Holy Spirit Power Within Us

"In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation -- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory." Ephesians 1:13-14 (NASB)

Read Acts 2, and soak up the significance of what happened on Pentecost. We have been blessed with the same blessings those that "were gathered in that place" experienced that day. In the preceding chapter, Jesus had given clear orders to the apostles He had chosen. They were to be His witnesses. Were they to run right out and do this? No, they were to wait for His Holy Spirit, for this would be the source of power for them to go into the world with the Gospel.

Nearing the end of His earthly life (John 17), Jesus prays for Himself, His disciples, and all believers. We are included in that number. He desires that those the Father has given Him will be with Him and behold His glory which the Father has given Him, and that they would make it known to the whole world.The power to do that comes from the Holy Spirit. Through the Pentecost event the Holy Spirit was delivered to the hearts of men. Our bodies host His presence and His great power.

Let's look at one more instance where God's glory shines.

In Acts 3:1-22 we read about a man who has been physically challenged since birth -- born with abnormalities of the body that kept him from ever learning to walk. Where do we find him? Sitting at a gate of the Temple. The place where people go to seek God, we would think. But he's sitting there just hoping for the mercy of a few coins from those passing by going to do their duty at the temple. Along come Peter and John. They were observing him closely as they approached. When they had his attention, don't you know, he was just expecting them to toss some change. What happens? They command him to walk in the name of Jesus Christ! They grab his hand, pull him up, and he's walking and even leapping! Yes, as we would say, a few minds were blown at that moment. The result: The people were running toward Peter and John in total amazement. Peter's flesh might have entertained the idea of grabbing some of that gory for itself, but instead Peter preached to the people of the power of God that brought about this man's healing. The people began glorifying God. The priests, temple guard and Saducees applecart was toppled. And because of the people glorifying God, the officials couldn't make their arrest charges stick. This happened early after the Pentecost (God's gift of the Holy Spirit) event. Although, the disciples were seeing some wondrous results of the power of God through the Holy Spirit they had now received, I bet they were still being amazed themselves every time God worked through them.

According to the verses a couple of posts back (check Isaiah 66:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20), God's word to us here is that He can't be contained, but He is looking for those who are "Humble and contrite of spirit, and who tremble at My word." He's looking for lives changed when they encounter the glory of God. We've seen that happen in every one of these instances (over the last 3 posts), and there are many other examples in Scripture. In the first we saw the angelic beings bringing God's glory into focus. Then we saw Jesus' own ministry giving glory to His Father. And finally, after Jesus has been glorified in the resurrection, and returned in glory to the Father, we saw the very power of Heaven in the form of the Holy Spirit of God taking up residence within the lives of believers. Their enthusiasm spills out to a world thirsty for the Living Water, the Bread of Life, who when He is encountered brings humility, contrition and Holy fear.

God-Color Moment
Think and pray about the ways you have seen God work in your life and the life of those around you. Record an example of how God has showed up in the midst of a situation, and His glory was apparent to all who witnessed it. Were the reactions those of awe and trembling?

Copyright, Lynn U. Watson, 2004, 2011
Photo glimpse of God's glory above from www.multimedia-stock.com

God Shows Up in Glory Again & Again!

More instances of that which brought glory to God! Are you prepared to be awed?

In Matthew 9:1-8 Jesus is criticized for telling the paralytic and his friends that He saw their faith, and forgave the man his sins. To show that He had the authority to do just that, Jesus then healed the man. What happened? The multitudes gave glory to God. I doubt the paralytic and company set out for a worship and praise marathon that day. They were just people with a problem, seeking out this Man who seemed to offer hope. They trusted He could help. He did. God was glorified not just by them, but also by the multitudes! I wonder how long that spontaneous worship service lasted? How heartfelt was their praise? In all probability, this was no rote liturgy or the fifteenth chorus of "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus." Instead, I'm guessing, their very actions were a broad display of hearts truly filled with awe and trembling, and lives being prepared to be glorious temples of the Holy Spirit. (Remember the Holy Spirit was given to us after Jesus ascended to heaven.)

