“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NLT).
Testimony “Since this is the means by which we are to receive power, why do we not hunger and thirst for the gift of the Spirit? Why do we not talk of it, pray for it, and preach concerning it? The Lord is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who serve Him than parents are to give good gifts to their children. For the daily baptism of the Spirit every worker should offer his petition to God” (Ellen White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 50).
Just before graduating from college with a theology degree, I read the book They Found the Secret by V. Raymond Edman. The book tells about 20 Christian men and women who reached a spiritual crisis in their lives that led to an authentic conversion experience. This was eventually followed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their lives. They became the people they became—and led millions to Christ—because they were filled with the Holy Spirit. As I considered my own life as a husband, new father, and soon-to-be pastor, I wrote a note in that book: “I need the Holy Spirit too.” Since then I have made it my top priority to maintain my conversion experience and seek the biblical baptism of the Holy Spirit through Bible study, obedience, sharing, and prayer. Within my first year of pastoring, I was called to visit our church treasurer, who had been diagnosed with cancer. We prayed and anointed him with oil as the Bible says to do. In a few days he joyfully shared that he was completely healed from his cancer! Right then I knew that God was hearing my prayers and that He accepted my efforts to live my life for Him. What about you? Do you need the Holy Spirit in your life?
Bible Texts to Pray About
Paul once asked 12 men from Ephesus, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” (Acts 19:2, NLT). How would you answer? The Ephesian men said, “No, we have not even heard of the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus said there would be two groups of Christians just before His return (Matthew 25). “Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom” (Matthew 25:1, NLT). Five bridesmaids were foolish and had no oil (the presence of the Holy Spirit; see Zechariah 4:1-6) in reserve. These represent those who appear to be followers of Jesus but are not. They are religious but not spiritual. Thus Jesus said to them, “I don’t know you!” The five wise bridesmaids had plenty of oil. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and had a genuine relationship with Jesus.
The disciples, in obedience to the command of Christ, remained in Jerusalem after His ascension. “They spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God” (Luke 24:53, NLT). When they were not in the temple, they were in the upper room. “They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus” (Acts 1:14, NLT). Ten days later they were all baptized in the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2), and 3,000 were converted in one day in that one place!
I Love You, Lord; Change My My Heart, O God; Baptize Us Anew (Hymn #258); Spirit of the Living God (Hymn #672); Surely the Presence of the Lord Is in This Place.