Let me begin the book of Acts by saying that I don’t want to over-emphasize the Holy Spirit, but I’m definitely tired of under-emphasizing the Holy Spirit.
It’s important to note that the dominant expression of the Holy Spirit throughout the book of Acts is boldness. I find it tragic that today, most Christ-followers and most churches aren’t known by boldness. Now, we need to distinguish between boldness versus being stubborn, rude, or harsh. Everything we do is to be done in love and by the fruits of the Spirit.
I used to say that I was “open but cautious” when it came to the Holy Spirit. In hindsight, I was more cautious than open. I was more worried about the questionable stuff associated with the Holy Spirit than I was about the authentic and accurate applications of the Holy Spirit. I was accidentally sacrificing what could go right on the altar of what could go wrong. I was allowing what was illegitimate to discredit what was legitimate. But the counterfeit only exists because the original is so valuable. I’ve also heard it said this way: I’d rather have some wildfire than not have any fire at all.
Here are a couple of additional thoughts:
- The Father sent the Holy Spirit to be with Jesus during His earthly ministry. If Jesus needed the Holy Spirit to be with Him, how much more do we need the Holy Spirit to be with us?
- When Jesus ascended to be with the Father, He gave us the Holy Spirit to be with us, but also to empower us.
What did Jesus give us when He gave us the Holy Spirit? The Comforter. The Counselor. The Helper. The One who guides us, grows us, and gifts us.
Speaking of gifts, here’s a list of all the gifts and where they can be found in the Bible.
1 Corinthians 12:8-11
Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Faith, Gifts of Healing, Working of Miracles, Prophecy, Distinguishing of Spirits, Kinds of Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues.
1 Corinthians 12:28
Healing, Helps, Administration, Kinds of Tongues.
Prophecy, Service, Teaching, Exhortation, Giving, Leadership, Acts of Mercy.
1 Peter 4:11
God is the One who gives us His presence, His peace, and His power.
God is the One who gives us the ability to walk by the Spirit and bear the fruits of the Spirit:
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
When you look at that list, can you give one good reason why we would minimize the Holy Spirit? When you look at that list, where does fear come from? Fear isn’t from God.
What are your questions or concerns about the Holy Spirit? Any legitimate concerns are clearly and confidently addressed in 1 Corinthians 12-14. Spend some time in these chapters. And any illegitimateconcerns? The enemy is the original and greatest liar in the history of the world. The most effective lies are the ones that are closest to the truth; therefore, he doesn’t tell you the Holy Spirit doesn’t exist, but He does try to strip the Holy Spirit of power.
As we wrap up for today, remember that we serve a good God who is a good Father. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are good. Spend some time today worshiping the Lord who loves you enough to send His only Son and our Comforter.