Monday, November 28, 2011

ADVENT: Dec. 11

Read:  Luke 4:1-19  Key Verse:  "The Spirit of the LORD is upon me"  (Lk. 4:18)

"How can this be?"

When Mary asked that question the angel said, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you."(Lk. 1:35)  The Holy Spirit is the third person of the triune Godhead.   He is the power and the activity of God.  Christmas can happen because the Holy Spirit will bring it about.  He did it for Mary and He can do it for you.

When Jesus grew up and began His ministry the Holy Spirit gave Him strength and worked through Him.  When he was baptized the Holy Spirit came upon Him(Lk. 3:22).  Then Luke four says, "And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness." (vs. 1)   "And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit." (vs. 14)   In the synagogue He took the scriptures and read from Isaiah, "The Spirit of the LORD is upon me."(vs.18)  Though, as Son of God, He could have acted on His own, He clearly acted only by the direction of and in the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit of God is how Christmas happens.

God's goal in your life is to form Christ in you so that others can see Him.  This is a process that begins when you receive Christ as Savior and continues as you follow Him.   It is a miracle that only God can do.  It is easy to ask, "how can I be Christ-like?"  The question is similar to Mary's "How can this be?"  The answer is that it can happen only as the Spirit comes upon you,    Mary could not have produced any baby, let alone the Son of God, by herself.  Jesus tells us that by ourselves we can do nothing,  Yet, when filled with the Holy Spirit, we can do amazing things as He works through us.  

Let our Christmas prayer be,  "Father, I surrender to Jesus Christ as LORD and ask your Spirit come upon me and take control of my life."

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