Thursday, February 16, 2012

In Christ - I am sealed with the Holy Spirit

I am sealed with the Holy Spirit...

Ephesians 1:13,14 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory..

UpWords with Max Lucado - Week of October 7, 2011

Power Moves In

“What got into Peter? Seven weeks ago he was hiding because of Jesus; today he is proclaiming the death of Jesus. Before the crucifixion, he denied Christ; now he announces Christ. From wimp to warrior in fifty days. What happened?

“What got into Peter?

“God’s Spirit did. Ten days after Jesus’ ascension into heaven, “all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4). The followers experienced a gushing forth, a tremendous profusion. They were drenched in power. They all were: “sons and daughters…young men…old men…servants, both men and women” (vv. 17–18). The Holy Spirit, in His own time and according to His own way, filled the followers with supernatural strength.

“The Holy Spirit is not enthusiasm, compassion, or bravado. He might stimulate such emotions, but He Himself is a person. He determines itineraries (Acts 16:6), distributes spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:7–11), and selects church leaders (Acts 13:2). He teaches (John 14:26), guides (John 16:13), and comforts (John 16:7 KJV).

“’He dwells with you and will be in you’ (John 14:17 NKJV). Occasional guest? No sir. The Holy Spirit is a year-round resident in the hearts of His children. As God’s story becomes our story, His power becomes our power.

“When God’s Spirit directs us, we actually ‘keep in step with the Spirit’ (Gal. 5:25). He is the drum major; we are the marching band. He is the sergeant; we are the platoon. He directs and leads; we obey and follow. Not always that easy, is it? We tend to go our own way.

“To walk in the Spirit, respond to the promptings God gives you.

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ (Isa. 30:21)

“If Peter and the apostles needed His help, don’t we? They walked with Jesus for three years, heard His preaching, and saw His miracles. They saw the body of Christ buried in the grave and raised from the dead. They witnessed His upper room appearance and heard His instruction. Had they not received the best possible training? Weren’t they ready?

“Yet Jesus told them to wait on the Spirit. ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised…the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 1:4–5).

“Learn to wait, to be silent, to listen for His voice. Cherish stillness; sensitize yourself to His touch. “Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene” (1 Cor. 1:7–8 MSG, emphasis mine). You needn’t hurry or scurry. The Spirit-led life does not panic; it trusts.

“The same hand that pushed the rock from the tomb can shove away your doubt. The same power that stirred the still heart of Christ can stir your flagging faith. The same strength that put Satan on his heels can, and will, defeat Satan in your life. Just keep the power supply open. Who knows, you may soon hear people asking, ‘What’s gotten into you? ‘”

I’m on my way through the Bible again – and recently read about the temple dedication in 1 Kings 8:11 - “And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud:  for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.”  It’s that same Spirit that comes to live in the heart of every believer!  We have the power of God residing in our own heart!   That same Spirit Who raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11) has raised us from spiritual death into an eternal relationship with God!  Whether we acknowledge Him or not, the Spirit is always with us – and if we’re smart, we’ll make the effort to listen for His divine direction.  That requires discipline – and a purposing in our heart to learn to hear Him when He speaks.  When we do that – consistently – we can live in that same power that overwhelmed the priests on the day of dedication.  What an awesome truth!  Sharon

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