Friday, May 22, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Waiting Upon the Holy Spirit
Acts 19:1-6


Abraham Thariath
Epiphany MTC, NY
 6 When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied

Holy Spirit is the power of the Lord, a member and aspect of the Trinity, who manifests himself in various situations depending on the need, and is visible through his manifestations. Holy Spirit “is the Lord and giver of life who proceeds from the father, who with the Father and Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets and apostles,” as the Nicene Creed states.

The Holy Spirit was an agent of the creation, as we can deduct from the reference that “the power of God (the spirit of God) was moving over the water;” and besides During the Old Testament period he prepared and empowered leaders of Israel   for their God-appointed assignments.

In the beginning of the New Testament, Holy Spirit prepares Virgin Mary for the birth of Jesus Christ, son of God;  Elizabeth to encourage Mary; Simeon to proclaim that the child is the Messiah, and Zechariah that his son John the Baptist will prepare the way for the Lord. John, who baptized believers with water,  announced  that Jesus is the real Messiah who will baptize them with Holy Spirit and fire.

When Jesus went to be baptized by John, the Holy Spirit descended on Him in the form a dove and the father Lord declared (through the voice from heaven): “You are my dear son. I am pleased with you.” 

From that time onward Holy Spirit was with Jesus to help guide him, as son of man, in his public ministry, preach the good news to the world and prepare him for his foretold crucifixion, and his resurrection and ascension into heaven. 

Apparently indwelling of Holy Spirit transformed the son of man into the son of God.  Jesus was always conscious that he is the son of God and till the age of about 30 years he was fully engaged in prayers and intensive study of the scriptures. But Jesus was not ready to launch his public ministry until the public declaration of the father who he is, and the Holy Spirit was poured out on him. 

Before Jesus ascension into heaven, he provided the gift of Holy Spirit to his disciples and others who believed in him.  “Do not leave Jerusalem, and wait for the gift I told you about, the gift my father promised. John baptized with water but in a few days you will be baptized with Holy Spirit” he told them, adding, “When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you  will be witness for me  in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
 
On the Day of Pentecost, Holy Spirit came on  all the believers assembled at one place. “They saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak.”

Why do need Holy Spirit? We need the power of the Holy Spirit to ward of the tempter’s snare; to guide us from going astray, and always to counsel us on the way of life, among other things.

Keep your body pure so that the Holy Spirit can reside in you.  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body,” as Paul told Corinthians.

The Holy Spirit is available to all who seek. “For God’s promise (Holy Spirit) was made to you and your children, and to all who are far away—all who the Lord our God calls to himself,”  Peter told a gathering  where nearly 3000  were baptized and received Holy Spirit.

Jesus told his disciple that The Holy Spirit, the Helper, will “stay with you forever,”   “reveal the truth about God,” and “remain with you and is in you.”  Jesus saved us “not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” He saved us “through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” as stated in Paul’s letter to Titus.

Holy Spirit will also help us turn away from sin and uncleanliness, and then we will begin producing the fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We will also radiate the love of Jesus and reflect his image. 


PRAYER


Father God, “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.” Amen

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
We need the power of the Holy Spirit to ward off the tempter’s snare; to guide us from going astray, and to always counsel us on the way of life, among other things.