September 30 – October 4, 2019

Monday

1 John 2:18-27

“From that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David.” (1 Samuel 16:13)

Samuel anointed the boy David to be king. In an instant, God changed the trajectory of David’s life. The anointing—the Holy Spirit—would affect his life forever. The anointing would get him into scrapes (Saul trying to kill David); it would get him out of scrapes (God protecting David from Saul). But always, from then on, he knew where he was headed and who would lead him there.

Gene Edwards, in A Tale of Three Kings, compares King Saul, King David, and King Absalom. David relied on God to give him the promised kingdom and to keep the kingdom. Saul tried to hold on to the kingdom, while Absalom tried to take the kingdom. Like David, we can trust God to give us the kingdom (Luke 12:32) and to direct our steps.

The anointing grace of God takes many forms: the blessing of Jacob by his father Isaac; God giving Joseph dreams that he would be a leader; Moses’ burning bush that called him out to deliver God’s people from Egyptian slavery; the prophecies telling Timothy of the gifts God had given him (1 Timothy 1:18).

We serve a very generous God. He gives us the gift of His Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). He gives the Spirit without limit (John 3:34). And the Holy Spirit is ours for the asking (Luke 11:13).

In the Old Testament, several were anointed kings, but some turned out badly. Samuel anointed two kings, Saul and David. Saul disobeyed and was deemed guilty of the sin of rebellion. For that he lost his kingship and his life. David sinned, but with the help of God and Nathan, he confessed his sin. David was forgiven, and the joy of His salvation was restored (Psalm 51:12).

I remember when I was a camper at Tahquitz Pines, a camp speaker kept repeating: “Grace is free, but it’s not cheap.” All God’s grace cost the life of His Son, Jesus. We dare not neglect His salvation of mercy and grace (Hebrews 2:3).

Questions

How has God changed the trajectory of your life? We have been anointed to be Jesus’ disciples. How do you view God’s anointing of you?

Prayers for Missio Community Church

Pray for Missio Community Church, which is an ECO church in Pasadena that launched in January 2018. Missio is embodying the Gospel through outreach to Caltech students, equipping Fuller students, and working towards racial reconciliation in Pasadena.

 

Tuesday

1 John 2:18-27

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news. … Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” —Jesus (Luke 4:18, 21)-

Jesus and the Holy Spirit are very interconnected in their stories. Zechariah the priest prophesied that his son John, who would baptize Jesus, “will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born” (Luke 1:15). At Jesus’ birth an angel of the Lord announced, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Messiah means “anointed one.”

At the purification rites, “righteous and devout” Simeon was moved by the Holy Spirit to come into the temple. There he took Jesus in his arms, praised God, blessing the child and His family and prophesying over them. It had been revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah (Luke 2:25-35).

As Jesus was baptized by John, the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove, and a voice from heaven said, “You are My Son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased” (Luke 3:21-22). “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit … was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Luke 4:1). “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14).

Before John baptized Jesus, he told the people “the One who comes after me is greater than me, and He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 3:16). This Holy Spirit baptism by Jesus is the anointing the Apostle John is talking about in 1 John 2:20, 27.

If Jesus needed the Holy Spirit, and if the Holy Spirit was all He needed, how much do we also need the Holy Spirit to find our sufficiency in Him! This is only a short summary of the beginning of Jesus’ life and ministry here on earth. Luke’s histories recorded in his Gospel and in the Acts contain many references to the Holy Spirit.

Questions

How would you describe the purpose of Jesus’ anointing of you with the Holy Spirit?

Prayers for Missio Community Church

Pray for empowerment for the fall outreach to Caltech students and staff.

Wednesday

1 John 2:18-27; Acts 10

“The promise is to you and your children and to those afar off.”—Peter (Acts 2:39) –

Simon Peter’s big trajectory change was in meeting Jesus. Jesus named him “Peter” [Rock] (John 1:42) and called Peter to follow Him. Along the way there were many course corrections. When Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ [Anointed One], the Son of the Living God.” Jesus replied, “… this was not revealed to you by man, but by My Father in heaven. … you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:15-18). Moments later, Peter got it wrong when he said Jesus must not suffer by being crucified.

When Jesus was about to be crucified, Peter would deny Jesus three times. Peter felt unqualified to be Jesus’ disciple, to be a leader of the Church, because of his denial of Jesus. After His resurrection, Jesus met Peter at the lake and asked him three times to feed His sheep (John 21:15-17). Weeks later Peter fed Jesus’ sheep and 3,000 new disciples were added to the church that day (Acts 2:41). The Old Testament prophet Joel had prophesied the promise of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-29). And here He was, according to Peter, having come to take up residence in them. The promise of the Holy Spirit was “to them and their children and to those afar off” (Acts 2:39). In other words, to us and to others who have not yet encountered Him.

