Read:  Acts 1:1-26

Focus:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.  And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere.  Acts 1:8

Jesus spends 40 days with His followers after His resurrection, and then in this scene is saying good bye and promising to send His Spirit. The disciples had no idea how the Spirit would work or what this new age where God’s Spirit would live inside ordinary people would look like. But they were obedient to go and wait for Him.

Jesus promised that when we’re filled or “baptized” with the Holy Spirit, that we would receive power.  He also makes clear what that power is primarily for. It’s to “tell people about [Jesus] everywhere.” That’s the point of the power the Spirit gives.

He brings other benefits and gifts, to our lives as well…  He gives us power from the inside to become more and more like Jesus (sanctification power or the fruit of the spirit). He gives us the ability to have an ongoing relationship with God, and He gives us divine enablement in some areas (spiritual gifts). All of these things are at work in followers of Christ today, and the Holy Spirit is alive and well doing these things.

The Christian faith, without the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, is really just a belief system, not the faith that Jesus lived and preached. Jesus’ death on the cross made the Spirit’s presence in us a possibility because Jesus washed away our sins and made us pure in God’s sight.

So… two things here…  first, are you walking in the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit? Are you open to His leading and His power in your life? If you feel like you need more of His work in and through you, ask Him to fill you… to continue to fill you and transform you from the inside out. He’s just waiting to answer this prayer!!!

Second, human beings love power. So often people, good God fearing people, become consumed with it. Not for the sake of becoming more like Jesus, and not for the primary purpose that Jesus said the Spirit would give us power (the spreading of the gospel to people everywhere) but for powers sake. For our own enrichment, entertainment or influence.

Many Christians are led astray seeking power for its’ own sake instead of God for His sake. Let me encourage you to seek God, ask the Spirit to fill you everyday, walk in close relationship with Him, and to be empowered to spread the good news. But guard your heart against the corruption of power for powers sake. Godly people are not immune to this temptation, and we must guard our hearts and check them regularly. We must humble ourselves and refuse to let our faith and His power become about us.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit – please fill me, baptize me today in Your presence, and empower me to spread Your good news everywhere. Help me to keep the main thing the main thing, and forgive me for where I have made Your power about me. Help me to walk in Your presence and power, and use me to spread Your message of love, grace, and redemption everywhere. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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