Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 kjv
Author Scot McKnight shares how when he was in high school, he had what he calls a “Spirit-drenched experience.” While at a camp, the speaker challenged him to enthrone Christ in his life by surrendering to the Spirit. Later, he sat under a tree and prayed, “Father, forgive me of my sins. And Holy Spirit, come inside and fill me.” Something mighty happened, he said. “From that moment my life has been completely different. Not perfect, but different.” He suddenly had the desire to read the Bible, pray, meet with other believers in Jesus, and serve God.
Before the risen Jesus ascended to heaven, He told His friends: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised” (Acts 1:4). They would “receive power” to become His “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (v. 8). God gives the Holy Spirit to indwell everyone who believes in Jesus. This first happened at Pentecost (see Acts 2); today it occurs whenever someone trusts in Christ.
God’s Spirit also continues to fill those who believe in Jesus. We too, with the help of the Spirit, bear the fruit of changed character and desires (Galatians 5:22–23). Let’s praise and thank God for comforting us, convicting us, partnering with us, and loving us.
How can you see the difference that the Holy Spirit has made in you? How can you welcome God’s Spirit to work in and through you more?
Loving God, thank You for the gift of Your Spirit. Help me to love You and others more today.
This passage marks the second time Jesus had given the disciples their mission statement—the Great Commission. Christ had earlier given them the crucial assignment to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Here He says, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). At this point, the church has yet to be formed. In fact, at this time the believers are drawn predominantly from the Jewish community alone. The apostles had been waiting in Jerusalem, as Jesus instructed them. Soon, however, Pentecost would take place (ch. 2). The church would take shape and would include people from “the ends of the earth.” We who believe their message are the beneficiaries of their obedience to Christ’s command, and we too are tasked with continuing to take the gospel message to the world.