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February 10th, 2010

Speaking Boldly with the Holy Spirit

St Paul Preaching To The Thessalonians

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. – (Acts 4:31)

The early followers of Jesus were facing harsh opposition from the very folks who had Jesus crucified. Rather than complaining about this opposition or fearing this opposition, the believers confessed the greatness of God and asked for the strength to boldly proclaim the message of Jesus.

In response to their prayer, the place where they were meeting was shaken and they were all empowered to speak the word of God with boldness.

Shouldn’t this be our prayer in a culture that is growing more and more hostile to God?

Why not pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to boldly proclaim Jesus, treating people with gentleness and respect (cf. 1 Peter 3:15).

Prayer : Father God, I cannot begin to thank you enough for the incredible gift of your Son, Jesus. I recognize that Jesus died for my sins and believe he was raised to give me a right relationship with you. I trust he will return in glory to bring me home to you. Until that day, please empower me with boldness and sensitivity from the Holy Spirit, so that I can effectively and fearlessly share Jesus with those who are my friends and family along with those you bring into my life. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

February 8th, 2010

The Witness of the Holy Spirit

The Witness of the Holy Spirit

“We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” – (Acts 5:32)

The apostles, and a few others very close to Jesus, were witnesses of Jesus’ presence after his resurrection from the dead. However, if we listen carefully to this statement of Peter, there is a great promise for those of us who live centuries after Jesus’ resurrection.

We have living in us the witness of Jesus’ resurrection — the Holy Spirit.

Jesus promises to send this witness — sometimes called our Anointing from the Holy One, the Spirit of truth, the Comforter or Advocate or Counselor — to us to live in his followers. This promise is not just for those of the first century, but this is a forever promise to anyone who loves Jesus and obeys his teaching! (See John 14:16-23.)

Just as Peter said, the Holy Spirit is the Witness God gives to those who obey Jesus! Want to hear testimony to the resurrection of Jesus? Listen and look for the work of the Spirit in your own life!

Prayer : Father, I am astounded by the touches of grace in every aspect of the Jesus story. Today, however, my heart is apprehended by the incredible gift of grace you have given to me in the Holy Spirit. While I affirm the importance of Scripture and the truth of the Bible, I am deeply moved to realize that you have given me the Holy Spirit as your living Witness inside me, assuring me of the resurrection of my Lord. Thank you! I praise you! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

February 6th, 2010

Holy Spirit Poured Out

Holy Spirit Poured Out

“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)

I believe in the resurrection of Jesus for many reasons — the testimony of Scripture, the change made in fearful men and women to boldly proclaim Jesus in the face of persecution and death, to name just two.

One of the greatest testimonies to Jesus’ resurrection for me, however, is the gift of the Holy Spirit. To see the Spirit work in the lives of people convicting them, transforming them, teaching them to love, empowering them to serve, is a great reminder of Jesus’ resurrection power.

Jesus, at the Father’s directive, poured out the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. He does the same for us at conversion (Titus 3:3-7). The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is a constant reminder of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus!

Prayer : Thank you O God — the Almighty Father and the risen Son and the indwelling Holy Spirit — for your grace, majesty, and power. I recognize that I cannot begin to comprehend your majesty, but I do recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life as a living testimony to the plan of your grace and the truth of Jesus’ resurrection.  I offer my life to you, dear Father, and ask that you transform me day-by-day to be more like Jesus, reflecting more of your holy character and gracious compassion, by the power of the Spirit. Amen.

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