Holy Spirit

LENT ADVENTURE 2016

Read John 14:12-26

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

15 ‘If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever – 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.’

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, ‘But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?’

23 Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 ‘All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

The Holy Spirit is essential for your life as you follow Jesus.

The Holy Spirit was present with the people of Israel. They were people of the presence.  Yet again and again they reject the presence of God and forget the purpose to which God had rescued them. The people of the presence become the people of exile again as they are beaten and captured by different nations. God leaves them to the gods they have chased after. But he leaves them with a promise: I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. -Ezekiel 36:25-30

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; 
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.-Isaiah 44:3

There is a promise of a new thing, “I will pour out my spirit on all people.” Joel 2

The Holy Spirit was present in the life of Jesus: In the first 2 chapters of the book of Luke there is suddenly a great activity of the Spirit filling a few people. Then Jesus comes, Immanuel, “God with us”. And at his Baptism heaven is ripped open and the Holy Spirit, God’s divine presence fills him and anoints him. Jesus spoke about the good news of the Kingdom of God. He spoke a message of liberation and freedom. And he demonstrated his message with action. Jesus did things that showed people what the Kingdom of God was like. He said,

‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ -Luke 4:18-19

Jesus’ ministry did not start until the divine Holy Spirit had filled him. The Spirit empowered Jesus to fulfill his ministry as he released those who were oppressed by evil. (Luke 4:14-21) Jesus promised power to enable his followers to do the same things he had been doing.

You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:48-49. The apostle John records how Jesus breathed on his disciples and said “receive the Holy Spirit“. Jn 20:21-23

The Holy Spirit present in the life of you: on the day of Pentecost, the followers of Jesus were filled with  the Holy Spirit…

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1-4

The Holy Spirt came for one reason: to equip and empower God’s people to continue the mission of Jesus. 

“The spirit is given to begin the work of making God’s future real in the present”       -Tom Wright.

Billy Graham once commented: “Everywhere I go I find that God’s people lack something. They are hungry for something. Their Christian experience is not all they expected and they often have recurring defeat in their lives. Christians today are hungry for spiritual fulfilment. The most desperate need of the nation today is that men and women who profess Jesus be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

In 2010 the Lausanne Congress met in Cape Town, four thousand church leaders representing 198 countries, they issued this Statement: We love the Holy Spirit within the unity of the Trinity, along with God the Father and God the Son. He is the missionary Spirit sent by the missionary Father and the missionary Son, breathing life and power into God’s missionary Church. We love and pray for the presence of the Holy Spirit because without the witness of the Spirit to Christ, our own witness is futile. Without the convicting work of the Spirit, our preaching is in vain. Without the gifts, guidance and power of the Spirit, our mission is mere human effort. And without the fruit of the Spirit, our unattractive lives cannot reflect the beauty of the gospel…

“Our engagement in mission, then, is pointless and fruitless without the presence, guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. This is true of mission in all its dimensions: evangelism, bearing witness to the truth, discipling, peace-making, social engagement, ethical transformation, caring for creation, overcoming evil powers, casting out demonic spirits, healing the sick, suffering and enduring under persecution. All we do in the name of Christ must be led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The New Testament makes this clear in the life of the early Church and the teaching of the apostles.” 

Today, be filled with the Holy Spirit?

Today, be prepared to go where the Spirit leads you?

Today, pray ‘Come, Holy Spirit…’ then see what happens…

 

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