Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Right Spirit

As a child, I remember being afraid of ghosts hiding under my bed or in my closet. They were shadowy, scary things and, even though Dad told me there were no such things as ghosts, it still felt like they were hiding in the dark corners of my room ready to…

Come to think of it, I guess all a ghost could really do was scare you. I don’t remember even the scariest ghost stories really having much more of point than some variation of the ghost jumping out and saying, “BOO!”

Still, I do remember lying in my bed somewhere between the ages of five and ten and repeating over and over, “There’s no such thing as ghosts, there’s no such thing as ghosts…”

It didn’t help much when we went to church and the pastor would say, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…”

I considered it a welcome change when churches and clergy began using “Holy Spirit” instead of “Holy Ghost. “ There was enough of the culture assigning meanings to “ghost” that ranged from evil poltergeists to Casper.

The thing is, even though “Holy Spirit” is a better description, the third person of the Trinity is much harder to get a handle on than the Father or the Son.

I think that’s because we picture the Father and the Son as having human features. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is most often depicted as a dove because of the imagery mentioned in Mark 1:10, John 1:32, and Matthew 3:16 at Jesus’ baptism. I think it’s important to note that all three of the passages of scripture above describe the Holy Spirit’s movement as being dove-like, but not His actual appearance.

If you really start to look for the Holy Spirit in scripture, He’s not hard to find. He comes up in the second verse of the Bible, where the Spirit is described as “hovering” over the waters of the formless and empty Earth. As we go through the creation account, it was God’s word and the power of His Spirit that created the universe and everything in it.

The Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with power in the book of Judges and the Spirit gives Samson power to tear lions apart and defeat enemies.  Samuel receives power from the Holy Spirit in 1 Samuel 10, then it comes upon Saul, and then upon David. Micah says he is filled with the power of the Spirit in chapter three of that book, and Mary is told it is the power of the Holy Spirit that will overshadow her and cause her to be the mother of Jesus.

Acts 10:38 says Jesus was anointed with power and the Holy Spirit to do good and heal those oppressed by the devil.

Jesus Himself tells His disciples: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 ESV)

When that day comes, as described in Acts 2, it is a powerful event with a mighty rushing wind and tongues of fire resting on the disciples. Those drawn from all over Jerusalem were “cut to the heart” by Peter’s sermon on that day and three thousand were baptized.

In Romans, Paul tells us the power of the Spirit has freed us from the power of sin that leads to death and that we will overflow with confident hope through this power.

In First Thessalonians 1:5, we are told that the gospel comes to us not only in word, “but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”

And, in 2 Timothy 1:7, it says, “… for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Far from being some scary specter hiding in a dark corner and waiting to jump out and scare us, it is the Holy Spirit that created us and the entire universe, that fortifies us, that brought Jesus to us, that fills us with the power to witness, that frees us, that gives us confident hope and guidance, that is our guarantee of salvation, that directs our prayers when we have no words, that fills us with love and self-control and all the fruits of the Spirit, and that enables us to say, “JESUS IS LORD!”

It is that Spirit that is present every day on Kinship Christian Radio in word, in preaching, in teaching, and in song and it changes hearts and minds and lives for all eternity.

Today’s Praise

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5 KJV)

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