The Promised Power Of Pentecost

When the Israelites were delivered from Egypt on the night of Passover, fifty days later they arrived at Mount Sinai where God delivered the Ten Commandments to them. This became the birth of the Jewish nation. For millennia following this, not only did the Jewish people observe Passover but they also celebrated “The Feast of Weeks” (also known as Pentecost) fifty days following Passover.

But on the first Pentecost after Christ ascended to Heaven, something amazing happened which was a game-changer for the new Christians. An event which became the birth of the Christian nation.

On that Pentecost Sunday, the Holy Spirit was poured out on Christ’s followers in a way never before seen in history. Although this had never been seen before, it was the fulfillment of something God had promised thousands of years before.

  1. Promised

This blessing of the Holy Spirit had been hinted at when God first called Abraham, as He promised that from Abraham would come a blessing for all peoples on earth (Genesis 12:3). Jesus said that this blessing would be realized with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and then Peter tied the Day of Pentecost experience to the fulfillment of those promises (Acts 2:38-39).

  1. Commanded

Jesus had this empowerment of the Holy Spirit and He wanted all of His followers to have it too, so His directive to His follower is not a suggestion. Twice when Jesus tells His followers to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the verbs He uses are commands (see Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4).

  1. Normal Experience

For the first Christians, the baptism in the Holy Spirit was a normal experience for them following salvation. This baptism gave them power to…

  1. Initial Evidence

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is accompanied by an initial physical evidence of speaking in a language you’ve never studied. This is to be an unmistakable proof—primarily to you—of the Spirit’s outpouring. But the ongoing development of Christlike character is the continual evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

So what’s the controversy? Why do people spend so much time arguing this baptism isn’t for us, or for now? If we start down that path, what else are we going to say is outdated or exclusive for some?

Doesn’t it seem much more logical to simply accept what God promised all His people?!

So here’s the question I would ask you—Have you been baptized in the Holy Spirit? If not, why not?

Horatius Bonar On Healing

Horatius Bonar“The Lord ends speaking and begins working; He comes down from the pulpit and enters the hospital [Matthew 8:1-3]. Such is His whole life: words and deeds intermingled; words of health and deeds of health.

“[The leper] wants to be made clean, and he casts himself on Christ for this. He is the Hyssop, the Water, the Blood, the Ashes, the Priest, the Physician, all in one. Thus we still come, doubting neither the willingness nor the power, yet casting ourselves on the will of the Lord; not presuming to dictate, yet appealing to His sovereign grace. As the needy, the sick, the unclean, we come; for the whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

“… Jesus speaks, ‘I will, be thou clean.’ … It is the voice of authority. It reminds us of Genesis 1:2-3. He speaks as One Who knew that He could cure. Not hesitatingly. Nor are the words a prayer, but a command. He speaks, and it is done. … Thus love, authority, and power are all conjoined. It is the voice of Omnipotence.

He is the same Christ still; with the same love, and authority, and power. He is still the Healer, and the worst of diseases fly from His touch and voice. Let us go to Him with all that afflicts us. … Be persuaded to present thyself to Him, just as thou art. Give this divine Healer thy simple confidence. Take Him for what He is, and He will take thee for what thou art. Thus shalt thou meet in love; thou to be healed, and He to heal; thou to have the joy of being healed, and He to have the joy of healing thee, and to announce to heaven, in the presence of the angels of God, that another leper has been healed!” —Horatius Bonar (emphasis added)

14 More Quotes From “Not Knowing Where”

Not Knowing WhereWhen I’m reading an Oswald Chambers book, I could practically highlight every line! Even when I restrain myself, I still find so much good material. I’ve already shared some quotes from Not Knowing Where, but I wanted to share a few more with you.

“In seeking the best we soon find that our enemy is our good things, not our bad. The things that keep us back from God’s best are not sin and imperfection, but the things that are right and good and noble from the natural standpoint.”

“Fanaticism is sticking true to my interpretation of my destiny instead of waiting for God to make it clear.”

“God will never have more power than He has now; if He could have, He would cease to be God.”

“Whenever God gives a vision to a saint, he puts the saint, as it were, in the shadow of His hand, and the saint’s duty is to be still and listen. Genesis 16 is an illustration of the danger of listening to good advice when it is dark instead of waiting for God to send the light (cf. Galatians 1:15-16). When God gives a vision and darkness follows, wait; God will bring you into accordance with the vision He has given if you will wait His time.”

“All God’s commands are enablings. Therefore it is a crime to be weak in His strength.” 

“God never hastens and He never tarries. He works His plans out in His own way, and we either lie like clogs on His hands or we assist Him by being as clay in the hands of the Potter.”

“Faith is not a bargain with God—I will trust You if you give me money, but not if You don’t. We have to trust in God whether He sends us money or not, whether He gives us health or not. We must have faith in God, not in His gifts.”

“The relation is to be that of a child; fling yourself clean over on to God and wash your hands of the consequences, and John 14:27―‘My peace I give unto you’―becomes true at once. The profound realization of God makes you too unspeakably peaceful to be capable of any self-interest.”

