Friday, June 1, 2012
Read: When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit . . . Acts 2:1-4
So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:17-20.
Think About: In his Guide to the Bible, theologian H. L. Willmington equates the experience of the filling of the Holy Spirit to a guest's experience while visiting a friend's house. When the guest arrives, Willmington says, he is confined to one room, near the front door. For awhile, the host forgets about his visitor, but soon the host realizes that he hasn't treated his guest very well, and he gives his guest free access to the rest of the house.
The guest is the Holy Spirit. The host is the believer. The house is the believer's life. When we receive the Holy Spirit on our day of Pentecost, we may not understand what it means to be host to the Spirit of God, but as we learn more about our Lord and Savior, we realize it is time to set the Spirit free. Willmington says, "The filling, therefore, does not mean the believer gets more of the Holy Spirit, but rather the Holy Spirit gets more of the believer."
I've always liked Paul's metaphor in his letter to the Ephesians. Don't be drunk - that is, subject to the inhibitions and limitations too much alcohol leads to - but be filled - controlled by - the Holy Spirit.
As we grow in our knowledge of God, as we learn more about Jesus, we will inevitably get to know the Holy Spirit better. And as we learn to love and trust God, we will want to turn more of ourselves and our lives over to his control. Not to worry. He's been waiting for the opportunity.
The Holy Spirit isn't pushy like some of the other elements of your life that seem to be demanding your time, but have no doubt - he will get your attention if you keep him confined in a small room for too long. I hear some of you chuckling. I, too, have chuckled.
I love Jesus. I love him because the He first loved me and gave his life so that I may live. I love him because he has shared with me the power of the resurrection, the power of the Holy Spirit.
There is one other thing we need to know about the Holy Spirit. He produces unity within the body of Christ. He makes us one - one with each other and one with God. Paul said, "I. . . beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all." (Ephesians 4:1-6)
Let us, the modern church, find unity through the Holy Spirit.
Pray this Prayer: I hear you, Jesus. I hear you calling St. Luke's to complete your work. Fill us with your Spirit, Lord, so we can do great things. Amen.
Written by the St. Luke's Writing Team
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