Tuesday, 15 January 2019

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.

The infilling of the Holy Spirit begins at the time of water baptism and is a continual refreshing that is new every morning.  He enhances the nature of Jesus in our hearts, conveys our prayers to Heaven and brings the answers too.  Through this the fruit of the Spirit begins to grow.  Galatians 5 v 22 - 23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
 23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."  This is the nature of Jesus.

The awesome power of the Holy Spirit is something completely different to the infilling.  He gives the power to be witnesses to the truth about Jesus.  
Acts 1 v 8 - 9: "  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 Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
 9  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight."

These were the very last words spoken by Jesus before His Ascension.  In this baptism of the Holy Spirit He comes upon us and gives us gifts from our Father to enable us to fulfil the Great Commission to go out into all the world and preach the gospel, baptize the converts in water, and empower them to do likewise.

The apostles 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.

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 - sacrificing them to wild beasts in the Colliseum for sport; The Church of Rome - blending truth with idols; the Inquisition (68 million martyrs); Communism, Islam, Islamic Militants.  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 t-shirts to say we are His witnesses because the Holy Spirit is our banner.  If we have the fruits of the Spirit and His gifts flowing in your life, then you are a technicolour billboard for Jesus. And we should all be billboards by now.

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 our lives, ourself last and others in between.

When we do that consistently our billboard will be lit up, and the power of the Holy Spirit will energise us with joy unspeakable and full of glory.  We will be used in the greater works to give glory to our King and when we enter Heaven we will hear Him say, Well done good and faithful servant.

Through the mighty power of the Holy Spirit there is no country on Earth that has not heard of Jesus.

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.