We have recently celebrated Pentecost, often named as the birthday of the church. Jesus told His disciples to wait until He sent the Spirit, which would enable them to go out and proclaim God’s kingdom with power “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14 v26). But have we forgotten this source of power in much of our church life? Two pictures which may help.
We are encouraged by the New Testament writers to go on being filled with the Spirit, so how? Well think of those large glass jars full of coloured pebbles and water that people used to have on the hearth. You are the jar, the Spirit is the water and the pebbles, well the junk in our lives. Chuck out a pebble and you can get more water in. And so it is with God’s Spirit – as we turn away from those things which are not from God there is more room for His Spirit to fill us. What are you going to throw out this week?
Paul gives another picture in Romans (Romans 8: 12-17) Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation… For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. We are people of a different kingdom as we have been hearing over the last few Sundays, a Kingdom which was inaugurated when Jesus rose. If we are children of God, born of the Spirit, we belong to a new Kingdom. Have you changed your passport, or have you got dual nationality, keeping the old one for times when it is more helpful in avoiding a conflict with the world view?
What happens when we take God at his word and let His Spirit fill us? The church grows and we see signs of His Kingdom. We may also upset the rest of the world!
[from John Baggaley]
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