Posted by: pastortomvabeach | May 22, 2013

Thought for the Week May 26, 2013

Lilia and I spent much of last week in Niagara Falls on a short vacation. The beauty and grandeur of the Niagara River and the two sets of falls is beyond amazing. Lilia commented that it was a miracle that so much water spills over the falls and has continued to do so for thousands of years and it never runs out! Imagine that God designed the water cycle so that water would evaporate all over the globe and return to earth in the form of rain which could fill the rivers, creeks, and tributaries leading into four Great Lakes that feed directly into the Niagara River eventually cascading almost two hundred feet to the gorge below. Without that water cycle we would not exist and if just one atom were placed differently or just one element of the cycle did not function properly there would be no water and no life on earth (at least life as we know it, as God designed it). God’s wonders have a way of pointing directly to Him, don’t they?

After that glorious week, it was so refreshing to return and receive a great message about Pentecost from my associate, Doug Crabb. His assertion on Sunday was that the Day of Pentecost and the accompanying signs, wonders, and manifestations of that day really have only one purpose. Don’t get all shook up but the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not for us! Being filled with the Spirit is not mainly about exciting worship, anointed preaching, powerful healing, words of knowledge or prophecy, or speaking in tongues.

Those are all by products of this baptism and, of course, many are necessary and useful, as Paul states in I Corinthians, for the edifying (building up) of the church. But again this is not the primary purpose. The church needs to be built up not for the sake of the church but for the sake of the mission and purpose of the church which is . . . wait for it . . . witnessing to and reaching lost people with the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Jesus only gave us one Great Commission. Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you… (Matthew 28:19-20) Mark put it this way, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that does not believe shall be condemned. (Mark 16;15-16) In Acts 1:8, Jesus said, You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come on you and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth. No matter how we look at it, Jesus left the church here to reach people He loves with the gospel.

It was also invigorating spiritually to see so many responding to this message and coming to seek God for a new filling with the Spirit. The presence of God was in our midst in a very powerful way! I believe that He answered each and every one who came and also some who were prompted to come but stayed in their seats. Now we need to ask ourselves what Pastor Doug asked on Sunday, “Why did we get this filling with the Spirit?” In other words, will we resist the pull to the Pentecostal In Name Only? If we’re filled with the Spirit how will that translate into our witness for Jesus?

Here’s what Pastor Doug suggested we do: 1) Every day ask to be filled with the Spirit. 2) Every day ask God for opportunities to share the gospel with those who need Jesus. 3) Every day ask the Lord to show you ways you can be Jesus to those with whom you cross paths. This is being proactive with the gospel. These are prayers the Lord has consistently answered, “Yes! Here it is! Go and do!” How about you? Is the message still ringing in your heart? Are you as excited and in awe of the Spirit’s presence as you were during the altar call on Sunday? Let’s resolve that we are NOT going to be Pentecostal in name only! Just a thought.

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