We’re skipping over many parts of Peter’s story, but we cannot skip over the story of Peter and Cornelius, the Roman centurion and his household (Acts 10). The Holy Spirit assigned this story to Peter. The Holy Spirit is eternally creative in the way He does things. He told Cornelius to fetch Peter, and He told Peter to go with the fetchers. And arriving at Cornelius’ home, while Peter was still telling his story, the Holy Spirit fell on those gathered. Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit jut as we have” (Acts 10:47). So they were baptized. The same Holy Spirit is still here, and the stories about Him have not dried up. Guest speaker Israel Gonzales, in a sermon on this topic, said the miraculous story was “a preview of coming attractions.”

Questions

Upon hearing Peter’s report of what happened, some of the church leaders at Jerusalem initially found the story far-fetched and were skeptical at first (Acts 11). How do you think you would have received Peter’s news if you were hearing it for the first time?

Prayers for Missio Community Church 

Pray for God to bring eight seekers to the Alpha Course starting in October.

Thursday

Acts 6-7

“Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 6:5)

Stephen’s story does not take up much space in the Bible (Acts 6-7). But his story is intertwined with the Holy Spirit. His story illustrates something important: God accomplishes His kingdom purpose through Spirit-filled people.

One of the job qualifications for the first deacons was that they be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom (6:3). Their first choice was Stephen, “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit” (6:5). Further the book of Acts says, “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs  among the people” (6:8).

How did Stephen arrive at this point? Three factors may have contributed: (1) God gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). (2) Stephen was a man steeped in God’s Word. What became his farewell address is a cliff notes version of Old Testament history from Abraham to Amos. It kept his audience’s attention until his words stepped on their toes. (3) He was completely yielded to the Holy Spirit.

Stephen fulfilled Jesus’ words: “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24). And, “… do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more” (Luke 12:4).

At the close of his speech, “Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (7:55). Who else was watching all of this? Paul. Paul may have been the only known fruit of Stephen’s life, but what a fruit!

Throughout Luke’s histories in his Gospel and in the Acts of the Apostles, he is sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s presence and activity. There is no question that Stephen fully lived the life God intended for him. Being filled with the Holy Spirit was the key.

Questions

Are we living the life God intends for us? How does a person live a Spirit-filled life? How did Luke become sensitized to the Holy Spirit’s presence and activity? How do we become sensitive to the Holy Spirit?

Prayers for Missio Community Church 

Pray for strengthening of the Neighborhood Group leaders as they care for people and reach out to their neighborhoods.

 

Friday

1 John 2:18-27

“When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.” —Paul (Ephesians 1:13)

We can learn the truth about the Holy Spirit as much from Paul and his writings as from anybody. From him we learn that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we are filled with hope (Romans 15:13). God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love and of power and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

It is good to know the truth about the Holy Spirit, but it is better to encounter Him, to know Him by experience, to walk in the truth of the Holy Spirit (3 John 1:4), to live in His fullness. Paul encountered the Holy Spirit when he met Jesus on the way to Damascus. Paul did not arrange this meeting, but it permanently altered the trajectory of his life. This grace-based experience led Paul to exchange all his former learning and convictions for a new and total allegiance to Jesus. This exchange is the whole point of life, according to Glenkirk’s guest speaker, Jenn Graffius, and according to Cabo Canales, another guest speaker, who said, “Jesus does not make spectators.”

Today we also are dependent on God for these power encounters, truth encounters, and allegiance encounters. However, when they came to Paul in quick succession, Paul “did not look a gift horse in the mouth”; he lost no time in embracing this new life—this new arrangement. He died to his old life and came alive to a whole new set of realities: the kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit, His power, His fruit, and the community of fellow disciples.

As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). Paul was such a son. We are such sons and daughters. And the Holy Spirit Himself is God’s seal upon us—the Guarantor of all God’s promises.

Questions

What truth about the Holy Spirit has come to your attention recently that would bless a friend today? Encounters with the Holy Spirit can be too personal to share with just anybody, but when it is appropriate and helpful, be ready to tell your story.

Prayers for Missio Community Church

Pray for protection and strength for Missio’s lead pastor, Len Tang, and his family.

 

Sources

 

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