“Faith is not the means whereby we take God to ourselves for our select coterie; faith is the gift of God whereby He expresses His purposes through us.”

“Beware of insulting God by being a pious prude instead of a pure person.”

“It is the attitude of a spiritual prig to go about with a countenance that is a rebuke to others because you have the idea that they are shallower than you.”

“Friendship with God is faith in action in relation to God and to our fellow men.”

“The most amazing evidence of a man’s nature being changed is the way in which he sees God, to say ‘God led me here’; ‘God spoke to me’; is an everyday occurrence to him.”

“It is not that we prepare a palace for God, but that He comes into our mortal flesh and we do our ordinary work, in an ordinary setting, amongst ordinary people, as for Him.”

You can read my review of Not Knowing Where by clicking here.

You can read other quotes from this book by clicking here.

The Delight In God’s Word

Psalm 119Psalm 119 is a loving poem to God because His Word to us is so amazing! All 176 verses of this psalm say something special about God’s laws, statutes, decrees, precepts, or commands.

Like this psalmist, we too can discover 176 praiseworthy things in God’s Word. Things like…

  1. Blessing by walking according to His law
  2. Blessing by keeping His statues
  3. Blamelessness when walking in His ways
  4. Full obedience when obeying His precepts
  5. Steadfastness because we obey His decrees
  6. No shame in following His commands
  7. Uprightness in learning His laws
  8. His continual presence when obeying His decrees
  9. Purity in living by His word
  10. Direction when following His commands
  11. A sinless life by hiding His word in our hearts
  12. More reasons to praise Him when He teaches us His decrees
  13. Joy in recounting His laws
  14. Rejoicing in following His statutes
  15. Joy in meditating on His precepts
  16. Delight in attending to His word
  17. Life and goodness in obeying His word
  18. Wonderful things in His law
  19. God’s companionship in His commands
  20. Our soul’s longings fulfilled in His laws
  21. No curses by keeping His commands
  22. No scorn in keeping His statutes
  23. Immune to slander in meditating on His decrees
  24. A delightful counselor in His statues
  25. A preserved life in His word
  26. God’s answers in His decrees
  27. Understanding wonderful things in His precepts
  28. Strength in His word
  29. Grace in His law
  30. Truth in His laws
  31. No shame in His statutes
  32. Freedom in His commands
  33. God’s counsel in His decrees
  34. Deeper understanding in His law
  35. Direction and delight in His commands
  36. A strengthened heart through His statutes
  37. Eternal life in His word
  38. Fulfillment in His promises
  39. No dread nor disgrace in His laws
  40. Preserved life in His precepts
  41. Salvation in His promises
  42. Answers for enemies in His word
  43. Hope in His laws
  44. Eternal security in His law
  45. Freedom in His precepts
  46. Influence in His statutes
  47. Delight in His commands
  48. Love in His commands
  49. Hope in His word
  50. Comfort in suffering in His promises
  51. Steadfastness in His law
  52. Comfort in His laws
  53. Proper emotions toward the wicked in His law
  54. Songs in His decrees
  55. Nighttime comfort in His law
  56. Healthy practices in His precepts
  57. Complete help in His word
  58. Finding God in His promise
  59. Course corrections in His statutes
  60. Motivation in His commands
  61. Rescue in His laws
  62. Midnight thanks in His laws
  63. Friendship-strengthener in His precepts
  64. Seeing His love everywhere through His decrees
  65. Blessing in His word
  66. Knowledge and good judgment in His commands
  67. Healing in His word
  68. Goodness in His decrees
  69. Immunity to slander in His precepts
  70. Enlivened emotions in His law
  71. Help for affliction in His decrees
  72. Riches in His law
  73. Understanding in His commands
  74. Encouragement for others in His word
  75. Godly paradigms in His laws
  76. The comfort of His unfailing love in His promise
  77. Delightful compassion in His law
  78. Justice in His precepts
  79. Influential friendships in His statutes
  80. Blamelessness in His decrees
  81. Hope in His word
  82. Comfort in His promise
  83. Preservation in His decrees
  84. Perseverance in His law
  85. Victory in His law
  86. Trust in His commands
  87. Staying power in His precepts
  88. Life and love in His statutes
  89. Firm foundation in His word
  90. Generational faithfulness in His word
  91. Enduring glory revealed in His laws
  92. Delight in affliction in His law
  93. Preserved life in His precepts
  94. Salvation in His precepts
  95. Peace in His statutes
  96. Perfection in His commands
  97. Love in His laws
  98. Wisdom in His commands
  99. More insight than your peers in His statutes
  100. More understanding in His precepts
  101. Avoiding evil through His word
  102. Personally taught by God in His laws
  103. Sweetness in His words
  104. Understanding in His precepts
  105. Light in His word
  106. Direction in His laws
  107. Preservation in His word
  108. Praise in His laws
  109. Safety in His laws
  110. Avoiding snares in His precepts
  111. Joyful heritage in His statutes
  112. Developing an obedient heart through His decrees
  113. Strong love in His law
  114. Hopeful refuge in His word
  115. Repelling evildoers through His commands
  116. Sustaining power in His promise
  117. Deliverance in His decrees
  118. Acceptance in His decrees
  119. Purity in His statutes
  120. Awe and reverence in His laws
  121. God’s constant presence in His word
  122. Victory over oppressors in His law
  123. Salvation in His promises
  124. Loving treatment in His decrees
  125. Discernment in His statutes
  126. Justice in His law
  127. Riches in His commands
  128. Knowing right from wrong through His precepts
  129. Wonder in His statutes
  130. Illumination in His words
  131. Fulfillment in His commands
  132. Mercy in His word
  133. Victory over sin in His word
  134. Redemption in His precepts
  135. His favor in His decrees
  136. Passion in His law
  137. Righteousness in His laws
  138. Confidence in His statutes
  139. Zeal in His words
  140. Throughly-tested truths in His promises
  141. Enhanced memory in His precepts
  142. Everlasting truth in His law
  143. Peace in trouble in His commands
  144. Fuller understanding in His statutes
  145. Answers in His decrees
  146. Salvation in His statutes
  147. Hope in His word
  148. Peaceful meditation in His promises
  149. Preservation in His laws
  150. Peace around enemies in His law
  151. God’s presence in His commands
  152. Eternity in His statutes
  153. Deliverance in His laws
  154. Defense in His promise
  155. Finding God in His decrees
  156. Compassion in His laws
  157. Victory over persecutors in His statutes
  158. Satisfaction in His word
  159. Love in His precepts
  160. Eternal truths in His laws
  161. Learned reverence in His word
  162. Great riches in His promise
  163. Love in His law
  164. Reasons to praise in His laws
  165. Great peace and stability in His law
  166. Salvation in His commands
  167. Great love in His statutes
  168. Blessed paths in His precepts
  169. Understanding in His word
  170. Answers to prayer in His promise
  171. Praise in His decrees
  172. Songs in His word
  173. Ready help in His precepts
  174. Delight in His law
  175. Sustaining praise in His laws
  176. God seeking me out in His commands

