding from the Father and the Son. Now, nothing can be more incorrect than such opinions. It is true the Son redeems me, but then the Father gave the Son to die for me, and the Father chose me in the everlasting election of his grace. The Father blots out my sin; the Father accepts me and adopts me into his family through Christ. The Son could not save without the Father any more than the Father without the Son; and as for the Holy Spirit, if the Son redeems, do you not know that the Holy Spirit regenerates? It is he that makes us new creatures in Christ, who “begets us again unto a lively hope,” who purifies our soul, who sanctifies our spirit, and who, at last, presents us spotless and faultless before the throne of the Most High, accepted in the beloved. When you say, “Saviour,” remember there is a Trinity in that word—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, this Saviour being three persons under one name. You cannot be saved by the Son without the Father, nor by the Father without the Son, nor by Father and Son without the Spirit. But as they are one in creation, so are they one in salvation, working together in one God for our salvation, and unto that God be glory everlasting, world without end. Amen.

For meditation: We are to be baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19) in acknowledgement of the fact that all three persons of the Trinity have accomplished our salvation.

Sermon no. 115
1 February (1857)

Charles Spurgeon –  Why are men saved?

 

“Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake.” Psalm 106:8

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Peter 1:1,2

Jesus Christ is the Saviour; but not more so than God the Father, or God the Holy Spirit. Some persons who are ignorant of the system of divine truth think of God the Father as being a great being full of wrath, and anger, and justice, but having no love, they think of God the Spirit perhaps as a mere influence proceeding from the Father and the Son. Now, nothing can be more incorrect than such opinions. It is true the Son redeems me, but then the Father gave the Son to die for me, and the Father chose me in the everlasting election of his grace. The Father blots out my sin; the Father accepts me and adopts me into his family through Christ. The Son could not save without the Father any more than the Father without the Son; and as for the Holy Spirit, if the Son redeems, do you not know that the Holy Spirit regenerates? It is he that makes us new creatures in Christ, who “begets us again unto a lively hope,” who purifies our soul, who sanctifies our spirit, and who, at last, presents us spotless and faultless before the throne of the Most High, accepted in the beloved. When you say, “Saviour,” remember there is a Trinity in that word—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, this Saviour being three persons under one name. You cannot be saved by the Son without the Father, nor by the Father without the Son, nor by Father and Son without the Spirit. But as they are one in creation, so are they one in salvation, working together in one God for our salvation, and unto that God be glory everlasting, world without end. Amen.

For meditation: We are to be baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19) in acknowledgement of the fact that all three persons of the Trinity have accomplished our salvation.

Sermon no. 115

1 February (1857)

Joyce Meyer – He Will Tell You What’s Ahead

 

He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]. – John 16:13

One of the many benefits of hearing from God is that listening to His voice helps us prepare for the future. The Holy Spirit gives to us the messages the Father gives to Him, and He often tells us things that will happen in the future.

We find many instances in the Bible in which God spoke to people and gave them information about the future. He told Noah to prepare for a flood that would come to destroy the people of the earth (see Genesis 6:13–17). He told Moses to go to Pharaoh and ask for the release of the Israelites and that Pharaoh would not grant this request (see Exodus 7). Obviously, God does not tell us everything that will happen in the future, but His Word promises He will tell us some things.

There are times when I sense that something good, or perhaps something challenging, is going to happen. When a challenge awaits me and I have some prior knowledge of it, that knowledge helps to cushion the blow when the difficult situation comes. If an automobile with good shock absorbers hits a pothole, those absorbers protect passengers in the car from the jarring impact that would result and no one gets hurt. God’s giving us information ahead of time works the same way.

Part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to tell us things to come. He knows the mind of God and He knows God’s individual plans for our lives. He will reveal what we need to know when we need to know it in order to fulfill the good plans God has for us.

God’s word for you today: Trust the Holy Spirit to tell you what you need to know about the future.

John MacArthur – Rejoicing in Assurance

 

“You were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance” (Eph. 1:13-14).

The Holy Spirit is God’s first installment on your eternal inheritance.

The Holy Spirit’s ministry in your life is multifaceted and profound. Among other things He brings salvation, conviction, guidance, and strength. He indwells and equips you for spiritual service and gives assurance of your salvation. He is your Helper and Advocate. He is the Spirit of promise, who seals you until the day when your redemption is fully realized (Eph. 4:30).

Sealing speaks of security, authenticity, ownership, and authority. Ancient kings, princes, and nobles placed their official seal on documents or other items to guarantee their inviolability. To break the seal was to incur the wrath of the sovereign whom it represented (cf. Dan. 6:17; Matt. 27:62-66).

A seal on a letter authenticated it as from the hand of the one whose seal it bore. Legal documents such as property deeds and wills were often finalized with an official seal. Those who possessed the sealed decree of a king had the king’s delegated authority to act on that decree.