Jesus raises the widow's only son back to life in Luke 7:11-16. "The dead man sat up and began to speak" (vs. 15). The disciples and a whole multitude of folks were with Jesus when they came upon this funeral procession. The result: he entire crowd was gripped with fear, and they glorified God for visiting His people! Did the mourners have any hope, or big plans to see some great miracle? Do you think they were walking outside the city gate with the body expecting this man to sit up and have a conversation with them? Very doubtful. And, what's more, when he did it brought incredible fear upon ALL OF THEM. Those with Jesus might have thought traveling around with this Guy was pretty cool, but when they actually witnessed His power they were definitely humbled and trembling as were those in the funeral party. I think there were some building blocks prepared for their temples that day.

One more awe inspiring story in the next post along with another God-Color Moment.

Copyright Lynn U. Watson, 2004, 2011
Photo -- One small glimpse of God's glory! Through the lens of my own camera. 

Walking Talking Temples of the Holy Spirit

"Thus says the LORD, "Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool, Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? For my hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being declares the LORD, But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word." Isaiah 66:1-2 (NASB)

Obviously, as we've already discovered our God is so incredibly large He could neer be contained in a "house" built by man. Yet we've already discovered that the apostle, Paul, admonishes in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NASB): "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." No, He cannot be contained in a building of wood and bricks, but our hearts and our actions can certainly embody and proclaim His glory!

As I searched through the New Testament for specific instances of that which brought glory to the Father these are some of the examples I found, demonstrating that when He is present in our lives glorious things happen that we could never dream up. 

Luke 2:15-20 recounts the shepherds' visit to the Baby Jesus. Going about their routine lives in the fields by night, they had been visited by a host of angels. Did they expect to witness that spectacular display of God's creation? Highly unlikely. But their response was to leave their place of comfort, and go check this out at the risk of being mocked for believing some crazy vision was real -- or perhaps thought to have been smoking some funny weed.  The result: They returned glorifying God! Scripture doesn't tell us for sure, but I'm believing they returned to their work, their family, their friends, their same routine, but reflecting the glory of God and His heavenly light and colors to all of those around them! They were walking, talking temples of the Holy Spirit right in the middle of the ordinary stuff of life.

We will look at other examples in the next posts. Allow yourself to be awed by the glory of God.

Photo from canstockphoto.com
All other content Copyright Lynn U. Watson, 2004, 2011 

The Master's Teaching Seminar

 Were about to begin the next chapter in our study. Here's a brief overview.

Your Master's Plan: Check Out His Teaching Seminar

All through Scripture God's glory is displayed through the lives of real people. We'll begin this chapter by visiting the shepherds returning from their field trip to the manger, the forgiven paralytic, the widow's son restored to life, and John and Peter's encounter with the paralytic at the temple gate. The impact of their encounters with God provided an outpouring of His glory to the world around them. God met them where they were and prepared them to be used mightily in His plan. Their stories were recorded in the first century after Christ's birth. God is still using their God-color testimonies for His plans and to bring Him glory today in the year 2011. That is another rather mind-boggling revelation of the BIGNESS of our God!

Christ's power to make a difference in our world lives right inside our temples. . . our lives. . . our bodies. Unfortunately, we often put our focus on other stuff. It becomes all too convenient to set His place in our life apart for another "more attractive" alternative of the moment. Isaiah discovered that truth in His life. God provided for Isaiah's restoration. He does the same for us. When we run smack dab into our need for remodeling in our temples because of the sin/idols we allow to take His place on the thrones of our temples, God has already made all the provisions for restoration.

We'll also be looking at the provisions David had prepared for his son, Solomon, to build the temple of God in Jerusalem. We'll be drawing some parallels to the provisions God makes for our temple life through the blueprints Jesus laid out in His Sermon on the Mount. Pay close attention during His terrific teaching seminar.

Topics we'll cover in this chapter:
  • God shows up in the midst of the situations of life.
  • We are heirs, seated with Him at the right hand of the power of God.
  • Will you be a willing participant?
  • David's provisions for Solomon to build the Temple of God.
  • God's provisions for His Temple in us.

Copyright Lynn U. Watson, 2004, 2011


Quick review! We have learned that Jesus is the rock, the very cornerstone of our faith, the foundation of our temple.We have seen God pour forth water from the rock in the wilderness and provide us with Jesus, the Living Water. We noted that the temple was built on a rock outcropping used for threshing wheat. Wheat is used to make flour necessary for baking bread, and Jesus is the bread of life. We have learned that He desires for us (His children) to be salt to the world to make it thirsty for Him, and a light to the world to reflect all the God-colors of His love. Building our temple seems to come through obedience. He expected it of Abraham, Moses, David, and Solomon, and He expects it of us. Allow me to share a story that I believe will enlighten us. 

