The Promise

by Scarlett Stough

 

“The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call (Acts 2:39.)”

Has God called you? Then this promise is made to you and to your children of every generation since Peter said these words.

What is this promise? “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people, your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days (Joel 2:28-29.)”

We live “in those days.” We live during the time when God gives of himself to every person who responds to him with belief. Jesus asked, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him (Luke 11:11-13!)”

Maybe “prophesying,” “dreaming” or having “visions” fails to excite your desire to receive this promise. But do you want LIFE in capital letters? This is a promise of a future with a purpose. If you get good news, don’t you want to share it? Don’t you want to plan for a future with anticipation of good things to come?

Who among us does not want LIFE? We get depressed and discouraged if we have no hope or anticipation for a future with purpose and happiness. The Spirit gives life now and for all eternity (John 3:14-17; 10:10; Romans 8:6-14.)

It is true that like all men on earth, we Christians suffer troubles in this world. But those who believe and act on that belief have a hope through the Spirit which dwells within. Only through the Spirit of God can we belong to Jesus Christ. If we belong to Christ, we can know him; and he knows us. This knowledge is greater than anything we might have or achieve in this world (Philippians 3:7-11.) Think of all the rich and/or famous people who had all this world had to offer. What was the end result of all their acquisitions and accomplishments?

Is it possible to have received the Spirit and still get discouraged, still grieve and grow weary? We all know it is. The Christian life is full of challenges. It is a marathon. It stretches us nearly to the breaking point (Romans 8:22-25.) In this way we grow more like Jesus through this suffering. But we do not labor alone, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. In our weakened state, we learn the strength and faithfulness of God (Romans 8:26-27.)

Jesus promised his disciples that he would ask the Father to give “another Counselor” to be with them forever. Jesus would not leave them to fend for themselves like homeless orphans (John 14:16-19.)

We do have our responsibility: We are instructed to “be filled” with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) to “stir up the Spirit (II Timothy 1:6-7)" and to “live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16.)” We are warned against blaspheming the Spirit (Luke 12:10)”, grieving the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30), or quenching the Spirit (I Thessalonians 5:19). God has given us his Spirit as his guarantee of Eternal life to come (II Corinthians 1:21-22; 4:13-5:9; Ephesians 1:11-14.)

Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come (II Corinthians 5:5.)

 

For the Scripture References and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: The Spirit is Life


Volume 10 Issue 4 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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