Note: Pentecost Sunday is a special day in our community (People of Praise). Each year we pray with each other for more of the Holy Spirit. In our local branch, I was asked to share an encouragement before this occurred. This is what I said.
A personal joy recently has been witnessing a young man’s experience in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Luke and I were at a Christians in Commerce conference. One evening we held a prayer meeting. We told everyone there would be an opportunity to be prayed with for more of the Spirit.
Early in the meeting, Luke turned to me and said, “I’m ready now.” He was prayed with. While he experience a new joy in the moment, it was over the next few months he felt the difference.
- Past struggles with Morning Prayer were gone. He now craved conversation with God, not just in the morning but also throughout the day.
- More and more priorities at home and at work were being influenced and guided by the Holy Spirit.
- In difficult situations, he was quick to seek God’s wisdom. A new understanding and knowledge of what to do.
- And, he was seeing other people differently. He was seeing them with the eyes of Christ.
It’s been great walking alongside. His newfound fervor and enthusiasm has been infectious – to coworkers, family, and friends.
We all have memories of when this was all so new. Three points come to mind.
Because Newness is Gone Doesn’t Mean It Grows Old!
The newness may be gone; but something more has taken it’s place. Something richer and deeper. The Spirit has proven himself over and over again. You know what I’m talking about.
The Spirit has done it in good times and he’s done it in bad times. Because of this, it’s never grown old. It’s only gotten better. Today, we have a greater confidence God loves us then when we first began. And we know a greater love for God. The reason is the second point.
The Holy Spirit is Love’s breath. Love Himself.
After the resurrection, Jesus breathed on his disciples and said, “Receive my Holy Spirit.” Like the first disciples, the Holy Spirit is the air we breathe. And, the air we breathe is Love Himself.
Scripture tells us “God is love”. Where true love is, there is God. And the Holy Spirit is actually Love’s breath. Let me explain.
God breathed his Spirit into us. The Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son personified. It’s an actual person in the Trinity. Love Himself.
It is the Holy Spirit that makes our life in God and with each together possible. It is this gift of Love Himself that has proven himself time and time again. And, here we are surrounded by other Christs participating in the pouring out of his love on each other.
We breathe this air together, this air of love. The deeper we breathe it in the more we know this is from God. As John says in his Epistle, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” We are drawn into the very life and being of God through the Holy Spirit.
This is the life we share together. The air we breathe. Love realized. Love personified. Love quantified in our lives. In the ups and downs of daily living. In the trials of a fallen and broken world. In our friendships, our areas, our relationships, our neighborhoods and on the West Side. In our outreach, Trinity Schools, missionary work, Marriage in Christ, Christians in Commerce.
All driven by Love’s Breath – the Holy Spirit – Love Himself.
“What the World Needs Now” is this Love!
Personally and together, we know there’s always room for more of this love – the love of God, the self-giving, sacrificial love of God. Life in the Spirit can always use refreshing. Whether we’ve let it grow stale through our own neglect. Or, have gotten lost in life’s demands. Or, just want not to take it as much for granted.
We live in a world filled with factions, conflict, and anger. By turning it’s back on God, the world is suffocating itself and cutting off its “oxygen”. What the world needs is more of us breathing God’s great love. And breathing that love into the world, radiating the fruit of the Spirit.
This is our time and place. As Christians in this world, we need to breathe in deep! As we inhale Love Himself, let the Spirit fill our spiritual lungs, oxygenate our blood, fuel our lives, and pour God’s love out on our world.
Today let us fill our lungs with the breath of God. The Holy Spirit has more to give. He’s inexhaustible. He says come. Open your hearts even more. Jesus says, “Come, let me breathe on you. Receive my Spirit. Love Himself.”
Photo: Michelle Rosen