“the Gospel came to you not in word only..but in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with full conviction…” Much Christianity these days tends to focus upon right words, right answers and catch phrases; Paul speaks here of the Thessalonian believers receiving and welcoming God’s saving work in their lives in a manner that transcends words alone. The words “power, Holy Spirit, and full conviction” imply full involvement of both God’s initiation and human response. Does my life show the power of the Holy Spirit and my full engagement? – Holy Spirit you are welcome in my life. Amen.
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place…All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit…” God chooses the time. His people come together in one place for His purposes. God’s Spirit empowers. It is so easy for us to want the power of the Spirit for our purposes like Simon (Acts 8:8ff); without a thought for God’s timing and the unity of the body of Christ. How is this a temptation for me? Why is the time and common gathered place essential and prerequisite? Forgive us, Fill us O Lord.
“O kings, be wise; be warned O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling kiss his feet…” Psalm 2 is advice to kings and rulers of this world. Though many my think they have power and control over things, God laughs at their misunderstandings and applications of power. What temptation of power appeals to you? Whether parent, employer, teacher, preacher, or any other kind of authority, how does this Psalm call us to humility under God? Teach us O Lord, that all power in given by you for your purposes alone. Amen.
“God did not give us a Spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” Many Christians are happy with a Spirit of love and power. Maybe we are not as excited about a Spirit of self-control. Are we looking for a way where God zaps away our questionable desires, attitudes, and actions, rather than the work of bringing those desires under control? Where am I showing self-control these days? What is it lacking in my life? – Spirit of the Living God, of power, love, and self-control; enable me to live a holy life. Amen.</
“Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you,’…he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” Just a few verses contain a blessing of peace, a commission to ministry, and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to the disciples of Jesus. Why is each of these important to the leadership and ministry of the church? What is the relationship between peace, sending, and empowerment? Breathe on us breath of God; fill us with peace, purpose, and power. Amen.
“And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” The power of the
resurrected Christ is bringing everything under his control. This has great implications for us body, mind, and spirit. How does Jesus’ resurrection power help me live out faith in my body? Is this transformational power just about the future or is it meant to change my life now too? Transform me by Your power O God!
“Each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable…” Sometimes it is easy to talk about godly character in some theoretical way, disconnected from what we live in our body. “Self-control” is the embodiment of bringing the body under the discipline of heart and mind. Why is it tempting to have an intellectual faith separated from the body? Why is our body and what we do with it important to our faith and ministry? Spirit of God, only through your power may I live a holy and honorable life. Empower me.
|“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place…All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit…” God chooses the time. His people come together in one place for His purposes. God’s Spirit empowers. It is so easy for us to want the power of the Spirit for our purposes like Simon (Acts 8:8ff); without a thought for God’s timing and the unity of the body of Christ. How is this a temptation for me? Why is the time and common gathered place essential and prerequisite? Forgive us, Fill us O Lord.|
|“…We, too, are weak, just as Christ was, but when we deal with you we will be alive with him and will have God’s power.” When we are giving out in ministry it is easy to forget it is not our energy that produces for God, rather God’s power that works through us. Are there places I am trying to do things in my own strength? What happens when I seek to accomplish God’s will in my ways?” Christ is risen! May the power of God that raised Christ from the dead bring life to me and my ministry. Amen.|