Saturday, January 2, 2021

The Holy Spirit's Presence



Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Whenever I’m reading through the early chapters of Matthew’s, and Luke’s Gospels, I find myself thinking in terms of the Old Testament, and the promises and prophecies that are contained there. These are the chapters where the Old Testament’s rubber meets the New Testament’s road, so to speak. Prophecies are being fulfilled left and right through the lives of people that were born in Old Testament times. These early chapters are like a segue between the two Testaments, and Jesus bridges that gap.
There is another Who causes the gap to be bridged though. We see the evidence of His work in Genesis 1, and He is mentioned throughout both Testaments! He is the Spirit of God in the Old, and the Holy Spirit in the New.

Joshua 24:19 declares that our God is a holy God. Therefore the spirit of our holy God must also be holy, hence the Holy Spirit. King David affirms this in Psalm 51:11, with King David crying out, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy Spirit from me.”

The Holy Spirit’s role is to point us always towards Christ Jesus, and give substance to many issues of faith (See John 14:26). In our reading today in Genesis 1:1-2, we read that the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters of creation. So apparently, the Holy Spirit gives substance to things that were not, and He does it quickly!

Naturally, we understand that the Holy Spirit was at work in the lives of the Prophets, and they were merely ordinary people who were men and women of faith, ready and willing to be used by God. God’s Holy Spirit was in many Old Testament characters, and today we will study a little of Him at work through these early chapters, bridging the gap with Jesus.

But more than a “segue,” the Holy Spirit is described be a “He,” a personal pronoun which gives Him substance in our understanding of the Holy Trinity of God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, He is our God.

And mind, body and spirit, we are made in His image. Each facet of “us” correlates to each “Person of the Godhead.” We also are triune beings.
“For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” ~ Colossians 2:9


Today's Audio Message: "The Holy Spirit's Presence" - Luke 2:25-52

Luke narrates the routine events that surrounded the arrival of Jesus in a way that presents the ordinary with the extraordinary. God comes in the insignificant events. We see this when we read that nestled in the traditions and customs was the supernatural promise to a man named Simeon, who was told he would see the coming Savior before his death. Similar to the story of Zechariah, we are introduced to a man who was associated with the temple, a devout man filled with the Holy Spirit.

Simeon acts on the prompting of the Holy Spirit in obedience . . . just as Zacharias, Elizabeth, Mary, and Joseph responded in faithful obedience, we now see the same of Simeon, and Anna the prophetess. God’s unmerited favor is upon each one of these individuals, and each one will witness God’s faithfulness as He fulfills His promises. God is faithful, His word is true, and will surely come to pass.

As Simeon goes to the temple, he experiences the fulfillment of this promise, brought to him in the flesh. His response says it all, He immediately recognizes the significance of this child, and blesses God. He prophesies concerning Jesus, and speaks to Mary of what is to come. Ironically, we see the same theme with Anna, the prophetess in Luke 2:38:
“And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”
Do you see a pattern? God speaks through His Spirit. We have the promises of God given to us in His Word, and just as these men and women saw the evidence of those promises, we too can certainly see the evidence of those promises…those looking for redemption.
  • “I love those who love me, and those who diligently seek me will find me. Proverbs 8:17
  • But from there, you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29
  • So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Luke 11:9-10
  • ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
The promised Messiah in the Old Testament is revealed In the New Testament - and it is His Spirit through His word, that continues to reveal our Savior Jesus Christ to the hearts and lives of people today. Our response should be no different than these Old/New Testament saints, and there is no greater way to bless the Lord than giving our lives to Him. When God said He would send a Savior, they lived like that promise was already true. Faithful to believe. Faithful to trust.  Faithful to yield their lives to Him. Faithful to serve Him in obedience to His will.  

God still comes to each of us exactly where we are, no matter how insignificant we may feel or be. His message is the same as it was then. He desires that we each know Him personally as our Savior, Lord and our King. 

 

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