THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME

Luke 4:18 – The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He Anointed Me to preach the Gospel.

It is one thing to be born of the Spirit and entirely another to be anointed of the Spirit. Jesus was both born of the Spirit and thirty years later anointed to preach the good news of the kingdom of God. The preaching of the gospel is not something that an individual decides one day. Only the Holy Spirit has the authority to call a person to preach the gospel. Only the Holy Spirit can commission one to go with the good news of the kingdom. Only the Holy Spirit can convey on us the authority that produces eternal results.

There are many people who, for one reason or another, try to do the work of God by their own initiation. Jesus addresses this in Matthew 7:22-23 when he speaks of those who went in His name but were not sent by Him. He calls them lawless because they went without His authority. When the Lord calls a person, it can be years before that person is ready to fulfill the call placed upon their life. The Holy Spirit spends the majority of the time preparing the one He has called through many trials and tribulations. He has to put to death the natural ambition that we all possess. The call of God emerges through much pain and disappointment. This can include rejection from family and close friends.

When Jesus was anointed of the Holy Spirit, He had already experienced the rejection of family and friends. His brothers thought He had a demon. He was known as Mary’s boy, in other words illegitimate. This carried into His ministry life. Isaiah declares, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3).  

The Holy Spirit is calling many today. He has come to rest upon believers and anoint them as He did with God’s only begotten Son. Jesus could stand and declare, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me” (Luke 4:18) because He had chosen to submit to His Father’s desires as He lived a human life. Only a few are willing to go through the disciplines it will require. God is looking for willing sons and daughters who will say, “Here I am, send me.” Inquire of the Lord what He might say to you regarding His call and anointing in your life. Will you be part of that few?

Pray, asking the Father to anoint you for the call He has in your life. Father, I choose to do Your will in all that I do for the rest of my life, regardless of the cost, as You supply me with grace.

RECEIVING THE DOVE OF HEAVEN

Luke 3:21-22 – Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove.

Jesus is the perfect man before God and sets the pattern for all of us. Thirty years before His baptism, Jesus was born from a divine act of God through the person of the Holy Spirit as Mary conceived. Now, thirty years later, Jesus came to John, His cousin, to be baptized in water. The Jews understood baptism as a cleansing, but Jesus was baptized in witness of His coming death, burial, and resurrection. For Jesus, it was His public testimony of His commitment to the will of His Father. The Father’s response was to open heaven and send the Holy Spirit in “bodily form” to anoint Jesus for His ministry.  After Jesus’ ascension, the Father poured out His Spirit upon those who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today, the Holy Spirit is here with us. He is not only with each believer, but He has come to indwell each one who is trusting Christ. Have you allowed the Holy Spirit to come on you and indwell you? Just as with Jesus, every believer that has trusted Christ has been born of the Spirit of God. In the same way that Jesus came to the waters of baptism submitting Himself to the will of God, we too must yield to the full will of the Father as we consider our life on earth. This will take the power of God through His indwelling Spirit. Many believers, once they trust Jesus for their salvation through forgiveness of sin, do not go on to being filled daily with the Holy Spirit. We need empowerment to live the life of a disciple, to witness with power, and to overcome the evil one who ever waits to tempt and distract us from the Father’s will.

Many times, in the book of Acts and throughout the apostle’s letters, we are instructed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. On one occasion, Paul says “… be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing, and making melody with your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:18-19).

Today, let us yield to the Father as Jesus did. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower you for the call of God in your life. Ask Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit every day. Then open yourself to receive of the Spirit’s presence and guidance.

IF ANYONE IS THIRSTY

John 7:37 – If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.

There are two different kinds of thirst that human beings experience. The natural thirst for water and the spiritual thirst for God. A person can go without food for many days. The body will begin to draw from its own resources until they are depleted and the person begins to die of starvation. This is not true of our need for water. In a very short time the body dehydrates from a lack of water. The body does not store water like a camel which has a reservoir that holds water for long periods.

Jesus begins to reveal that He is their source which can satisfy spiritual thirst. Only by coming to Jesus can one be refreshed with a supply of living water. He goes on to explain in verse 38 that the one who believes in Him will experience this living water flowing like a river from one’s innermost being. The spiritual water that Jesus is referring to is not from an outside source, but the source will be within the believer. Literally, this means from the person’s “belly”. Jesus states that this is the promise of Scripture. He is referencing Isaiah 58:11, “You will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.” 

John 7:39 explains that Jesus was referring to the coming work of the Spirit in the life of those who believed. First, Jesus had to be raised from the dead, glorified, and seated next to the Father. The Spirit was manifested on the day of Pentecost when the promised Holy Spirit came with a number of manifestations, as revealed in Acts 2. Every believer needs to have their personal Pentecost. The disciples believed on Jesus, but they needed to receive the Holy Spirit. Have you asked to receive the Holy Spirit? Can you relate to Jesus’ words “that from your innermost being will flow living water”? If not, why not ask Him today to give you the Holy Spirit and the promised “living water.” Perhaps you have received, but you need to be filled again with the Spirit. The Bible teaches that there are many fillings that one might experience.

