Friday, May 13, 2016

God Prepares Us for Service

Chuckle: "I got a letter from my sister. She just had a baby, but she didn't say whether it was a boy or girl. So I don't know if I'm an uncle or aunt."
Quote: "Personal humility is a spiritual discipline and the hallmark of the service of Jesus." --Franklin Graham
"Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' And with that he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit'" (John 20:21-22 NIV).
Here, Jesus again identified himself with His Father by informing His disciples by whose authority He did His work. Then He passed to them the responsibility of spreading the good news of salvation locally and around the world. You will notice in this passage that Jesus fully equipped His followers for the task he gave them. Let's look at the gifts He has given us to make possible the accomplishment of this task.
First, He gives us His peace. This is a supernatural peace that only Christ can give. Just prior to His crucifixion, Jesus comforted His disciples with these words: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27 NIV). This is a divinely given peace that transcends all human understanding (Philippians 4:7). It is the kind of peace that does not depend upon external circumstances, but is a condition of our hearts that endures no matter what.
Second, He gives us a purpose. "I am sending you." "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV). Our mission is clear.
Third, He gives us His power in the form of His Holy Spirit. Giving His Spirit to His disciples appears to be a foretaste of the Holy Spirit that would come to all believers on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38). It is the Holy Spirit that provides us the power to fulfill our purpose of ministry in His Name. His Holy Spirit is with us and in us (John 14:17) and will never leave us. Without the Holy Spirit living within us we can do nothing.
"If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5 NIV). "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" (John 14:26 NIV).
In Summary, our basic passage gives us a synopsis of God's plan to bring the good news to the whole world. He has no plan B -- we are to be His witnesses who move and function under His direction and in the power of His Spirit (Acts 1:8).
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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