Friday, 28 April 2017

The Awesome Power of the Holy Spirit

Scripture:  Acts 1 v 8:

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

These were the final words of Jesus before His ascension, and they have been fulfilled exactly as He said them.  All of the disciples of Jesus were already baptized in water and filled with the Holy Spirit.  So the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon them would be an enhancement for a new purpose.

They were already doing miracles, healing people and driving out demons, delighted that the demons were subject to them.  Jesus told them to rather rejoice that their names were written in Heaven, in the Lamb's Book of Life.  In Mark 16 we read that the signs that follow believers is healing and deliverance, among other things.

The power of the Holy Spirit is to make us witnesses to the living Jesus in our hearts.  That His life will so shine through us that people in darkness will receive His saving light.  The early Christians overflowed with this power, and were persecuted and killed by the world under Satan's control, to try to contain it. 

In the millennia since then, Christians have suffered terribly under Nero, Rome - blending truth with idols; the Inquisition (68 million martyrs); Communism, Islam, Islamic Militants.  The Roman Church snuffed out the vibrant life of Christianity by blending it with other religions, and chaining the few written copies of the Bible to the pulpits.  Satan is keeping up the pressure, but persecution makes for much stronger Christianity.  The witness to Jesus continues from Jerusalem to the uttermost part of the earth.

We don't have to wear placards to say we are His witnesses because the Holy Spirit is our banner.  If you have the fruits of the Spirit, which are the very nature of Jesus Christ, growing within you, and the powerful and precious gifts of the Holy Spirit flowing in your life, then you are a technicolour billboard for Jesus. And we should all be billboards by now.  Sadly, those who really are billboards are looked upon as whacky fanatics who are out of step with the modern church.

God said we must separate ourselves from the world and it's demands.  We came out of the world to enter eternal life in His kingdom when we were born again.  Our spirits are already there seated with Christ in heavenly places.  We have to overcome the world trying to draw us back into it, by following in the footsteps of Jesus.

He shared the gospel without tracts or media by living a perfect and sinless life, which He has now downloaded to us through our spirits.  He wants us to live holy and sinless lives too, to conquer our flesh and sinful pleasures by dying to self.  Put Jesus first in your life, yourself last and others in between. This spells J-O-Y! Joy is  fruit of the Holy Spirit, happiness is its overrated poor second cousin.  Happiness is fleeting and dependant on circumstances, while joy is from God and brings great strength no matter what the circumstances are.

When you put Jesus first consistently your billboard will be lit up, and the power of the Holy Spirit will energise you with joy unspeakable and full of glory.  You will be used in the greater works to give glory to our King and when you enter Heaven you will hear Him say, Well done good and faithful servant.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, everything Jesus did was to empower us for Heaven and use us to bring as many lost souls with us.  Nothing else counts when we stand before Your Throne.  We will regret the wasted time and opportunities and berate ourselves for those we should have reached.  Help us now, Lord, before its too late, to be those billboards all lit up for the lost to find their way home. In Jesus' name. Amen.