Holy Spirit Power

Scripture Focus: Acts 19.1-6
1…There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 
3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” 
“John’s baptism,” they replied. 

4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

Reflection: Holy Spirit Power
By Thoblie Mogane

The Holy Spirit comes when we hear and believe the gospel, the Good News, about Jesus. It is the privilege of every believer to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is with us in every need. Paul encouraged the Philippians to think about things which are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.

Paul asked “Did you receive the Holy Spirit,” because Paul wanted these believers to taste the anointing that comes through the Holy Spirit. Paul did many miracles and signs that demonstrated the supernatural things that come through the children of God, when filled with the Holy Spirit.

The people Paul was talking to did not have full knowledge of the gospel. They only knew what John the Baptizer taught. They knew the kingdom of God was near, but did not understand that Jesus is here through the Holy Spirit’s indwelling.

The Holy Spirit gives believers power to overcome any obstacle that competes with God’s word in our lives. I have seen it in my own life.

I was raised by a stepfather who had bad intentions to abuse me and I hated him. One night in a dark dream, I saw myself dead and I asked God to rescue me. In my dream God said, “You want me to have mercy on you while you fail to forgive those that wrong you.” I realized he was speaking about my stepfather and light came. Through this dream, and the Holy Spirit, I was able to overcome bitterness and vindictiveness.

God calls us to bring his kingdom, but it is only through the Holy Spirit that we can finish this race. In this process miracles can happen. God can mend broken relationships, heal incurable diseases, change hopeless situations. What if God is waiting for us to walk in the authority given to us through the Holy Spirit?

My mother, my sister, my father, my brother, may we be led by the Holy Spirit, may we depend on and rely on the Holy Spirit for our spiritual growth, finances, marriages, in raising our children, in our work environments, and in our community. Making the world a better place is the responsibility of born again children of God acting with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
“This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.” — Luke 9.35

Today’s Readings
Isaiah 61 (Listen -2:23)
Acts 19 (Listen – 5:47)

Read more about Well Equipped for Good or Bad
Spiritual disciplines allow the Holy Spirit to equip us for good and prepare us for bad.

Hope Sees Us :: Editor’s Choice

Luke 19.4, 9
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
…Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house…”

Reflection: Hope Sees Us :: Editor’s Choice
By John Tillman

The post quoted below, Hope on a Limb, was originally published on December 5th as a part of our Advent series. It struck a chord and resonated, picking up so much traffic in the remaining twenty-five days of December that it was our most viewed page on our entire website in 2018. Seven more months have passed and it is still keeping ahead of other posts. People are still looking for hope.

The post is about hope and where we place it. But it is also about how Jesus is not the king that our flesh cries out for. Instead, Jesus is the king that our broken and busted souls need.

As much as we do not understand why Jesus chooses to, he still loves us. Our problem is that we don’t like all of the people whom Jesus also loves…

“He gave the gift of his presence, salvation, and peace to Zacchaeus—a traitor, a government thug, and a corporate thief.
He gave a warning parable about an unwanted king, “because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.”
He gave, in his parable, more resources to the already rich, over the objections of the crowd.
Then he ran the rich and powerful out of the Temple in order to give it back to the outcasts, the foreigners, the blind, and the lame.

Jesus is, for some, the unwanted king of the parable. His Advent will frustrate those who wait for earthly adulation and success.

But Jesus is for others, the yearned-for King of Glory. He endlessly supplies those whose hopes rise higher.

What we hope for in Advent is not a political power broker.
What we hope for in Advent is not a market economist.
What we hope for in Advent is not a government regulatory watchdog.
What we hope for in Advent is not a resource of earthly wealth, success, fame, and power.

The king we hope for brings healing.
The king we hope for brings peace.
The king we hope for brings love.

In the season of Advent, we climb out, hopefully, on a limb with Zacchaeus.”

Not just in Advent, but in every season of the year, if we climb out on a limb searching for Jesus, he will come by. Hope sees us out on that limb. He will call us down. And he will make himself at home at our table.

Prayer: A Reading
Jesus taught us, saying: “Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.” — Matthew 11.28

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Judges 15 (Listen – 3:13) 
Acts 19 (Listen – 5:47)

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