This summer we’re looking at the acts … the actions … of this Holy Spirit phenomenon in the 1st Century, chronicled in the book of Acts. I’m curious, when you were growing up do you remember what the book of Acts was called? “The Acts of the Apostles?”
My father always said Acts should be called “The Acts of the Holy Spirit,” not of the Apostles. And he was right. The Holy Spirit is the top action figure in Acts. Actually, the Holy Spirit is the top action figure throughout the entire first century rapid growth of Christianity. According to Jesus He still is today.
Is he the top action figure in your life? Or is He the missing link.
On Jesus’ last night with his pals he told them twenty-six times he was sending this awesome and awe-inspiring Holy Spirit to take his place. I think he wanted to drive home a point: “I have told you these things (26 times!), so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Jesus promised, guaranteed actually, that this overcoming the world Holy Spirit would do all kinds of new things. First, he promised He (the Holy Spirit) would live in them. That’s a heck of a start, isn’t it? In me? Operating within me?
Absolutely. If you have surrendered your life – and your starring role – to Jesus.
But Jesus didn’t stop there. He promised this new Power Source would be our personal, individual, intimate counselor. He will guide you. He will comfort you. He will encourage you. He will remind you of what Jesus wants you to know: the truth that will set you free.
This Holy Spirit is titanic! But are you experiencing all of this?Any of this?
Here’s my first challenge as we embark on this summer series: Do you have your own personal story of the Acts of the Holy Spirit in you?
Can you look back over your past several years and identify when the Holy Spirit has acted in and through you? Specifically, times when He has guided you, comforted you, encouraged you, counseled you, and empowered you to do and accomplish things that now, looking back, you know you didn’t have the power to do?
If so, write them down. Create your own Acts story of your own 1st century. It will be fun. And don’t just look for the big events; he is most evident in the intimate details.
I’ll finish today by setting the stage for this series. My grand friend Dr. Tom Dabbs gave me valuable advice after the death of his parents. “Sam, start writing your parent’s obituary now, well before there’s a need, because when the time comes, it can be overwhelming.”
He was so right. But let me take this one step further. Try writing your own. Or just sit down and think through what an Acts story of your life would look like? But with this twist:
Do you want the obvious storyline to be “The Acts of the Holy Spirit moving in and through Sarah or Joe or Bill or Susan?” Or would the theme more accurately be simply “The Acts of Sarah or Joe or Bill or Susan?”
The Acts of the Holy Spirit through you, or just The Acts of … you?
You know the good church answer. But I challenge you to look within, and be honest: Can you attribute your actions to the Holy Spirit moving in and through you, so obvious in the details of your life? Or are you the top action figure in your own story?
Ponder this: Are you the center of your universe, or are you centered firmly in this universe by the counsel and comfort and power of the Holy Spirit centered in you?
I’m certain which center leads to “the life that is truly life.”