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Daily Devotional with Pastor Jon

July 24

This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3:2

This verse speaks not only of being born again, but also of receiving the fulness, baptism, or ‘coming upon’ of the Spirit to empower your life. After Jesus was crucified and raised again, He appeared to the disciples in the upper room, and said, ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost’— and as He breathed on them, they indeed received the Spirit (John 20:22).

At that point, the disciples were saved. But then Jesus said, ‘Go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father (Acts 1:4). You shall receive power when the Holy Ghost comes upon you and you shall then be My witnesses in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth,’ (Acts 1:8).

So they went to Jerusalem and waited. On the tenth day, as they were in the upper room, they heard the sound of a mighty rushing wind and saw cloven tongues of fire hovering over their heads. The Spirit came upon them, they began to praise the Lord in other tongues, they were energized to boldly proclaim the Gospel — and the world has never been the same.

Such is what the Lord wants for you and me. When you became a Christian, the Holy Spirit came in you. But has the Holy Spirit come upon you? I know you have the Holy Spirit, but does the Holy Spirit have you? ‘Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?’ Paul asked the people of Ephesus (Acts 19:2). So too, I ask you: ‘Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?’

In years past, many of us were part of churches or traditions which said, ‘Here’s the way to receive the power of the Spirit: Get rid of all of the sin in your life. Give up your drinking. Smash your TV. Stop smoking. Get it together. Then the Holy Spirit will come upon you to empower you and use you.’ Consequently, many people spent months, years, even decades trying to clean up their acts in order to earn the power of the Holy Spirit.

Others of us waited day after day, week after week, in what used to be called ‘tarrying meetings’. ‘We’re going to wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon us,’ we said. ‘And if we praise loud enough, pray hard enough, wait long enough, the Lord will give us the Holy Ghost, and we’ll be changed. We’ll impact people radically.’

Paul would say, ‘No way.’ How do you receive the Holy Spirit? Whether you’re talking about the indwelling of the Spirit through salvation or the empowering of the Spirit through baptism, it’s the same way: not by works of the Law, but by faith — just by hearing the Word.

‘That’s it?’ you ask. ‘You mean I don't have to clean up my act, get it together, stand on my head, or fast thirty days?’

No. We receive the Spirit not by works, but by the hearing of faith. Therefore, by faith I can take that which was provided for me and say, ‘Thank You, Lord. Even as I sit in this pew, I ask of You and receive from You the power of the Holy Spirit upon my life right now.’

‘Too simple,’ you say.

Talk to Paul. He said, ‘Don’t let anyone complicate this thing. You receive the Spirit simply by the hearing of faith.’

This Daily Devotional is an excerpt from the book "A Day's Journey" by Pastor Jon. "A Day's Journey" is a collection of 365 short devotions from the New Testament. If you would like your own copy of "A Day's Journey" you can order one from the SearchLight Store.

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