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Thursday, May 04, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY – FELLOWSHIP WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.

The Holy Spirit is not a blessing from God, He is God. - Colin Urquhart.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. - 2 Cor 13:14.

The deity of the Holy Spirit ought to be clearly recognized in Scripture. Look at these facts: Christ is born; the Spirit is His forerunner. Christ is baptized; the Spirit bears witness. Christ is tempted; the Spirit leads Him up. Christ ascends; the Spirit takes His place. What great things are there in the character of God which are not found in the Spirit?

What titles which belong to God are not also applied to Him? He is called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the mind of Christ, the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of adoption, of truth, of liberty; the Spirit of wisdom, of understanding, of counsel, of might, of knowledge, of godliness, of the fear of God. This only begins to show how unlimited He is. - Gregory of Nazianzus.

Paul’s benediction, witnesses to the to the New Testament Church’s belief in the Trinity. He prays that the Corinthians may continually experience:

1. The GRACE of the Lord Jesus Christ; i.e., His nearness, power, mercy and comfort...

Although out of pure grace God does not impute our sins to us, He nonetheless did not want to do this until complete and ample satisfaction of His law and His righteousness had been made. Since this was impossible for us, God ordained for us, in our place, one who took upon Himself all the punishment we deserve.

He fulfilled the law for us. He averted the judgment of God from us and appeased God's wrath. Grace, therefore, costs us nothing, but is cost another much to get it for us. Grace was purchased with an incalculable, infinite treasure, the Son of God Himself." - Martin Luther.

2. The LOVE of God; His Fatherly love with all His blessings.

One day C.H. Spurgeon was walking through the English countryside with a friend. As they strolled along, the evangelist noticed a barn with a weather vane on its roof. At the top of the vane were these words: GOD IS LOVE. Spurgeon remarked to his companion that he thought this was a rather inappropriate place for such a message. "Weather vanes are changeable," he said, "but God's love is constant."

"I don't agree with you about those words, Charles," replied his friend. "You misunderstood the meaning. That sign is indicating a truth: Regardless of which way the wind blows, God is love." - Ian Pitt-Watson.

3. The FELLOWSHIP of the Holy Spirit; His constant companionship and His encouraging, guiding presence.

The Holy Spirit's distinctive role is to fulfill what we may call a floodlight ministry in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ. So far as this role was concerned, the Spirit "was not yet" (John 7:29, literal Greek) while Jesus was on earth; only when the Father had glorified him (John 17:1, 5) could the Spirit's work of making men aware of Jesus' glory begin.

I remember walking to church one winter evening to preach on the words, "He will glorify me" (John 16:14), seeing the building floodlit as I turned a corner, and realizing that this was exactly the illustration my message needed. When floodlighting is well done, the floodlights are placed so that you do not see them; in fact, you are not supposed to see where the light is coming from; what you are meant to see is just the building on which the floodlights are trained.

The intended effect is to make it visible when otherwise it would not be seen for the darkness, and to maximize its dignity by throwing all its details into relief so that you can see it properly. This perfectly illustrated the Spirit's new covenant role. He is, so to speak, the hidden floodlight shining on the Savior.

Or think of it this way. It is as if the Spirit stands behind us, throwing light over our shoulder on to Jesus who stands facing us. The Spirit's message to us is never, "Look at me; listen to me; come to me; get to know me", but always, "Look at him, and see his glory; listen to him and hear his word; go to him and have life; get to know him and taste his gift of joy and peace."

The Spirit, we might say, is the matchmaker, the celestial marriage broker, whose role it is to bring us and Christ together and ensure that we stay together. - James Packer.

Wow! What a blessing! If this threefold reality is our abiding blessing, then our everlasting fellowship will be guaranteed!

Loving Father, I thank you for this wonderful blessing, may the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be forever evident in my life. I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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