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About-Him.Com Devotional 03-30-2013

Abounding in Hope Through the Power of the Holy Ghost.

Romans 15:13 ¶  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.  

The first mention of the Holy Spirit in scripture was when God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, void and covered with darkness. God spoke and said, “Let there be light and there was light (Ge. 1:1-3).”  Following The Principal of First Mention, which is described as, "The first time a subject is mentioned in the word of God, you will find initial truths that will be applicable throughout all subsequent scriptures."  We can readily apply the work of creation in this instance to the time that the Spirit of God hovered over the darkness of our barren heart and spoke Light and Life into our spiritual being.  

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  

The Light of God’s eternal being (1 Ti. 6:16; 1 Jn. 1:3) illuminated the earth to the extent that vegetation flourished on the earth even before the sun was given its place in the universe. When the ages have finally culminated and we are gathered together around the throne of God, there will be no further need of the natural sun. The light of the glory of God will light His eternal city (Re. 21:23; 22:5).  

In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit was not readily available to whomsoever will as He is today (Re. 22:17). The Spirit moved upon specific people for specified tasks that they were given to perform, such as when holy men of God were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the scriptures (2 Peter 1:21).  

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.  

Isaiah prophesied of the Spirit's coming.  

Isaiah 55:1 ¶  Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  

Ezekiel saw the Spirit as a mighty river, waters that could not be passed over. The flow started at ankle depth, progressed to the knee and then to the loins. Ultimately it was necessary to swim, because the river had become so big that it could not be crossed over (Ez. 47:5). So it is today. God never intended for us to be wading, He wants us to be swimming.  

Paraphrasing John 14:16-18,26,16:7 Jesus promised a  Comforter whom the Father would send in His name. The Comforter which proceeded out of the Father would abide with us forever. The Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, would testify of Jesus. He would teach us all things and bring all of Jesus' commandments to our remembrance. The world could not receive the Comforter because they couldn't see Him. But the disciples knew Him because He was standing there talking to them in the face and person of Jesus. Jesus said, “He is dwelling with you and shall be in you. I won't leave you Comfortless, I will come to you.” The disciples would have to wait a bit for the Comforter to come, because it was necessary for Jesus to leave them. He assured them that, “If I depart, I will send him unto you.”  

The prophet Joel gave us God’s promise that at some future date, He would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh (Joel 2:28-32). The apostle Peter quoted these scriptures to the inquiring crowd when the Spirit descended on the day of Pentecost saying, “This is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel......(Ac. 2:16-21.”  

At His ascension, Jesus told His disciples to wait at Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. The Spirit would empower them to preach the gospel to the utter ends of the earth.  

Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.  

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

It was necessary for Jesus to die, be resurrected and glorified, before He could sent the Holy Spirit (Jn. 7:39). Peter told the crowd at Pentecost that the One whom they had crucified had been resurrected. God had exalted Him and seated Him at His own right hand, the place of power and authority. He was now both Lord and Christ. He having  received the promise of the Father was now pouring it out upon men (Acts 2:33,36; 1 Co. 15:45; 2 Co. 3:17; Co. 2:9).  

The Spirit fell at Pentecost while the disciples were in prayer and supplication (Ac. 1:14). That is still necessary today! After being filled with the Spirit, they possessed a boldness that they had never had before. Those who forsook Him and even denied Him in the judgment hall, went to the ends of the earth proclaiming that Jesus had risen and was now Lord of all. They had the audacity to preach that the only way to salvation was by believing on the name of Jesus (Ac. 4:12). Preaching such as that cost most of them their lives. If we preach the same message, it will cost us something also (Mt. 10:22).  

Romans 15:13 ¶  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.  

When Paul wrote this to the Roman church, storm clouds of persecution were forming against the infant church. It wouldn't be long before they would have to swear allegiance to Caesar or be put to death. Facing this, Paul urged them to put their trust in the God of Hope. Do we not see storm clouds rising today? How about the government trying to force religious businesses and institutions to provide abortion and contraceptive services against their conscience? In the argument before the Supreme Court concerning so called marriage equality, any voice of dissent is considered the voice of hate. Christianity and the supremacy of God's law, is openly mocked and considered archaic.  

Our trust is in the God of hope. Our hope is not just wistful thinking but we have a firm confidence that God's church and kingdom will be established just as He has determined. The councils of hell will never prevail against it (Mt. 16:18).  

We have joy and peace in believing the words of Jesus , because they are Spirit and Life.  

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.  

Our joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Ga. 5:22). Because we have chosen to abide in Jesus the Vine (Jn. 15:1-11), our joy is filled to overflowing.  

Isaiah 12:3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.  

Because we abide in Him, we have the peace that passes all understanding.  

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

We have joy and peace in believing, because:  
We know that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).  

God's Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are sons of God, whereby we are able to call Him Abba (daddy) Father (Ro. 8:15-16). Because we are sons, we are also heirs, joints heirs with Christ Jesus. We know that when we see Him, we will be like Him for we'll see Him as He is (1 Jn. 3:2).    

We have the promise that if we suffer with Him, we will also reign with Him (2 Ti. 2:12).  

Yes, the winds of change are in the air, but we will continue to believe and abound in joy and peace through the power of the Holy Spirit.  

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  

Romans 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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The primary source of the appeal of Christianity is Jesus – His incarnation, His life, His crucifixion, and His resurrection.  K. Latourette 

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