Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2016 Joel 2:28.

Joel 2:28.   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Monday, oh Monday! What a wonderful day thou art! No friends, the ole fella isn’t losing his marbles – at least not just yet. 

Monday is a great day. It gets us back into the normal running of our lives and reintroduces us to the outside world, refreshed and renewed. It allows us to socialize with a wide group of people, meet and greet all our friends and fellow workers – those we like and those we’re not so thrilled about. (smile) And above all, it means that we’re working, earning a pay cheque, and supporting our families. 

Now doesn’t that make Monday a great day? I think so. But too many of us look at Monday as a day of inconvenience; meaning we have to get up and go out to work, with all that that entails. But whatever day you have to begin work after a period of rest will pose the same problems. 

If Tuesday was the first day of the work week, we’d still be miserable and complaining. Just look at how we behave when we’re gifted with a long weekend. So, I’d suggest the sooner we begin to like Mondays, or at least not despise them as much, the sooner our lives will improve. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now to tie all of that up and give us the wherewithal we need to get up and get going, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty gusto and lots of enthusiasm. Hn, hn! 

As one majestic choir now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Now that sounded real good friends! So good that our choirmaster, Jesus, gave us a big smile and a clenched right fist salute in acknowledgement. Glory Be! 

Now all that’s left for us to do is to get ourselves involved in the ongoing battle and give the enemy heck! Kill them with LOVE and kindness! Oh, I know that is very difficult to do with some folks, but that’s what our Leader desires of us. And what our Leader wants, our Leader gets! 

And having only celebrated the day of Pentecost yesterday, when the Holy Spirit was universally introduced, it is indeed important that today we be filled with it and let it control and guide our lives as our Lord and Saviour expects. That means we can’t be wishy washy today my people. 

We have to stand up and be counted in true Christian fashion, like ole Simon Peter stood up on that first day of Pentecost and preached a marvellous sermon, based on our Bit. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ 

Now let’s hear some of what Peter said. ‘But Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose , seeing as it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that day which was spoken by the prophet Joel…’ (Acts 2:14-16)  And then he went on to quote Joel 2:28-32, which includes our Bit. (Acts 2:17-21) 

And the scholars offer this important warning re Peter’s sermon. ‘2:16-21. Peter does not say that Pentecost is the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy concerning the last days (Rev.6:12). Peter does not see a celestial cataclysm (vv.19-20). Yet it is that of which Joel speaks, because it is the beginning of that fulfillment. 

Peter did not see the Spirit coming upon all people, but he did see Him coming upon 120 (those in the room with him).  It was the beginning, but surely not the complete fulfillment. Peter understood, as we should, that the last days had already begun, even with the birth of Christ (Heb.1:2; 1 Pet.1:20).’ 

Yes friends, we are indeed in the last days, but the last days as God sees them; meaning that they are stretched out over a long period of time in our reckoning, but in His it’s not that long. And we’ll end there for today, because the rest of stuff I have to share will make it much too long. And I always have our short attention spans in mind. (smile) 

So my brethren, until tomorrow, God willing, may He bless and keep us all, grant us His peace that passes all understanding, and help us to stand strong in faith and do good works in obedience to His will. Much LOVE!

…who is the one that teaches us what to say…the Holy Spirit…who is the one that guides our way…the Holy Spirit…He is the one that makes our day…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2016 Joel 2:28

Joel 2:28.   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

And then it was the first day of the week – Sunday – the Lord’s Day…Glory Hallelujah! That means it’s time to get our weekly God-fix! And that’s meant in a positive manner.  It’s time to hie thee to the Lord’s sanctuary and raise the roof, or if it’s outdoors raise heaven’s roof, with songs of praise and worship, of adoration and awe and reverence to our wonderful Creator! 

And the good thing about all that is that it’s not a one way street. In return we will receive God’s peace and confidence, His encouragement and assurance, His strength and steadfastness so that we can successfully face the workday world for another week. 

And all God’s children gave out a delightful and grateful shout of ‘All praise and thanks be to our awesome God, who was, who is, and who always will be! Bless His holy name! Amen.’ 

And friends, today is a special day in the life of believers; it spells the formal beginning of Christ’s church; it’s the day of Pentecost, when the beginning of God’s promise in our Bit was fulfilled. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’  

Before this, the Spirit of God worked from the outside, came upon believers individually, temporarily, often to perform some special work. But after that, the Lord’s Spirit was going to work internally, in a permanent manner. It would come upon each and every believer and dwell within them as soon as they believed; accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. 

And that promise from Joel was also renewed by Jesus just before His ascension, when He told the disciples: ‘And, behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry (stay) ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.’ (Luke 24:49) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘24:49. Here is the source of strength for effective evangelism. The promise of my Father stresses that the Spirit’s coming is not an afterthought, but an integral part of God’s eternal will. Endued conveys the picture of one being clothed with God’s enablement. Waiting is part of necessary preparation for the reception of God’s guidance and sanction.’  

And that is exactly what the disciples did; they waited in Jerusalem until they were clothed with God’s Holy Spirit, His enablement!  

Now listen to Luke describe the Day of Pentecost: ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (purpose or mind) in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  

And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Oh how great is our God, my brethren! For as Jesus also told the disciples before His ascension: ‘For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ (Acts 1:5) And so said, so done! 

Now let me see if I can paraphrase an important distinction made here by the scholars. ‘2:4. Though verse 4 mentions only the filling with the Spirit, both the filling and the baptism occurred. Christ promised that the baptism would occur (1:4-5) and Peter later affirms that it did happen at Pentecost (11:15-16). 

The filling and the baptism are two different works performed by the Holy Spirit. Note their contrasts: (1) Following Pentecost every believer receives the baptism of the Spirit (1 Cor.12:13); hence the New Testament never commands the Christian to receive it. But the filling of the Spirit is not experienced by all believers, and so is commanded (Eph.5:18). 

(2) The baptism is permanent, happening but once and for all. The filling is ongoing, occurring continuously as seen in the present tense imperative of Ephesians 5:18, that is, “Keep on being filled.” The verse commands: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (riotousness): but be filled with the Spirit.” 

The filling of the Spirit is the controlling influence of the Spirit within the believer. Such control is neither universal or unending, thus it must be commanded and does recur within the believers (cf.4:8,31) The baptism is the act by which Jesus, through the Spirit, at conversion brings the believer into relation with Himself and makes the believer part of God’s people, the church. The filling is the continuous experience within the Christian whereby the Spirit, who already indwells him, keeps control over his life.’ 

Ah mih people, I know that sounds somewhat confusing, but if you take your time and read it, you will eventually understand what it’s all about.  (smile) 

And we’ll conclude with some of what happened after the Holy Spirit came upon the early church. ‘And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad (this sound occurred), the multitude came together and were confounded (confused) because every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? 

And how hear we every man in our own tongue (language or dialect), wherein we were born… Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt (perplexed), saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.’ (Acts 2:5-8, 11-12) 

Oh my fellow believers, that must have been a rather tumultuous day in ole Jerusalem! When you hear a bunch of uneducated Galileans speaking about God in your own language, it must give you pause for wonder. And you can’t blame those who thought that the Christians were somewhat inebriated either.  

So today, please, let’s sit and ponder what the Holy Spirit has done, is doing and has promised to do in our lives. And above all let’s try and keep our souls continually filled with Him, and thus let Him control us, for that is the epitome of wisdom! Have a blessed day of Pentecost! Much LOVE!

…what’s there to control and baptize us and keep us filled with Christ…the Holy Spirit…