But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:13 ESV)
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is present in this world from the beginning. The VERY beginning. As God created the universe in the first two verses of the first chapter of Genesis, we are informed that His Spirit was present.
- In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2 ESV)
In the Old Testament, the Spirit moves prophets to speak the words of God, and He rests on kings (and also abandons them as they turn their backs on righteousness.) But it is after the resurrection of Jesus that God sends the Spirit into every believer. WHO God is in the Spirit, and WHAT He does for us and in us is transformative and deserves our praise. So let’s look at some Scripture and see some of what we need to praise.
Jesus’s last recorded words to His disciples on earth promise power from the Holy Spirit to witness of Jesus to the world. I don’t have to be brave enough or smart enough on my own to be a witness- the Spirit enables me!
- But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8 ESV)
The Spirit leads me out of the spirit of slavery and fear, and into the spirit of adoption so that I can call God Abba and experience acceptance and security. It is by the Spirit’s confirmation in my heart that I know I am a child of my Heavenly Father.
- For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Romans 8:14-16 ESV)
I often feel inadequate for the demands of life, but the Spirit strengthens my inner being and grounds me in love.
- that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love. (Ephesians 3:16-17 ESV)
I easily fall into worry and fretting, but the promise of the Spirit is that if I set my mind on Him, I gain life and peace. What a promise!
- … the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, (Romans 8:6b NASB)
Not only does the Spirit help me where I am weak (and boy do I need help!), but He also actually prays for me. He intercedes for me, praying according to the will of God.
- Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27 ESV)
The Spirit gives every Believer a spiritual gift. I have a gift to minister with, if I will use it. His presence will also grow spiritual fruit in me, when I give His presence free rein in my heart. The Spirit makes all this available to me, but I do have to participate and use what He offers.
- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NASB)
- But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:7 NASB)
- As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (1 Peter 4:10 NASB)
I have so much to thank the Lord about in regards to the Holy Spirit. The gifts, fruit, strength, and peace He brings radically changes my life. The Spirit also marks me. In the most beautiful way possible, I no longer belong to myself or to the world. I belong to Jesus.
- Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Today let’s thank the Lord for His amazing ministry of the Holy Spirit. What God wants to accomplish in our lives through the Holy Spirit is transformative. But here are some questions to ask. Am I continually submitting myself to the Lord to be filled with the Spirit? Or am I slugging away in this world in my own power?
After we finish thanking the Lord, let’s stop and asked to be filled with the Spirit instead of being filled with the concerns of the world. What a difference that would make!
- And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 13:52 NASB)
Oh Lord, my gracious gift-giver-
Thank You for the Holy Spirit. I can hardly believe You would place the presence of Yourself in me. I sense both the honor and the responsibility of that.
Thank You that along with the task of being Your witness to every part of the world You take me, You also give me the power of the Spirit. You have never required me to be strong or brave enough on my own. You have always willingly empowered my ability to answer every call You give me.
Thank You for the assurance of adoption You give me through the Spirit. I know I don’t deserve this relationship, and I confess sometimes I doubt that You could actually love me that much. I am so grateful for the assurance of being Your child that the Spirit gives me. I am no longer a slave, but a daughter.
The demands and challenges of life often weigh me down. Thank You for the presence of Your Spirit which renews my inner being. I would never be able to love like You do without Your Spirit grounding me in Your love. Please help me to continually set my mind on the Spirit so that the Spirit controls my thinking rather than my worries. I am grateful for the life and peace You offer.
You know my weaknesses and where I stumble. Thank You that the Spirit prays for me. It seems unimaginable that the Holy Spirit would intercede for me, yet it is so, and it makes all the difference. Thank You for the gifts and fruit that the Spirit makes available to me. Please forgive the many times I ignore these, and instead do life from my flesh. Thank You for what is available, and please help me walk in that power.
I offer You myself, to fill, use, and dwell in. Please fill me up so much that there is no room for the world's concerns. May Your Spirit have free rein in every part of my life and heart.
Let’s never take for granted the WHO of the Holy Spirit and the WHAT that He accomplishes. The Holy God, Jesus, and the Spirit are One and the One God works in our lives in amazing ways. Keep praying through all 31 days and be blown away by the magnitude of all He (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit) does for us!
- The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)
There is a wealth of Scripture about the Holy Spirit. Here are a few to get you started if you want to study this further.
- (2 Corinthians 1:21-22) (1 Peter 1:2) (Philippians 2:1-2) (Romans 12:6) (1 Corinthians 12:4) (Ephesians 4:7-8) (Ephesians 5:18) (John 3:6-8) (Exodus 31:3) (Romans 11:29) (2 Peter 1:21)
Receive these prayers every morning of January 2018 in your email. I promise you will be blessed to know your Heavenly Father better, because He is amazing!