Saturday – December 24, 2016
Read: Acts 1:8
Focus: vs 8
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
One of the results of the Holy Spirit entering into your life is power. Twice in our scripture for today we see the phrase, “you will,” – “you will receive power when” and “you will be . . . witnesses.”
When I was a young ministerial student at Houghton College, I enjoyed my first taste of freedom and did not really do well in using it properly. There were some things about college life I really enjoyed doing and other things I did not enjoy doing. I did not enjoy studying until all hours and writing papers. School came easily to me before college. College was hard! So I tended to let things slide a bit here and there. My GPA slipped badly. I didn’t know how to study but I did enjoy volunteering at the campus radio station and playing intramural sports (that is all we had at Houghton back then). Then, near the end of a week or two of revival meetings, I heard Dr. O. G. Wilson preach on the Holy Spirit and felt the tug to go up front and pray for the infilling of the Spirit. During that prayer time kneeling at one of the front pews on the left side of the sanctuary of the Houghton Wesleyan Methodist Church I felt the presence of God in a very special way. I could not speak a word. All I could do was lift my eyes toward heaven and smile the biggest smile I have ever had. Others had different reactions but that was mine.
One of the results of that infilling was that I made a new commitment to do better as a student. Part of that included taking a year off during which I took a couple of classes at two local colleges and worked with my father as a house painter and then with the Binghamton YMCA painting several rooms, hallways and the lobby. Following that year, I returned to college full-time but at a different college which is where I met my wife. God had that planned for me as well. But that experience with the Holy Spirit is what precipitated a change in my attitudes and allowed me to gain a better foothold on my studies and my relationship with God. This Holy Spirit truly is a gift that keeps on giving and allows us to give as well.
Power comes as part of the Holy Spirit’s presence. Remember that the verse we are looking at does not say “you might receive” or you might be a witness.” Rather, it says that “you will.” Power is one gift that is part and parcel of the Holy Spirit’s presence. That power in turn enables you to BE a witness. Are you struggling with living the Christian life? Are you struggling with being the kind of Christian that is recorded in the pages of the New Testament? The answer if you truly have received the Lord Jesus as Savior is to also recognize the person and work of His Holy Spirit within you and yield yourself to it for His glory. Glory be to the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit!