I’m celebrating 50 years of serving Jesus but it should really be 60 years. It is 50 years since I left Sweden as an appointed missionary to Peru. But 60 years since I was baptized by the power of the Holy Spirit and 60 years since I was baptized in water. That counts for a powerful beginning in serving Jesus!
Jesus promised his disciples that He would send them the Counselor, the Helper, the Comforter, and that they would receive power to be His witnesses, even to the ends of the earth. They received the power on the day of Pentecost and they went out proclaiming the Good News of salvation in Jesus. Wherever they went people were saved, baptized in water and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Signs and wonders followed and the Gospel spread like a wildfire.
Sadly, the enthusiasm of the first Christians slowly died out and the Church became an organized institution. Somewhere along the line someone got the idea that the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit were only for the first Christians, that the times of signs and wonders were a thing of the past.
This is the biggest and most sorry lie ever propagated. Why would God send the power of his Holy Spirit only to the first Christians? Why would anybody believe that God’s promises are not for us today? Last night I read a prayer written by Stanley Sjöberg, the pastor that baptized my daughter. It struck a chord with me, because I have the same desire. It was a confirmation of what I felt the Lord speak to me the first of the year, to declare 2015 the Year of the Holy Spirit.
Every year and every day should be of the Holy Spirit, but we often let life take over and forget the power and the presence of our wonderful Helper, the one who is sent to come along side of us. To remind myself of His power and to focus my endeavor in the ministry on what He wants to do in our lives, I declare 2015 to be the Year of the Holy Spirit. These last few days I’ve been singing over and over again, “Holy Spirit you are welcome in my life.” I want His presence and power to permeate everything that I do. Not that I have not strived for this before, but I want:
I wish my grandchildren could experience the revival I was a part of as an 8-year-old. We were visiting Sweden for a year and lived in Askersund. I can’t remember if we had special revival services or just the regular services but I know us kids in the church were a big part of it. My great desire was to be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues. How many evenings I stayed after the regular service for prayer I don’t know. Dad was traveling visiting churches having mission services and Mom had my younger siblings to care for, so she could not stay for the prayer meetings. Somebody must have been kind enough to offer to take me home later on.
One of those evenings I received the Gift that I was praying for. I can still remember how happy and excited I was. The prayer language I received has been a comfort and help all through the years. The special presence of the Holy Spirit in prayer is sweeter every day. That’s why it hurts me so much to know of so many churches that do not believe that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today.
It was midnight when I arrived home to share the good news with Mom. Bless her heart, she was half asleep when she opened the door and she did not jump up and down with excitement as I was doing. But I’m sure she was very happy. What glorious days those were! And how I wish for every child, youth and adult to experience the infilling of the Holy Spirit!
This is Pastor Stanley Sjöberg’s prayer: “Lord, may we have the same success in 2015 as you gave the disciples after Pentecost in Jerusalem, when 3000 and then 5000 and even more received your salvation. We pay together in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
Amen! May I be open to everything the Lord wants to do in and through me! And I pray that you also will have the desire to be renewed, refreshed and recharged by the Holy Spirit this year. We can turn our world upside down, just as the disciples of old did, if we only let the Holy Spirit freely work in us and through us.
Last year I had my artist in Costa Rica illustrate the entire Book of Acts. I am praying for how to best use this art. God was preparing me in advance for the emphasis He wanted me to have this year. The Book af Acts is the amazing story about How the Holy Spirit worked through those first apostles and disciples. May you and I let the Holy Spirit work through us this year to see amazing miracles of salvation and deliverance!
Jesus stands at the door and knocks. The warning He gave the church in Laodicea is as relevant today as when it first was given. May we be “hot” and on fire for God!
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:14-21 NIV)
May this be a year empowered as never
before by the Holy Spirit!
May God’s Spirit renew, refresh and recharge us to do mighty works for the glory of God!