This past Sunday, we looked at a couple of dramatic scenes from the life and death of Stephen in the Book of Acts.
Stephen is one of my heroes from Scripture. He really inspires me.
He was the first martyr of Christianity we read about in the New Testament. And Luke (the author of Acts) indicates that Stephen was a person who was full of the Spirit, full of spiritual depth, full of courage, and full of grace.
So, the message this past Sunday was all about asking this question: What would it look like—in 2018—if this was a year that you intentionally grew in the Spirit, grew in depth, grew in courage, and grew in grace?
Let’s start by reflecting a little today on what the Holy Spirit does in our lives, and then in my next post we can think more together on how to live full of God’s Spirit.
Then in one more post after that, we’ll explore how we can be full of depth, full of courage, and full of grace.
STEPHEN WAS FULL OF THE SPIRIT.
This is an important place to start. Stephen wouldn’t have exuded the depth, courage, and grace that he had if he wasn’t first full of the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 6:5 says, “They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.”
- Acts 7:55 says, “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven …”
I truly want 2018 to be a year of resolving in my heart to know the Holy Spirit of God and to live in his power.
This is a deep subject, but nothing to be afraid of or shy away from. That said, we’ll only scratch the surface today. As believers, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We have the Holy Spirit inside of us, but are we giving the Holy Spirit access to every part of our lives? Are we allowing God’s Spirit “to get at us”?
I’ve been reading about the Holy Spirit in Scripture. And I’ve been reading books about living in the Spirit and walking in the Spirit, and it’s been a thrill.
Here are just three books—all terrific—that I’ve recently read on this topic. They are all written on a very popular (and accessible level):
The Holy Wild by Mark Buchanan
Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson
Jesus Now by Frank Viola
It’s just amazing that the Holy Spirit is the source of so much in our lives. Let’s look at just a few things the Holy Spirit does right from Scripture:
The Spirit convicts us of sin. (John 16:8)
The Spirit guides us into all truth. (John 16:13)
The Spirit reveals Christ to us … and in us. (John 16:14-15)
The Spirit leads us. (Galatians 5:18)
The Spirit sanctifies us. (Romans 15:16)
The Spirit empowers us. (Luke 4:14)
The Spirit teaches us to pray. (Jude 1:20)
The Spirit produces in us the fruit or evidence of his work. (Galatians 5:22-23)
The Spirit washes and renews us. (Titus 3:5)
The Spirit reveals the deep things of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10 NKJV)
The Spirit transforms us into the image of Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
The Spirit strengthens us, teaches us, comforts us … and this list is just a fraction of all the wonderful things the Holy Spirit does in the life of a Christ follower.
Read and reflect on all or just a handful of the Scriptures above.
As a Christ follower, what is the Holy Spirit currently doing in your life?
What do you long to allow the Spirit to do in and through you this year?
Make this a matter of prayer today.
P.S. Consider journaling your thoughts as you pray through and contemplate what it means to allow the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and fill your life.