Sunday, 27 March 2022

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.  

Mark 16, two of the signs that follow believers is healing and deliverance.  Mark 16 v 17 - 19: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God."

We could do none of these things without the power of the Holy Spirit.  He is truly awesome! He is the powerhouse within us that gets the will of God done.  In our own lives, and for those around us, and for strangers anywhere on Earth through prayer and ministry over Zoom or Skype.

The power of the Holy Spirit is also 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 Caesar's like Nero; Rome - blending truth with idols; the Inquisition (68 million martyrs); Cults, 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 no matter the pressure upon us.  

As Matthew McConaughey recently said, "The devil would not be attacking you so hard if there wasn't something valuable in you.  Thieves don't break into empty houses!"  That priceless thing the devil wants is something he cannot handle.  The Power of the Holy Spirit.  Simon the Sorcerer in Acts tried to buy it from Peter, who utterly rebuked him, plus cast blindness upon him for a season.  Those who are not born again cannot receive this power.

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, and the 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.

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.

Some Christians try to live with one foot in the Kingdom of God and the other foot in the world.  They have never separated themselves unto God for His purpose alone.  When we are born again and baptised we have identified with His death and resurrection and become a new Creation.  As such we follow Jesus till the end in the full power of the Holy Spirit.  Anything less is an error in our understanding of who we are, and our place in the Kingdom.

He shared the gospel without tracts, media, cars, planes or videos.  He did it 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.

When you do that 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.