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.

I WOULD THAT ALL GOD’S PEOPLE WERE PROPHETS

Numbers 11:29 – I would will that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!

God took of His Spirit which rested upon Moses and placed Him upon the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. Two of the seventy remained in the camp and were not present, but they too received the Spirit and prophesied. Joshua did not think this was right because those men were not present with the others. Moses thought that Joshua was jealous for Moses’ sake, but Moses revealed the heart of God with his response in verse 29.

God desires for His people to have such a relationship with Him that He can reveal His will to them so that they can voice God’s will to others. “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). He reveals His desire that all of His people would “prophesy.” In 1 Corinthians 14:31 Paul wrote, “. . . for you can all prophesy one by one.” Paul went on to reveal that prophecy has purpose; that it is “. . . for learning and the exhorting of God’s people.” Prophecy is not the attempt of the natural man trying to figure out God’s will, but the Spirit making known God’s will to the spirit of a person. What one believes the Spirit of God has revealed to them is subject to others who are hearing God as well. No spirit of prophecy is “private,” but is to be confirmed by what others are hearing God say. “The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets;  for God is not a God of confusion but peace as in all the churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:32-33).

Confusion and the lack of peace are produced by a person holding onto a private interpretation of God’s Word. The man or woman that possesses the true spirit of prophecy is the one who spends time with God listening carefully for what the Spirit desires to speak. They freely submit what they are hearing to others for discernment of accuracy. The Spirit never contradicts the Word of God, nor does He limit what He is saying to one individual. The Spirit of God does not bring new “revelation” that is outside of God’s revealed Word, but helps us to apply God’s Word in our present world and culture. Wisdom is necessary to work with revelation. That is why Paul prays “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Ephesians 1:17).

Ask God every day for the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ. Not only read God’s Word and pray, but become a listener for what the Spirit would say to you. Be prepared to speak, so others may learn and be exhorted.

THE SPIRIT WILL NOT CONVICT FOREVER

Genesis 6:3 – Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever because he also is flesh; nevertheless, his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”

This pronouncement of God is prior to the flood that destroyed all mankind except for Noah and his family. God saw Noah as a righteous man. God reveals in our scripture for today that His Spirit had to deal with sin at some point. The sixth chapter of Genesis reveals how God determined that man had 120 years to repent and begin to serve God’s purpose. He chose to use Noah as His instrument to call man to salvation by the construction of the ark. Men laughed at Noah, but when the ark was finished, God’s judgment came quickly.

Paul helps us understand that God is still dealing with mankind’s rebellion. “God is now declaring to all men that all people everywhere should repent because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed” (Acts 17:30-31).  That man is God’s own Son who came to bear the sins of the world and take on Himself the wrath of God. Jesus’ atoning work is what caused God the Father to make this statement through Paul. There is a day which God has fixed to judge all those who refuse to repent by changing their mind and submitting to God’s Spirit who has come to transform all those who trust in Christ.

Jesus is God’s ark of safety for mankind from God’s judgment when it finally comes. That judgment will not be by water, but a rain of fire as God has declared. “By His Word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7). Repentance is a lifestyle that allows the Holy Spirit to point out areas where God wants us to change our thinking and actions. Allow the Spirit to reveal Christ in your thinking and how you might live life before God and this generation.

What does the Spirit of God desire to speak with you about in regard to your thinking and the way you live as a son or daughter of God? He is always close to bring fresh insights, so our minds might be renewed after His.   

FLESH AND SPIRIT

John 3:6 – That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Jesus explained to Nicodemus the two types of birth. One is a birth that is generated by the flesh or through the human reproductive process that God initiated at the creation. Because of sin, man lost his standing of righteousness before God, and came under the judgment of God. Man had a desperate need for something to save him from his lost condition.

Jesus came to provide a way of salvation for mankind. Through the Holy Spirit man could be born again. A “new” creation would begin through Christ. Jesus told Nicodemus this second birth would be a work of the Spirit. Through the new birth, we are once again brought back into a relationship with God. When born again, we have a “right standing with God.” It is a birth that the Holy Spirit initiates. As we allow His work in our lives, He matures us into the image of Christ. His mandate is to empower believers to grow up in Christ so that He might be revealed in everything we do.

Paul speaks both about the man of the flesh and the spiritual man when writing to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 3:1-2. The man of the flesh is the person who tries to serve God from his own reasoning. Paul says that this one is an “infant in Christ.” Paul goes on to say that he had to give them “milk” rather than solid food because “they could not receive it.”  The “new birth” is not unlike the natural birth as it relates to babes and mature individuals. We begin as an infant, but the hope is that we will grow up into Christ by becoming a “spiritual man,” in other words, one that is led by the Holy Spirit. This can only come about as we develop a relationship with the Spirit of God. He leads us to the Word of God with the purpose of washing our minds from the fleshly way of thinking to a “spiritual” way of thinking and biblical application in our daily life.

Where are you in the process of change? Are you still fleshly in your thinking and practices or are you developing as a spiritual man or woman?  Is Christ being revealed in your thoughts and practices?