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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement 06-23-04

  • 2004 Jun 23
  • COMMENTS

 

June 23, 2004
Encouragement for Today
 
The Helper - Part I
Micca Campbell, an Assistant Director with Proverbs 31 Ministries, Certified Speaker, Freelance Writer
 
Key Verse:
 
Acts 1:8, and you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit had come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (NKJ)
 

Devotion:
 
Children, as precious as they are, can be demanding on your time, money and patience. Parents often feel defeated or overwhelmed by the responsibility as if they are incapable of having what it takes to raise a child.  Maybe you can remember those days, or perhaps you are there now.
 
Your sweet little toddler comes rushing into your bedroom each morning, and with an angelic voice says, "Good morning, Mommy!" The two of you snuggle for a few minutes and exchange wet kisses. Then it's time to start the busy day. You gladly prepare her breakfast only to find that most of it ends up on the floor and ceiling instead of in her stomach. Next you make the beds, throw in a load of laundry, and trip over the toys in the floor as you rush to answer the phone. By the time you get there they have hung up. And you were so desperate to speak to an adult. Here it comes - that dark, gloomy cloud of drudgery settles over your head. Fighting back, you politely ask your little angel to pick up her toys. Suddenly, her halo is replaced by horns, as she screams back "No!" Just then, you hear the back door open. Your husband is home for lunch or whatever else he may have on his mind. You look down at yourself still in your pajamas decorated with oatmeal and jam and you ask yourself, "Is this what it's all about?"
 
Most Christians go through life barely hanging on. Yet God never intended for us to live a defeated Christian life. When first saved, most are so excited they just can't get over Jesus. Then something happens. They know Jesus is their Savior, but there hasn't really been much change in their lives. They remain powerless, and their lives are less than joyful, productive and victorious.
 
Have you ever felt like an ordinary Christian? I wonder if that is how the disciples felt. You'll remember that they gave up everything - family, home, jobs, friends, to follow Jesus. They were totally devoted to Him. Still, some of them failed Him, some denied Him, and some were less than victorious - but why? We know that it was not lack of commitment. The disciples fell short because, at that time, they were following Christ in their own strength much like some of us do.
 
It was not until Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected, glorified and seated at the right hand of the Father that the disciples received the "Helper," who is the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 says, "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
 
Why did the disciples have to wait for the Holy Spirit before they could be Christ's witnesses? Weren't they already witnesses? Hadn't they preformed miracles and wonders along side Jesus? Yes, while they walked with Jesus and lived in His presence, the disciples were able to do many amazing things. Now, Jesus had gone away, and they realized without Him they were not sufficient. They needed the "Helper" whom Jesus had promised to empower them to live productive, powerful and victorious lives.
 
Before the disciples could live and witness as Christ intended, they had to wait for the empowerment of Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Holy Spirit must be very important. Indeed He is, and tomorrow we will identify who the Holy Spirit is and how He empowers us to live a life of victory.
 

My Prayer for Today:
 
Dear God, I'm tired of living life by my own efforts. I'm ready to stop trying to live for you and allow you to simply live your life through me. I give you my all. Fill me with your Helper and empower me to live victorious. Amen.
 

Application Steps:
 
First, you have to come to the end of yourself and realize you need God-without Him you are nothing. Next, confess that you have been living life your way. Then, ask God to forgive you and fill you with the Helper. Your life will never be the same.
 

Reflection Points:
 
Do you feel overwhelmed by daily life?
 
Are you struggling by your own effort to live the Christian life?
 
Has your efforts filled you with peace and joy?
 
Is it time to lay down your own efforts and ask God to fill you with the "Helper"?
 
What is hindering you from doing so today?
 

Power Verses:
 
John, 14:26, but the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (NKJ)
 
Luke 11:13, if you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! (NKJ)
 
Luke 4:1, The Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. (NKJ)
 
Romans 15:13, Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NKJ)
 
Galatians 6: 8, For her who sows to his flesh will of the flesh rap corruption, but he who sows in the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (NKJ)
 

Additional Resources:
 
How to Live a Life of Victory, (tapes) by, Mary Southerland
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/victoryset.html
 
A Woman After God's Heart by Elizabeth George
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/womanafter.html
 

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