May 1, 2018
"With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God's grace was so powerfully at work in them all." Acts 4:33 (NIV)
Several friends meet in my home every week. We eat. We laugh. We open our Bibles and study together. One night as we were reading from the book of Acts, a friend stopped me midsentence.
"I have to know ..." she said, "does this stuff still happen?"
The "stuff" she was talking about was believers praying for the sick. Preaching an impromptu message and people rushing to receive the good news. It was walking boldly with love and determination into a culture that didn't believe in or understand Jesus.
Most of us desire to make a difference with our faith - which is what led my friend to ask her question. She wasn't seeking to preach to a crowd of thousands. She asked because she longed for her faith to show up where she lived. In her home. In her workplace. In every part of her life.
In today's key verse, we find a group of Christ-followers who longed for the same thing. They had walked with Jesus closely. However, when Jesus died on the cross, it shattered their confidence. They hid, afraid and uncertain, behind barred doors. (John 20:19)
Jesus rose just as He said He would. He showed up in that room where they were hiding, and for the next 40 days, He appeared to them, reaffirming everything He had ever taught them.
Later, we find these disciples radically changed.
"With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God's grace was so powerfully at work in them all" (Acts 4:33).
They had transitioned from afraid to courageous. They were launched into their calling with confidence.
What was different?
It was the startling promise Jesus had made of a Helper. (John 14:16) Jesus told them that the Helper, the Holy Spirit, would pour out boldness, direction, discernment, power, comfort and counsel over them. He instructed them to pray and wait for the Helper. As a result, they were empowered and received what they needed, day by day.
What if we received Jesus' promise of a Helper just as the disciples did? We've eagerly received His promises of salvation, grace, mercy, new life and direction. We need His promise of a Helper as well.
We live in a culture where faith is questioned. We need help in our closest relationships. We need boldness to pray for those struggling: to share the message of hope with direction and discernment but also without fear.
We need wisdom and courage to walk boldly with love into a world that doesn't always understand or believe in Jesus.
Thank goodness, the promise of a Spirit-led heart still changes us today. The Holy Spirit lives in each of us. (1 Corinthians 3:16) As we embrace Jesus' promise of a Helper, it's with the assurance that God will work through us, even though we are ordinary.
We may battle uncertainty or fear from time to time, but with a Spirit-led heart, we gain confidence that Jesus' promises are Yes and Amen and that they are for us, too.
Dear Jesus, You know me. You know that I love You, but I also battle with uncertainty. I want to live in tender boldness. I need comfort and counsel and direction. I long to make a difference with my faith, but not in my own power. Every promise You have made is to equip Your church, and today, I pray and hold up my hands to receive Your promise of a Helper. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 3:17, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom]." (AMP)
2 Corinthians 1:20, "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes' in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen' is spoken by us to the glory of God." (NIV)
Suzie Eller's brand-new book, The Spirit-Led Heart: Living a Life of Love and Faith Without Borders, releases TODAY! It's a powerful tool to help you as you embrace the promise of a Spirit-led heart. Get your copy here.
Join Suzie on her blog today for a free printable Spirit-Led Heart calendar to help you pray as you live the promise.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Jesus told His disciples that the Helper could not come until He had gone back to the Father. (John 16:7) He instructed them to pray and wait for the promise. As you seek this promise over your own life, consider these next steps:
- Invite the Holy Spirit into your day when your feet hit the floor in the morning.
- Thank God for this promise that equips you in your faith.
- Allow this promise to unfold in your faith, trusting that His promises are true - and for you.
How can we pray for you? Let us know by commenting here.
© 2018 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.