THE SPIRIT OF GOD
Today’s Reading: Acts 11-12
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Key Verse: Acts 11:16-17
Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, “John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?
Our Scripture records an amazing shift in the hearts and minds of these believers in Jesus who practiced the religion of Judaism. Peter had baptized Gentiles without them first becoming Jews. For this breach of Jewish practice, Peter was on the carpet back in Jerusalem defending his unprecedented action. The key point in Peter’s defense was John the Baptist’s prophecy and its fulfillment both in the 120 in the upper room and now with the same “they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God” experience.
Consider the two deaths in chapter 12…that of James, the brother of John, and that of Herod. What a stark contrast one with the other. James was put to death by Herod. The end result was the opposite to what Herod intended. The fisherman Apostle, James, now sits with the King of Kings forever. The kingdom Herod sought to hold, crumbled. The glory he sought was instantly lost. The result of his pride was undoubtedly eternal damnation.
Another James, the one known as the brother of Jesus, is rising to leadership. We first hear of him in Mark 6:3. He gave us the book of James. Stay with us daily and we’ll get to James’ book eventually.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, I thank You that, as John the Baptist said of You, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” By Your grace, may many more be baptized by You in the same way You did for the believers as recorded in the book of Acts. I magnify You in my worship right now. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:18-21, I desire with all my heart that I will continue to “be filled with the Spirit.” Amen!!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
My Grandpa Mainse and his brother Ed would meet each morning at the fence between their farms for prayer. They were what was called “Shouting Methodists.” It is said that they could be heard over on the next concession. I’ve heard my Doctor of Theology father shout for Joy on one occasion. I’ve been so filled with the Spirit at times that it’s next to impossible to keep quiet or to express what’s going on inside of me in my ordinary English language. Of course, one can control one’s exuberance. The Scripture says, “The spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet” (1 Corinthians 14:32). I find great strength for each day as my human spirit is filled with God’s Spirit. I experience an effective witness for Jesus and my cup of joy is filled to overflowing. Norma-Jean has recently given to our children and grandchildren a book entitled, “The Blessing.” The subtitle is, “Experiencing the Power of the Holy Spirit Today,” by Thomas Trask and Wayde Goodall, published by Zondervan. This is an excellent and thorough teaching resource. If you are hungry and thirsty for God’s Spirit in a greater way in your life, I recommend this excellent book (click here for information).
Yours for being “Filled with the Spirit.” By the way, I believe that this daily blog will help you and me to grow in God, so that our capacities for the Spirit of God will increase. I ask myself this: Am I continuing to be a small volume spirit or am I increasing in size? I think I’m growing, and thus I can experience a greater measure of God’s Spirit than ever before.