He Makes All the Difference
by Matt Smith
Last Wednesday night I had the opportunity to speak in Pastor’s abscence and I chose for my topic the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Since undoubtedly many of the readers of this devotional were not present for that message, and the fact that it is reinforced in our reading today, I’d like to touch on this topic one more time. 🙂
We read in 1 Thessalonians 1:5, “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” Here Paul stresses that the gospel was preached to the church in Thessalonica in power and in the Holy Spirit. That’s the key- the power of the Holy Spirit!
I think one of the best illustrations of the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives is in the life of Peter. I’m sure we are all familiar with the story of Peter denying that he knew the Lord. His denial was in the face of a girl without any fear of harm or persecution. I mean seriously, how could Peter deny Christ in that circumstance? However, in the first few verses of the book of Acts, Jesus promised that the disciples would receive power “when the Holy Spirit came upon them”, which happened on the Day of Pentecost. Later that same chapter we read of Peter preaching a message with the result of “then they that glady received his word were baptized, and the same day were added unto them about three thousand souls” (vs 41). So Peter, in just probably a few short months, went from denying Christ when questioned by a girl to preaching a message in which 3,000 were saved. What was the difference? The power of the Holy Spirit!
A biblical, Christ-honoring church that is functioning at it ought is not just made up of good programs, a well-written mission statement or even dynamic teaching and preaching. No, the type of church that God wants to use and bless is one that is operating in the power of the Holy Spirit. And the same principle applies in our personal lives as well. God did not save us and ask us to struggle through this life alone. We are to be indwelt and empowered by the Holy Spirit!