Filled With The Spirit

Click here to read the passage for today: Acts 6:8-15 CEB.

Whenever you are out in public doing great things, doing great work, opposition will come. How we handle this opposition is important.

First of all, I would need to ask if we are bold enough to speak and do good works even when there is a chance for people to oppose or to speak ill? If we were honest, we would most likely not want that to happen because we would want to protect our reputation. So, then we need to ask, “what is more important? Our reputation or doing what God calls us to do?” Either way, we always have people watching whether or not we will stand our ground, or simply give up when the situation becomes challenging.

Now, this is not a license to say whatever we want or do whatever we want and claim God called us to do it. Instead, we learn that when God calls us to a specific task or vocation, it is always to build up the Kingdom of Heaven and will not do anything to cause division in this incredible Kingdom.

Stephen, from our scripture, was doing great works and signs in public and speaking grace. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and this caused an uproar with the religious leaders who were seeking to keep the status quo and their position. But God’s work in us will always come out in powerful and transforming ways which people will take notice of.

Look at what’s going on around you in your community. Where do you see God working? What do you notice? I hope the people of God will be revealed in such a way grace will be shown. Stephen was filled with the Spirit and was shown to be full of grace which caused his face to exude peace.

As you go out into the world, your daily life, pay attention to where God is working and join him in the task. Allow his Spirit to fill you so much that you will show how to handle opposition. The way to handle any opposition is to be filled with the Spirit of peace that comes from God. This is a peace that is beyond understanding; but comes out naturally when the Holy Spirit fill us.

Seek the face and peace of God in all you do and see what incredible works God will perform in and through you.

Know Who & Who’s You Are

IMG_0164

Ephesians 1:3-8 Bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing that comes from heaven. God chose us in Christ to be holy and blameless in God’s presence before the creation of the world.God destined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ because of his love. This was according to his goodwill and plan and to honor his glorious grace that he has given to us freely through the Son whom he loves. We have been ransomed through his Son’s blood, and we have forgiveness for our failures based on his overflowing grace, which he poured over us with wisdom and understanding. 

Ever have a day or days when you do not feel like you have enough? Where does this attitude or mindset come from? We can get too easily wrapped up in trying to get the better or best things in life and we can miss the true best that we have available.

Here’s what I love about the first chapter of Ephesians: Paul is laying out the gospel and reminding the readers, and us, what we have that God has given us. The truth is that we have “every spiritual blessing that comes from heaven.” What does this mean? This may not mean that we are gifted with material items, though it might. But we are blessed with even more important things than anything money can buy. We have received forgiveness which means we are released from the guilt that holds us back. We have received grace which means we can experience, and share, God in our lives and around us. We have been gifted and blessed with love, peace, hope, joy, etc. God has given us every spiritual blessing in heaven. We really do have everything, even if it seems others have more materially.

On top of all of this, each one of us is chosen by God. No matter what has been done in the past, there is redemption through Jesus Christ. We may not be able to forgive ourselves, but God will forgive because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on behalf of our sins (past, present and future). There is a way to begin a new life and  allow Christ to make a new creation out of us. Because of Christ, we are open for adoption into the King’s family. This makes you a prince or princess in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Paul’s letter is not meant to puff up our ego, but rather to remind us who we are. We can easily forget this; we are children of God and made in His image. Believe this and you can experience a freedom in this life and a new confidence that will help you and I be more loving, grace-filled, peaceful, forgiving, etc.

Christ poured out His blood on the cross, and we have been accepted into God’s family. I encourage you to ponder what this means for you and to accept the gift God has given through Jesus Christ. We have the opportunity to continue to explore this gospel, good news, message over the next few days as we continue in Ephesians 1.

Believe in Jesus Christ and live. You are God’s child and you are special and unique. God’s grace is being poured on you today, just trust and accept it.

God chooses you!