Oh, how wonderful is God’s Word!!

Fuller Love

Fuller loveLove is not always flowery and sweet, where everyone gets along, and no one is ever mean or even unkind. Actually that’s not love; that’s selfishness. You’re saying, “I will love you because it makes me feel good. I get something special out of this when I am kind and loving to you.”

The ancient Greeks had different words for love. Whereas we use love for food (“I love my pasta”), and the same word for special people (“I love my wife”). But we all know that I’m not really saying my wife and a plate of spaghetti are on the same level.

So the Greeks had a word for love for the inanimate (like food and music), and a word for this-makes-me-feel-so-good (like sex and alcohol), and a word for treating someone humanely or kindly (sometimes called brotherly love). These are well-known loves, but they are very fragile. The law of diminishing returns says that each time I experience one of these loves, its ability to please me the next time is slightly reduced, until at one point this thing/person no longer satisfy me at all. In fact, they may even cause my stomach to churn in nausea.

But there was one more word the Greeks used for love, that the biblical writers used almost exclusively. This word (agape) is not tuxedos and dancing gowns and chandeliers. This love shows up in work clothes, with callouses on its hands and knees, because it’s determined to serve someone else no matter what!

This is the kind of love God exhibited toward us—God shows and clearly proves His own love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

And this is the kind of love Jesus commanded us to exhibit toward others… even toward those we think are unloveableBy this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another…. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” do that. (John 13:35; Luke 6:32-33)

This is the kind of full love that those apart from Jesus Christ do not know, but they can see it and be drawn to it if Christians will demonstrate it. Henry Drummond said this—

Never offer men a thimbleful of gospel. Do not offer them merely joy, or merely peace, or merely rest, or merely safety; tell them how Christ came to give men a more abundant life than they have, a life abundant in love…. Then only can the gospel take hold of the whole of a man, body, soul and spirit. …Only a fuller love can compete with the love of the world.

Let’s show the world a fuller love, and in so doing we will show them Jesus!

I will be continuing my series on Loving The Unloveable next Sunday. Please join me!

Thursdays With Oswald #2

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Why Should I Do What I Ought To Do?

      We imagine that if we obey authority we limit ourselves, whereas obedience to authority is not a limitation but a source of power; by obeying we are more. Naturally we are built to command, not to obey; man was originally constituted by God to have dominion—“And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion . . .” ( Genesis 1:26 ); consequently there is the natural desire to want to explain things, because everything we can explain we can command. Spiritually, we are built not to command, but to obey. Always beware of the tendency to want to have things explained; you may take it as an invariable law that when you demand an explanation in connection with a moral problem it means you are evading obedience.

From Biblical Ethics

“God, if You will just tell me why I have to do this, then I’ll do it” doesn’t work. I simply must trust and obey.

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