Each of those aspects of sealing is a picture of the Spirit’s ministry. He is God’s guarantee that your salvation is inviolable and that you are an authentic member of His kingdom and family. You are His possession—having been purchased with His Son’s precious blood (1 Cor. 6:20). You are His ambassador with delegated authority to proclaim His message to a lost world (2 Cor. 5:20).

The Spirit is the pledge of your eternal inheritance (Eph. 1:14). The Greek word translated “pledge” in that verse (arrabōn) was used of down payment or earnest money given to secure a purchase. Rejoice in the assurance that God, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), has given you His Spirit as a guarantee that He will keep His promises.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Praise God for the security of your eternal inheritance.
  • Praise the Spirit for His many ministries in your life. Be sensitive to His leading today so that your ministry to others will be powerful and consistent with His will.

For Further Study; Read Esther chapters 3, 8. What role did the king’s signet ring play in the decree of Haman (chapter 3)? The decree of Ahasuerus and Mordecai (chapter 8)?

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Will Tell You

 

“I advise you to obey only the Holy Spirit’s instructions. He will tell you where to go and what to do, and then you won’t always be doing the wrong things your evil nature wants you to” (Galatians 5:16).

Major conflicts in life are resolved when, by an act of the will, one surrenders to the control of the Holy Spirit and faces temptation in His power.

It should be explained that there is a difference between temptation and sin.

Temptation is the initial impression to do something contrary to God’s will. Such impressions come to all people, even as they did to the Lord, and they are not sin in themselves.

Temptation becomes sin when we meditate on the impression and develop a strong desire, which is often followed by the actual act of disobedience.

For practical daily living, we simply recognize our weakness whenever we are tempted and obey the Holy Spirit’s instructions. When we do not yield to temptation, we breathe spiritually and resume our walk with God.

“At what point does one who practices spiritual breathing become carnal again?” Whenever one ceases to believe God’s promise that He will enable us to be victorious over all temptations. The fact is, one need never be carnal again. So long as a believer keeps breathing spiritually, there is no need to live a life of defeat.

The moment you realize that you have done that which grieves or quenches the Spirit, you simply exhale spiritually by confessing immediately, and then inhale as by faith you claim God’s forgiveness and the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and you keep walking in the light as God is in the light.

Bible Reading: Galatians 5:17-26

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will consciously seek to obey the Holy Spirit’s instructions revealed to me in His holy, inspired Word.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – You Can Know the Spirit’s Fullness

“Be filled…with the Holy Spirit and controlled by Him” (Ephesians 5:18).

An enthusiastic, attractive couple traveled from their home in Chicago to Arrowhead Springs to share with me an idea about which they were very excited.

“We heard one of your filmed lectures on ‘How to Be Filled With the Holy Spirit.’ Our lives have been dramatically changed as a result of what you shared,” they said. “We have come all this way to encourage you to go on nationwide television and tell Christians how they can know the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit and experience His revolutionary impact in and through their lives.”

I am humbly grateful to God for the privilege of sharing these great truths concerning the Holy Spirit with tens of millions of people throughout the world, often with the same dramatic results experienced by this remarkable couple.

The disciples were with Jesus for more than three years. They heard Him teach as no man had ever taught. They saw Him perform miracles such as no man had ever performed – raising the dead, restoring sight to the blind and cleansing lepers. Though they were exposed to the most godly life ever lived on earth, during Jesus’ time of crisis, Judas betrayed Him, Peter denied Him and all the others deserted Him.

Jesus knew His disciples were fruitless, quarreling, ambitious, self-centered men, so – on the eve of His crucifixion – He told them, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I go, I will send Him to you…He will guide you into all the truth…He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you” (John 16:7,13,14 NAS).

Bible Reading: Galatians 5:5, 16-18, 22, 23, 25

Today’s Action Point: Today I will receive by faith the power of the Holy Spirit in order to live a supernatural life and be a supernatural witness. I will continue to study the scriptural reference and various books concerning the Holy Spirit, so that I will better understand His role in my life.

Greg Laurie – God’s Royal Seal

 

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.—Ephesians 1:13

What does the Bible mean when it says that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit? In the apostle Paul’s day, when goods were shipped from one place to another, they would be stamped with a wax seal, imprinted with the signet ring of the owner. This was a unique mark of ownership. People could look at the crate, see its wax seal, and know they had better not open it.

The same was true for a document from a king. It would be sealed in wax and imprinted with the royal seal. People knew that if they opened it and weren’t the intended recipient, they would be endangering their very lives.

In the same way, God has put His royal seal on us: “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). The seal is the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and lives. Upon our conversion, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

Let’s say that a thief wanted to steal a briefcase. Then he notices a nametag on it, bearing the name of a famous boxer. Most likely, the thief wouldn’t steal that briefcase. Why? He would be afraid of what would happen. He doesn’t want to suffer bodily harm.

In a similar way, the Devil wants to come and destroy us as Christians. He wants to wreak havoc in our lives. But he sees our ID tag: “Owned by Jesus Christ. Sealed and insured by the Holy Spirit.” So he backs off because he fears the One to whom we belong.

