February 20, Thursday

The AMI QT Devotionals for February 20-21 (new) are provided by Emerson Lin.  Emerson and his wife Annie (and their son) are serving as AMI missionaries in E. Asia.   

 

Devotional Thought for this Morning

“Promises Have Power”

Acts 1:6-11

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

A promise is such an interesting concept, because from an objective point of view, it is a group of words. Yet, when someone promises us something, we cling onto it with hope and excitement. When, as kids, our parents promised to buy us a toy on our birthday, or when our boss promises a promotion next year, we hold onto those words with great expectation. 

In this passage, Luke begins his second book with Jesus’ last moments with His disciples. Jesus had just spent 40 days with His disciples, speaking about the Kingdom of God, but because He knew at that very moment He was going to be taken away, He comforts His disciples with a promise of the Holy Spirit. With these words, the disciples return to Jerusalem waiting in great expectation. We learn in Acts 2 that they receive the Holy Spirit and were then empowered to share the gospel.

Like the disciples, we, as believers, all have the Holy Spirit living in us. It is not just something that exists in us, but Jesus promises us that the Holy Spirit comes with power to help us in our time of need. Here are some promises that Jesus tells us about the Holy Spirit:

  • The Holy Spirit is our Helper: “He will teach us all things and bring to your remembrance all that Jesus has said to us.” Whenever we are discouraged and a Bible verse pops in our mind or our friend comforts us, that is the Holy Spirit’s work! (John 14:16 & 26)
  • The Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of Truth, who makes it clear for us that Jesus is Lord. Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot know that Jesus is the Son of God (John 14:17).
  • The Holy Spirit provides us power to become a witness to our co-workers, friends, and family members. This power includes spiritual gifts such as healing, words of encouragement, words of knowledge, etc. This power is for the purposes of sharing the gospel (Act 1:8).

All of us are in different seasons of life: Some of us may need help, as we are struggling with our faith, or we may need help in sharing the gospel to loved ones. Whatever the circumstances, Jesus is reminding us that we have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us—He is there to help us and all we need to do is ask Him. 

What do you need help in? This morning, take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to be your Helper in this area. Let’s ask with faith and great expectation because Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will help us.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for the promises in the Bible. There are times where I struggle with believing them. However, help me to hope in them again and start by believing in the promise of the Holy Spirit. Right now, I’m struggling with (____).  Can you please help me? Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 19


Lunch Break Study

Read Romans 8:5-11: Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.

Questions to Consider

  1. What are some the outcomes of having our minds set on the Spirit (v. 6 and 8)?
  2. Can those who live in the realm of the flesh submit to God’s laws (v. 7)?
  3.  In your life, what are some ways you can be more mindful of the Spirit?

Notes

  1. To have our “mind set on” doesn’t simply mean think about the Spirit, but it means to live in the same lifestyle as the Spirit. When we live in accordance with the Spirit, we have life and peace. In addition, having our minds set on the Spirit is the only way to please God.
  2. If you do not have the Holy Spirit, you cannot submit to God’s law nor do you have the desire to follow them.
  3. Personal Reflection.

Evening Reflection

In John 14:16, Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will be our Helper. Oftentimes, when situations are difficult, we try to do things our own way. While it is not wrong to take action, we may neglect the Holy Spirit. This evening, let’s invite the Holy Spirit to be our help in our difficult situation.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: