5 Habits - Spirit #2

Welcome to Everyday Devotions. These daily Bible readings and Prayer Pathways are designed to help you go deeper with God each day in response to what you are hearing at the Everyday Church services and Life Group gatherings.

Tuesday 28th January

Welcome to this fourth week of Everyday Devotions. Over the past three weeks, we have looked at three healthy habits that promote spiritual growth in us – Bible Meditation and Prayer Pathways and Sung Worship. This week, we are looking at a fourth healthy habit – being filled with the Holy Spirit and then walking in step with him each day.

Bible Meditation

Luke 24:45-29

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
1) Jesus gave this teaching to his disciples just before he ascended back to heaven. He summarised the whole of the Old Testament in just four verses, and he devoted one of those verses to God’s promise to fill the followers of his Messiah with the Holy Spirit. Do you feel that we emphasise this enough as a church and as Christians? Do we treat being filled with the Holy Spirit as a quarter of the message of the entire Old Testament, or do we treat it more as a nice-to-have?

2) In the Greek text of verse 49, Jesus refers to the gift of the Holy Spirit literally as the promise of the Father”. There are over 3,000 promises in the Old Testament – one for every three verses – yet Jesus describes this one as the promise. How ought this to comfort us if ever we are tempted to doubt whether or not God truly wants to fill us with his Holy Spirit?

Acts 1:1-8

1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.” 6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

3) These verses at the start of Luke’s second volume carry on directly from the final words that we just read from the end of his first volume. Why is it significant that Luke begins his second volume by emphasising that the teaching ministry of Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit? Why does it matter so much that Jesus ministered as a man full of the Holy Spirit, rather than simply out of his own inherent divinity?

4) In verse 4, Jesus refers to being baptised in the Holy Spirit as the gift of God to men and women. Do you think that we live enough as though this were true, or do you think we treat the Holy Spirit as just one of many gifts that God offers us?

5) In verse 5, Jesus announces that what John the Baptist promised in Matthew 3:11 is about to be realised. He is about to begin baptising people with the Holy Spirit. What do you see in the first eight verses of the book of Acts that communicates that a major turning point in history has now arrived?

6) In verse 4, Jesus tells his disciples to “wait” for the Holy Spirit before they attempt to carry on his mission. In verse 8, Jesus tells them that everything will change for them once the Holy Spirit arrives. Have you experienced the promise of verse 8 yet? If the answer is no, what would it mean for you to “wait” for this gift of God today?

Prayer Pathway

In Acts 1:3, Luke uses the phrase “the Kingdom of God” as shorthand for the arrival of the Holy Spirit in power upon the earth. When we pray, “Let your Kingdom come!” we are therefore praying for the Holy Spirit to descend on us. Spend some time praying through The Lord’s Prayer in response to today’s Bible meditation. Use this prayer to marshal your thoughts together and to ask the Lord to pour out his Holy Spirit on you and your loved ones today.

OUR FATHER: Joyful thanks to God that today you can run freely into his arms as your Dad.

IN HEAVEN: Faith-filled proclamation of the truth of Psalm 115:3 – “God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.”

HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME: Speaking God’s Name back to him from the Scriptures, asking him to be true to his Name and to make all the world confess his Name is holy.

YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE: Pray specific prayers for the Holy Spirit to descend on your own life, on the lives of your family and friends, on the lives of your Life Group and your wider church family, on the lives of your nonbelieving friends, on your workplace or college, and on your nation.

GIVE US TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD: Be specific with God in your answer to his question: “What do you want me to do for you?” Bring focused, specific and faith-filled requests that he will provide for all your daily needs.

FORGIVE US, AS WE FORGIVE OTHERS: Confess your specific sins to God, including the sin of withholding forgiveness from others.

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION: Ask God to grant you strength to resist sin, the flesh and the Devil. Ask him to fill you with the Holy Spirit today and to help you grow in holiness, as he has promised you in Ezekiel 36:26-27.

FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM, THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER: End with a time of praising God for his greatness and that he has heard your prayers.

AMEN: Before you stop praying, connect your prayers to the rest of what you have planned for today. Receive a commissioning from God to get up off your knees and to become the answer to many of your prayers.

End with Worship

In order to help you to respond to God in sung worship, we have created two playlists for you on Spotify:

The Everyday Devotions playlist contains a handful of songs which are particularly relevant to our Everyday Devotions this week. This song list changes each week along with our devotions.

The Everyday Church Song List playlist contains most of the songs that we are singing right now across the venues of Everyday Church. This is a wider song list for you to play throughout the day to help you worship as you wash up, as you drive, as you shower, as you sit on the bus and as you go about your day.

If you are somewhere where you can sing loudly, why not use these two playlists to end by singing some songs of worship to the Lord? If you are on the bus or train, why not put on your headphones and sing in your heart to God instead?

This week the songs are largely prayers for God to fill us with his Holy Spirit.
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These Everyday Devotions have been produced and edited by Phil and Ruth Moore on behalf of the Everyday Church Elders

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