Today’s devotional is an excerpt from Every Day with Jesus by Greg Laurie, 2013

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – At Least As Much

 

“And if even sinful persons like yourselves give children what they need, don’t you realize that your heavenly Father will do at least as much, and give the Holy Spirit to those who ask for Him?” (Luke 11:13).

A Christian leader approached me after one of my messages on the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit.

“I want to be a Spirit-filled person,” he said, “but I don’t know what to do. I have read many books about the Holy Spirit and have sincerely sought His fullness, but to no avail. I am seriously considering giving up Christian ministry and returning to a business career. Please help me.”

With great delight I shared with this earnest seeker the truths about the Holy Spirit. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be controlled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. We cannot have two masters.

There is a throne, a control center, in every life and either self or Christ is on that throne. This concept of Christ being on the throne is so simple that even a child can understand it.

It is such a simple truth, and yet, in its distilled essence, that is what the supernatural, Spirit-controlled life is all about – just keeping Christ on the throne. We do this when we understand how to walk in the control and power of the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit came for the express purpose of glorifying Christ by enabling the believer to live a holy life and to be a productive witness for the Savior.

The key to supernatural living is a life centered in the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. This supernatural life is often called the Spirit-filled Christian or the Christ-centered life. The spirit-filled Christian is one who, according to Romans 6:11, has considered himself to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Christ is now at the center of his life; He is Lord.

Bible Reading: Romans 8:9-14

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will not allow self to usurp the rightful place of Jesus Christ – in the person of His Holy Spirit – at the control center, the throne, of my life.

Greg Laurie – Letting the Holy Spirit Work

 

When He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. —John 16:8

Why has the Spirit come into this world? What does God’s Holy Spirit want to do in the life of the unbeliever? The Holy Spirit is very involved in the actual work of conversion. You see, before we were Christians, it was the Holy Spirit who convicted us of our sin (see John 16:8). Another way to translate the word convict in John 16:8 is “convince.” Notice this verse doesn’t say that He will convict the unbeliever of a specific sin. Rather, He wants to convince him or her of sin in general, the root cause of all sins.

Now, we can try to produce in someone a sense of guilt and wrongdoing. In an effort to help the conversion process along, we want to make them feel really bad or guilty about something. (Mothers seem to have an unusual ability in this area.) But only the Holy Spirit can effectively produce a guilt that will bring a person to their senses.

Sometimes we get in the way of someone’s conversion. We get impatient, or we try to assist the Spirit. We can be telling someone about the Lord, maybe a friend or a coworker or a family member, and as they become interested and start asking questions, we start trying to convert that person in our own strength. We try to complete the transaction while the Spirit is still working.

The best thing we can do after we have shared the Word of God with someone is to simply pray that it takes root. We should just do our part and leave it in the hands of God. We don’t need to force the issue. He will do the convincing. Let God’s Spirit do His work.

Today’s devotional is an excerpt from Every Day with Jesus by Greg Laurie, 2013

Max Lucado – Out on a Limb

 

After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit (Mt. 1:18 NKJV). Joseph was perched firmly on his branch in the tree. Predictable and solid, Joseph had no intention of leaving it. That is, until he was told to go out on a limb.

“Conceived by the Holy Spirit? Come on! Who will believe me?”

Pride told him not to do it. But God told him to do it. I have a feeling you can relate to Joseph. One foot in your will and one foot in His. His will or yours? Disrupting, isn’t it? You can bet it won’t be easy. Limb-climbing has never been. Ask Joseph…or better yet, ask Jesus! He knows better than anyone the cost of hanging on a tree!

From In the Manger

Charles Stanley – Praying in the Spirit

Charles Stanley

John 14:16-21

I am convinced that if Christians truly understood what takes place during prayer, they would call upon the Lord more often and with greater results. The believer’s prayer isn’t simply spoken into empty space; the Holy Spirit is there to guide us in offering God-centered requests, to fill in words we fail to say, and to carry our needs before the Lord.

The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity, so He knows the mind of God intimately (1 Cor. 2:11). Since He, like the Father, is omniscient and omnipotent, He fully grasps the circumstance we are praying over—even the parts that remain unseen or utterly confusing to us. Also, the Spirit dwells within every believer and knows each one’s mind and heart. With this full knowledge, the Holy Spirit can carry out His responsibility to make our petitions match God’s desires. To that end, He speaks in our spirit and opens our mind to Scripture.

The fact that God gives His Spirit to all believers reveals the value He places on communication between Him and His children. Our Father provides the best possible Helper to ensure that we can be prayer warriors—wise, strong in faith, and fully yielded to Him. But we are none of those things unless we are habitually talking with the Lord.

Christians never have to feel guilty for being uncertain about how to pray. The indwelling Holy Spirit knows our needs and desires—as well as the mind of the Father and the details of every situation. He speaks to God on our behalf while teaching us to pray in accordance with the Father’s will.