Thursday, March 10, 2016

Progress is Dependent on the Holy Spirit

Photo by Manfred Majer
Scripture: Acts 13:52
And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Insights: This blog is the final Thoughts by Scott this week regarding my sermon Sunday.  The final thought is this: progress is dependent on the Holy Spirit.  Notice in today’s verse the recent converts, now called disciples, were continually filled with the Holy Spirit.  Paul and Barnabas were no longer present and could not make certain they were going to grow in their faith, but they left them a better Teacher than themselves, the Holy Spirit.  Beloved, it is absolutely vital for us to understand our dependence on the Holy Spirit.  We, as human beings, are highly resourceful creatures.  Our own productivity can, if we are not careful, lead us to believe we really are the power behind progress.  I want to remind you, however, of Jesus words.  He said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5).”  In another location we are taught “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).”  Power is not from us.  The lure and enticement of Satan is to make us think we are self-resilient, but we are not.  We are creations of the Lord God and He designed us to be dependent on Him.  Whenever we forget this truth we find ourselves walking down a path that leads to destruction.  Let me encourage you to draw near to God and let His Spirit which resides in you to be your strength.  Trust Him for the progress of your life and don’t attempt to manipulate the situations to your advantage.  The bi-product of such a life is also found in today’s verse.  We will live a life filled with joy.  Far too many people live life without this vital attribute, but Jesus promises to give us His joy in John 15:11 and in John 16:22 He tells us no one can take our joy from us.  The problem is we can give it away and when we are living life in our own strength we will quickly find ourselves giving up the joy Christ Jesus promised us.  Let me encourage you to be fully and completely dependent on the Holy Spirit for your power.  You will be very grateful you did.

1. Are you dependent on the Holy Spirit?
2. Are you trying to muscle through it and make it work?

Prayer: Father, teach me quickly the frailty of my own strength.  Help me to grow in my relationship with You and to understand Your omnipotent power.  Let me live a life out of Your strength and not my own. Amen.

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