Today, receive the Holy Spirit and let Him release the living waters from your innermost being! Why not pray right now?  Father, I ask today that Jesus would fill me with the Holy Spirit. I recognize I need to be filled daily and sometimes more than once in the period of a day.

IF ANYONE IS THIRSTY

John 7:37 – If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.

 There are two different kinds of thirst that human beings experience. The natural thirst for water and the spiritual thirst for God. A person can go without food for many days. The body will begin to draw from its own resources until they are depleted and the person begins to die of starvation. This is not true of our need for water. In a very short time the body dehydrates from a lack of water. The body does not store water like a camel which has a reservoir that holds water for long periods.

Jesus begins to reveal that He is their source which can satisfy spiritual thirst. Only by coming to Jesus can one be refreshed with a supply of living water. He goes on to explain in verse 38 that the one who believes in Him will experience this living water flowing like a river from one’s innermost being. The spiritual water that Jesus is referring to is not from an outside source, but the source will be within the believer. Literally, this means from the person’s “belly”. Jesus states that this is the promise of Scripture. He is referencing Isaiah 58:11, “You will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.” 

John 7:39 explains that Jesus was referring to the coming work of the Spirit in the life of those who believed. First, Jesus had to be raised from the dead, glorified, and seated next to the Father. The Spirit was manifested on the day of Pentecost when the promised Holy Spirit came with a number of manifestations, as revealed in Acts 2. Every believer needs to have their personal Pentecost. The disciples believed on Jesus, but they needed to receive the Holy Spirit. Have you asked to receive the Holy Spirit? Can you relate to Jesus’ words “that from your innermost being will flow living water”? If not, why not ask Him today to give you the Holy Spirit and the promised “living water.” Perhaps you have received, but you need to be filled again with the Spirit. The Bible teaches that there are many fillings that one might experience.

Today, receive the Holy Spirit and let Him release the living waters from your innermost being! Why not pray right now?  Father, I ask today that Jesus would fill me with the Holy Spirit. I recognize I need to be filled daily and sometimes more than once in the period of a day.

FELLOWSHIP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT & THE SPIRIT’S PURPOSE IS TO WORK ALL THINGS AFTER HIS WILL 

2 Corinthians 13:14 – The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

In ending his letter to the Corinthians, Paul includes the community of the Godhead. The grace of Jesus speaks of the one who is a gift from God. The love of God addresses the Father’s heart. The “fellowship” of the Holy Spirit reveals how the Spirit is the part of the Godhead with whom we develop intimacy. Out of God’s love, Jesus came as the Father’s gift so we might have the continual fellowship in the Holy Spirit. Many times we hear of receiving Jesus into our hearts, but the only way we can receive Jesus and know the Father is through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of the Son, has come as the “promise” of the Father for each one who would receive God’s gift, Jesus. Jesus said to His disciples, “Behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

The Holy Spirit has been the “neglected” part of the Godhead. In the Apostle’s Creed, all we find is the statement “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” Part of the message of the gospel is that Jesus came so that true fellowship with God could be restored to all mankind through faith in Jesus as the “sin bearer.” That fellowship is found in the Holy Spirit. Many of God’s people have not been taught to nurture their relationship with the Holy Spirit. One reason is a misunderstanding of Jesus’ statement in John 16:13 (KJV) “. . . for He will not speak of himself . . . “A better translation is “. . . or he will not speak on His own initiative . . . .”  Just as Jesus Himself, did nothing out of His own initiative, the Holy Spirit only does the Father’s bidding.

Our great need is to spend time in fellowship with the Spirit. This means that we must become familiar with His voice and learn how to follow His leading. Only fellowship with the Holy Spirit can bring us into an ever-increasing relationship with the Father and the Son.

How much of our time and energy is spent in the natural realm trying to develop our relationship with God? We can only know Him by the Spirit. Today, ask the Father and the Son to fill you afresh with their Holy Spirit and begin to nurture a daily fellowship with Him.

January 8 – THE SPIRIT’S PURPOSE IS TO WORK ALL THINGS AFTER HIS WILL 
1 Corinthians 12:8-11 – For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually, just as He wills.

The Apostle helps the Corinthian believers understand the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of an individual believer within the community of the church gathering. Some have wrongly interpreted this passage as saying that the Holy Spirit gives one gift to each believer as He wills. Paul had concern because the Corinthian believers were misusing the gifts by making them personal rather than for the edifying of the body. When believers gather together in an assembly, it would be confusing if everybody spoke in tongues or tried to prophesy at the same time. Within the corporate body the Holy Spirit gives to each as He wills for the edification of all.

In our daily walk and fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we live out our life around others who do not know God. The Holy Spirit desires to reveal the love of God through us by releasing His gifts. He chooses what He deems beneficial in helping our witness. It is possible that one might find a few particular gifts of the Spirit working regularly in their life, but all are available to the believer as the Holy Spirit leads. In the corporate body, He distributes to each one individually just as He wills, but outside the gathering of the body, all His gifts are available to the believer at any given time.

Father, I ask for the Holy Spirit to use me today as you so desire. I am Your servant and cannot effectively share Your love with others unless You empower me. Be free to release Your gifts through my life to assist me in ministering to those You chose to bring across my path.