Tuesday, 7/27/21 – Pressing on… Digging deeper into the Gift…

Digging deeper into the Gift…

At first you are astonished at the beauty of the box, the knowing of Presence within you. He has come! Just as Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit of God now rests within you. His perch is not forceful; it is gentle… like… like a dove. It would not take much to shoo Him away, but why would you? His Presence is now the most peaceful and desirous part of your person. The missing piece all these many years, until now.

Opening the Gift further and you find Him speaking to you, sometimes surprisingly. Sometimes He whispers from behind you, “This is the way, walk in it” (Isa. 30:21). Sometimes He comes with undeniably great power (Acts 2:2:-4). Sometimes He speaks as you dream (Joel 2:29, Matt. 1:20, 2:13,19, Acts 2:17, 9:10-11, 10:9-17, 16:9, 18:9, 22:18, 27:23, Rev. 1:12), waking or sleeping. Sometimes by a subtle inner tug (Acts 16:6), or in a season of prayer and fasting (Acts 13:2), as a collective sense (Acts 15), a miraculous intervention (Acts 10:44-48), a direct request for wisdom (James 1:5), through spiritual gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7-10), by illumination while reading the scriptures (John 14:26, 16:13-16, Eph. 1:18), a conviction of guilt regarding personal sin (John 16:8), or a sense of peace and affirmation regarding the right thing to do (also John 16:8). In many other ways the Holy Spirit speaks to the believer, leading one to Truth, and as Jesus said, “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32).

Keep opening the Gift and the Holy Spirit will work deeper and deeper within you. You will learn to trust Him and will grow confident that He will be there in all your times of need. You will stop trying to do His work for Him. “do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say” (Matt. 10:19). You will learn to be “led by the Spirit” (Rom. 8:14, Gal. 5:18) and how to “walk by faith” (2 Cor.5:7).

You will see your very self changing… you will see the “fruits” of the Holy Spirit’s making, growing within you: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Gal. 5:22-23), grow bolder in your testimony (Acts 4:31), and long more greatly for your eternal heavenly home (1 Cor. 5:6-9, Phil. 1:21-24).

Dig deep into the Gift daily. As Paul reminded Timothy: “…stir up the gift of God which is in you” (2 Tim. 1:6). Dig deep into the Gift today!

More tomorrow…

To hear Pastor Andrew’s Sunday message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

Monday, 7/26/21 – Pressing on… The Gift…

The Gift…

It was Peter’s first sermon… Thousands were in attendance that day and the Acts 2 account lists at least 16 nations represented. Several sources speculate up to seventy language groups were present. How’d you like that as your first congregation?

But that day was special! The Holy Spirit had fallen upon the scene and become the Interpreter. Peter’s message was simple: he recounted the people’s history and showed how they had slain their Messiah! “Let all Israel be assured of this,” he said, “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (v. 36).

Their response was singular: “they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’”(v. 37).

What shall we do indeed? What would you do having learned you had killed your Creator’s Begotten? We must all ask this, for indeed we all are guilty — “None is righteous, no, not one… all have sinned” (Rom. 3:10, 23).

How astonished they must have been to hear there was yet mercy! “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins,” announced Peter (v. 38a). Yes, even this could be forgiven! Had not the Crucified One Himself willed it: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34).

But more! There was yet more! Not only would there be mercy, but also grace! Not only may they be forgiven but also gifted! Peter continued, “…And you will receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” (v. 38b). Not a gift from the Holy Spirit, but the Gift of The Holy Spirit — The Holy Spirit Himself is the Gift! That same Spirit will dwell within you, “the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead” (Rom. 8:11).

Yet there still is more! This Gift is not only for those contemporary to Christ, this Gift is for all believers, through all times. He says, “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (v. 39). This Comforter, this Advocate, this Encourager, Teacher, Guide, and Glorifier of the Son, this Spirit of Truth, Spirit of Christ, and Breath of God, as Jesus said, “…He lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:17).

What a magnificent Gift!

Take Him. Thank Him. Know Him. Surrender to Him. Rejoice in Him!

More tomorrow…

To hear Pastor Andrew’s Sunday message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.