Pastor’s Perspective 10-01-19
The Holy Spirit is probably the least understood and appreciated member of the Trinity. That is very unfortunate because of the significant role the Spirit plays in God’s eternal purpose. In fact, the Spirit of God appears in the second verse of the Bible. Genesis 1:2 tells us that the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters when the earth was still formless and empty and everything was covered in darkness. God was getting ready to do something big. He was preparing to create the world in which we live. The world in which He would unfold his purpose.
We see the Holy Spirit again in the early pages of the New Testament. Matthew tells us that when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, heaven opened and the Spirit of God descended like a dove, lighting on Jesus. God announced that Jesus was His Son, whom He loves, and that He was well pleased with Him. Once again, God was getting ready to do something big. Jesus would begin His public ministry, culminating in His death on the cross for the sins of all people over all time. God’s purpose was coming into much clearer focus.
And who can miss the presence and power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost?! The sudden sound of a violent wind. The image of tongues of fire resting on each of them. People from every nation hearing the disciples in their native language. 3000 new believers in a single day! God was getting ready to do something big – again. The church Jesus talked about building was being born. Multiplied and empowered by the Spirit of God.
2000 years later a man named Billy Graham commits his life to Jesus and to preaching the Gospel. He preaches that Gospel to millions of people in many nations around the world. Countless individuals have come into His kingdom as a result. No doubt Billy Graham was anointed and a powerful preacher. But not one person of that big number was saved without the work of the Holy Spirit. Not one. Watching the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association prepare for the Decision America tour here in North Carolina reinforces for me that their success over the decades is predicated on their reliance on prayer and what only God can do… through the presence and power of His Holy Spirit.
What never ceases to amaze me is that you and I are temples of that same Spirit. It makes me wonder what God could do in and through us if we gave His Spirit full and free reign in our lives.
See you Sunday as we celebrate our 70th anniversary! ~ John