11/16/15 Filled with the Spirit

READING: Acts 1-3

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  Today begins our readings in the book of Acts, a book that focuses on the power of the Spirit. As I grew up in a Baptist church, we didn’t discuss the Holy Spirit much — unless it were to critique those who did talk much about the Spirit. I look back now, and I recognize two truths. First, our leaders had legitimate grounds to critique those who seemingly placed the Spirit above Jesus, who focused more on speaking in tongues than speaking to neighbors about Jesus, and who tended to see a two-step process in being filled with the Spirit.

Second, we wrongly gave too little attention to the Holy Spirit. In so doing, we tended to ignore the third Person of the Trinity. For example, many of us read Acts 2:4 and get hung up debating the nature of the tongues the early church spoke. But, it’s the first part of this text that ought to force us to our knees: 

Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech.”  

They were filled with the Holy Spirit. That is, GOD took up residence in them and empowered them to do the mighty work of the gospel. The God who created all things, who is worthy of all praise, the beginning and the end of our salvation, found in them a dwelling place. He lived in them. He led them. He guided and guarded them. He worked through them. God poured Himself out on them that He might be with them wherever they went, even to the end of the age.  

The miracle of that truth is no less powerful today. God lives in us. In you and in me. When He would be within His right as Creator and Judge to condemn us, He instead indwells us. He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit, and we are never alone. That’s incredible. 

It's a miracle worth thinking much about today. In fact, it’s a miracle that ought to keep us from sin today.  

ACTION STEPS:  Quickly read through today’s reading again, and note how many times these chapters speak of the Holy Spirit. Each time you read a text, thank God for His indwelling Spirit. 

PRAYER: “God, You live in me. In the power of Your Spirit, I commit to live a holy life today. Convict me should I dare lean in any other direction.”