Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bible in 90 Days: The Holy Spirit and Love

We have been in Acts and Romans the last several days and! I would like to share that if you don't have a clear picture of the power, promise and every minute presence, direction and work of the HOLY SPIRIT, then Acts is the book to read. I was completely blown away ... again ... at the amazingness of the gift of the Holy Spirit while reading Acts. Over and over again, His presence, power and speaking and moving are recorded. Here are only a few examples:
  • Acts 2:1-4 records the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples at Pentecost.
  • "but they could not stand up against his (Stephen's) wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke." Acts 6:10
  • "When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit" Acts9:15
  • "... and encouraged by the Holy Spirit ... " Acts 9:31
  • "The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles." Acts10: 45 ... To which I would like to say, as a Gentile, an adopted Daughter of the King, praise the Lord!
  • "... full of the Holy Spirit ..." Acts11:24
  • "... the Holy Spirit said ... " Acts 13:2
  • "... sent on their way by the Holy Spirit ..." Acts 13:4
  • "... filled with the Holy Spirit ..." Acts 13:9
  • "And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit." Acts. 13:52
  • "... having been kept by the Holy Spirit ..." Acts16:6
  • "... but the Spirt of Jesus would not allow them to do so." Acts 16:7
  • "... the Holy Spirit came upon them ..." Acts 19:6
And, I could go on, but I won't. Dive in yourself and get fired up. I know I am.

Then, we started into Romans and, reading Romans in a large chunk, it so beautifully describes grace and faith and love. Especially, love. Why we love? Because God first loved us. Why are we who believe on Him called righteous? Because Jesus loved us and sacrificed Himself for us to atone our sin, which we could never do on our own. Why we must love one another and others? Because God commanded it and by His Spirit, He enables us to do so. And, what is more important than this, but to love?

"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fullfilled the law .... whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"  Romans 13: 9,10

I've thought alot about this in the last several days. One of my dear friends is dying of stage 4 brain cancer. Her time on earth is limited yet Jesus' life shines so brightly in her. Another, one of my best friend's mother, died recently of pancreatic cancer. She is sitting with Jesus, having run an awesome race on this earth. And, now, my uncle has been given an earthly prognosis that is less than favorable with his stage 4 very rare form of cancer. And, I have been reminded and convicted so clearly of love. Sadly, I have many times chosen quarrels or to be right or to try to be in control or to blame or to judge at the expense of choosing love and forgiveness over issues that are meaningless in the face of God's love and grace and mercy and tenderness. I want to emulate that grace and mercy and tenderness. I want to choose love and humility, to be a servant, empowered every moment by the Holy Spirit. Humbled and grateful for God's kindness leading me to repentance (Romans 2:4). Thankful that by His grace tomorrow is a new day where His mercies are new (Lamentation 3:22-24), and where, because of His grace and forgiveness and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I can choose the new and be done, again, with the old (2 Corinthians 5:17). People, God is good! And, there is no other like Him. Grateful.

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