God expects much from us, because the world expects much from us. October 2002 my husband and I traveled with friends to Vermont expecting to be greeted by a glorious display of God's artwork in the vibrant color drenched autumn foliage for which He is so famous. What we found were trees whose leaves were turning brown and falling to the ground, but very little of the palette we had anticipated. While we were exploring a little woodcrafter,s gallery, the owner began to share with us about how long he had lived in the area -- 37 years -- and how he believed this was the worst fall season for color he had ever seen. They just had no rain all summer and the leaves were dying and falling off. We had not even mentioned our disappointment. We were oohing and aahing over his sleighs, tiny wooden jigsaw puzzles and other fine hand crafted wood items. He seemed to feel a need to share his sadness that his little part of the world wasn't showing off for its residents or anyone else.

As I was writing the last few posts, I was reminded of that little scene in that carpenter's shop. God brought to mind that when the world looks at Christians they are expecting to see a beautiful radiance of God-colors in our lives just as we had expected to see it in Vermont's fall foliage. Romans 8:19 (NASB) "For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God." The world longs to see something in us that stands out, shows off, and says JESUS to them in all COLORFUL CAPITAL LETTERS. This Scripture from Romans implies its deep disappointment when those God-colors are not evident in us. What I realized is that the foundation for the palette of vivid hues to be displayed in the autumn trees is rain water during the growing season. If we are going to display the intense hues of His very glory and presence within us to the world that is watching and looking for it, we are going to need to have growing seasons with ample supplies of Living Water.

I believe we are only going to be supplied with this water as we spend time with the Bread of Life. Those kernels of wheat were threshed on that rock floor. If we want to harvest the kernels of pure wheat to help us grow we must go to the source. We need the Living Water to grow the wheat. We need the Living Water to paint our God-colors as we mature. Baby leaves are green. Only the leaves of trees that have soaked up the rain water all summer mature to show the vividness of the flaming autumn forest. Jesus said in John 6:35 (NASB), "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." 

Full, watered, and growing, built on the Rock -- we've begun to lay the foundation stones of our temples. If mine is going to shake I want it only to be because of the praise of the angels, and God Himself dancing and singing and shouting over me; not because of the wind of a storm blowing through my life that washes me off the sandy land. If I can stand on the Rock through the storm, the world will see His rainbow in my life. Praying you are with me?

Photo from www.multimedia-stock.com
All other material Copyright Lynn U. Watson, 2004, 2011

Rocks & Obedience

1 Kings 6:7 tells us that the stones and timbers were prepared away from the site and then moved to the location of the temple. Now consider the location of the temple on Mount Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1). These rocks were not only moved to the location, but they were moved up a mountain to be able to be used in the building of the temple. This mountain, we learn, was the threshing floor that Solomon's father, David, had purchased Araunah to build an altar of sacrifice to God against whom he had mightily sinned. David was offering this sacrifice on behalf of himself and the people.

A threshing floor is usually a rock outcropping where the whole wheat is beat, and then thrown into the air for the wind to blow away the chaff and for the choice kernels of grain to fall and be harvested. This same Mount Moriah was earlier the place of Abraham's sacrifice, when God provided the ram in the thicket as a substitutionary sacrifice as God tested Abraham's obedience in the sacrifice of his son, Isaac.

Let's also look at a promise made by God to David and to Solomon 1 Kings 6:12 (NASB): "Concerning this house which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and execute my ordinances and keep all My commandments by walking in them, then I will carry out My word with you which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the sons of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel."

Rocks and obedience seem to be pretty important to God in the building of the temple to house His presence and place of personal sacrifice. In the past several posts you have been asked to look at Jesus' sermon on the mount where He spoke specifically about His expectations for a believer's life. He let the listeners (and us) know that if we heard all these things and didn't take them to heart and apply them in our lives our foundations were built on some very sandy soil, and they would fail. He urged them and us to build our foundations on rock! We learned that Jesus Christ is our chief cornerstone. We also are "living stones being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:5 (NASB). We must be prepared before we are useful.

Photo from www.multimedia-stock.com
All other material, Copyright Lynn U. Watson 2004, 2011

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