Archive for February, 2013

Are We Explaining The Spirit-filled Life?

Monday, February 25th, 2013 | Uncategorized

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“I can’t do that! How could I ever have a relationship with him again, in light of what he did?”

This thought is not uncommon. People often feel so offended that they could never imagine restoring a relationship; it seems humanly impossible.

Sometimes human impossibility shows up in other ways:

“I can’t speak in front of 500 people; I’d just freeze up and embarrass myself.”

Or, “I just don’t understand algebra. I can’t do this homework assignment. I’ll never pass the test!”

Or, “I’ll never amount to anything. I’ve just been fired from my job, and in this economy I’ll never find another one.”

Or, “I can’t explain my faith to my friend. I don’t know what to say. And besides, she might think I am weird and reject me.”

Yes, there are many things we imagine we “can’t” do. Humanly speaking, we might even be correct. Maybe we currently cannot speak well in front of a crowd or love a person who has betrayed us in our own strength.

But the exciting thing is we don’t have to live life in our own strength. Jesus promised His disciples He would send His Spirit to comfort, and give wisdom and power.

When the Holy Spirit became a part of their lives, they lived at a whole new level of capability. Everyone noticed. At Pentecost, the crowd responded to Peter’s powerful, Holy Spirit–inspired sermon and 3,000 were baptized and added to the church (Acts 2).

God used Peter to heal the crippled man by the Temple gate. Then, when Peter appeared before the rulers, elders and teachers the next day, he responded with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:1-28). They were impressed with his courage and ability to reason so forcefully in spite of his lack of schooling and experience.

What made a forceful witness out of the person who had denied Jesus just weeks earlier?

The Holy Spirit! That is what Jesus promised them in Acts 1:8; “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be My witnesses…to the ends of the earth.”
In other portions of Scripture we learn that the Holy Spirit bears fruit in our lives, bringing love, joy, peace, etc. The Holy Spirit also gifts people to serve, teach, encourage, lead, etc. In addition, the Holy Spirit teaches us to understand God’s truths.

Of course, we know about all this, right? We know how important it is for a person to be and stay filled with the Holy Spirit. Yet, do we share that message consistently?

From some of the statistics I see in our ministry, we don’t always explain that crucial message as often as we could or should. We freely take opportunities to witness, but perhaps don’t as often explain the Spirit-filled life. I understand because sometimes I have been guilty of that myself.

So, I have decided to make 2013 a year where I look for opportunities to talk more about the Spirit-filled life. I spoke at my church on the first Sunday of the year and closed with an opportunity for the church members to be filled. I don’t want to withhold from any believer the ingredient they absolutely must have in order to live out and share their faith.

Bill Bright once said that if he had to make a choice between sharing the gospel with a non-Christian and sharing the Spirit-filled life with a believer, he would do the latter, “because that would empower the believer to witness to many more non-Christians in the future.”

Perhaps you would like to join me. Let’s not hold that message back, even a little, from the people we influence spiritually.

Yours in Christ,

Steve