Define It - The ‘It’ Factor
Monday, March 26
1 Corinthians 12:3
…and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
To many people, even believers, the Holy Spirit is someone who is hard to relate to. For far too long the church has made Him an option, not a necessity. He is the very reason why Jesus came. Most people will tell you that Jesus came to save us from the penalty of sin, which is true, in part. Ask yourself, “What was the biggest issue that sin caused?” The answer is that it separated us from God. God dwelt with and in man until man allowed sin into the picture. The issue wasn’t that God was somehow repulsed by man’s dirty, nasty sin, it was that if a sinful person entered God’s presence they would die. God had to separate Himself from mankind for mankind’s survival. So the Holy Spirit, being God, just as much as the Father and the Son, could not live in the hearts of men for man’s sake. The reason Jesus died was so that the Holy Spirit could once again occupy the hearts of God’s son’s and daughters. The Holy Spirit, God Himself, wants you to see how real and personal He is. He is actually the one who convicted you of your sin and brought you to repentance. If you’ve been born again, you’ve already encountered the most personal side of God…His Holy Spirit.
Tuesday, March 27
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I wonder why Jesus had to go back to Heaven? Why couldn’t He just stay here with us?” At some point and time in most everyone’s life this question has come up. Think about it like this, how many people could one man actually minster to effectively in a 24 hour period. Even if Jesus never slept, and all He did was go around doing miracle after miracle, the chance of you getting to the front of the line and coming in contact with Him would be extremely small. After all, your one of only 4 billion people on the planet. Jesus knew that by leaving physically, He could come spiritually. This is where you must remind your self that He, the Father, and the Spirit are One. He never actually left, He just changed the mode in which He operates among us. If you feel slighted in some way by the fact that Jesus isn’t with us in His physical form you truly don’t understand the heart of God. His intent since the beginning has been for you to walk in the same anointing that He has. His Holy Spirit enables you to receive and operate in the same power and authority that Jesus would if He were here in physical form. His intent was never to leave you. Rather it was to be closer to you than physically possible.
Wednesday, March 28
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Far too many believers find themselves in a place of confusion when comes to the Trinity. They wonder how can one God seemingly be three different God’s all at the same time. They tell themselves that this must just be a mystery that we’ll know more about when we all get to Heaven some day. The truth of the matter is that He’s not three different God’s. To find the answer to this ‘mystery’ you have to look no further than yourself. Start by reminding yourself that God has created you in His image. You are (or have the option to be) a parent. You are someone’s son or daughter and you have a calling upon your life by which people recognize you. You could also say it as simply as you are a parent, and an aunt or uncle, and whatever your job title is. Either way, depending upon where you are and who you’re with, you could be referred to differently all while remaining the same person. The same is true with God. He is your Father, your brother, and your Confidant. You get the same God, no matter how you refer to Him. For centuries, the enemy has been trying keep people from coming to a place of comfort and intimacy with their Savior by putting the lie out there that He is too difficult to comprehend. But you’re not buying that lie, you know that your God is personal and relatable. He wants to be your Father, your Brother, and your Best Friend.
Thursday, March 29
1 Corinthians 12:13
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.
Did you know that if you’re born again that you have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Most Christians, whether they’re ‘Charismatic or Pentecostal’ or not would probably have an issue with that statement. When the Holy Spirit and baptism are mentioned in the same breath people’s minds immediately go to the idea of the empowering of the Holy Spirit subsequent to someone’s born again experience. However, if you look at the grammar used when it come to both occasions in someone’s life you’ll discover that there is a baptism OF the Holy Spirit and a baptism IN the Holy Spirit. According to today’s text, it is the work of the Holy Spirit to baptize you into the Body of Christ when you accept the sacrifice that Jesus paid for your sin. At that moment, the Holy Spirit of God Himself transfers you from the kingdom of darkness into His Body, or the Church. You are, from that point on, a child of God. He receives your prayer of repentance and welcomes you into His family. Don’t let grammar and how you feel about what comes after the new birth keep you from allowing the Holy Spirit to have His influence in your life. He wants to baptize and recreate you into a powerful and vital citizen of the Kingdom of God.
Friday, March 30
“I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”…this question has sparked an enormous amount of debate since the days of the Apostles. One side believes that you receive everything that God has to offer upon being born again while the other believes that there is still more to receive and experience. The truth of the matter is that the Bible refers to there being baptisms, plural, not just one baptism. In order for you to experience the fullest and most victorious Christian life possible you must experience all three that the New Testament lists. First and foremost you must be baptized into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit, or born again. Following this you are instructed by the Bible to follow that decision with two others, water baptism and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The usual, but not necessary order is water baptism first. Water baptism is your public display of the Holy Spirit’s inward work in your life. This is your making it known that the old you has been cut off and the new you is here to stay. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is you allowing Jesus to baptize you into the power of God. Far too many Christians wonder why they are unable to overcome their flesh and resist the temptations of the enemy while God has already given them the answer…it’s the baptism into His Holy Spirit. When you, through obedience, receive and walk in the fullness of all three baptisms, you will experience the abundance of life that comes with that obedience.
Saturday, March 31
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
When someone receives the baptism in the Holy Spirit they receive the power to be the victorious overcomer that God intends for them to be. This power comes in the form of the ability to bear fruit. “What!” you might say, “I thought that it meant that I could do miracles and get ‘words’ for people and prophesy?” While that is true, this is also true, God is far more concerned with how you live than the gifts that you can operate in (see Matthew 7:21-23). The fruit you bear will always preach louder than any gift or power ever could. If miracles, signs, and wonders could change the world don’t you think that it would be changed already? People can be, and may times are, drawn to the sensational but if those things aren’t being performed with the intent of extending God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control to those who are needing to experience Him, then they will ultimately leave as empty as they came. As a believer you must find it imperative that the Holy Spirit’s fruit is be produced in your life more than any other gift. If you’re heart isn’t for loving people then you have no business trying to throw ‘power’ someone’s way. The world needs your joy more than it needs a sermon about joy. It needs the peace of God more than it needs peace of mind. True kindness and goodness are in far greater demand than hollow humanitarian works. Allow this work of God’s grace- the baptism in the Holy Spirit, to reveal itself through the increase God’s love that it enables you to walk in.
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