No revival, crusade or Christian movement can succeed without the power of the Holy Spirit. God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit must be the ultimate, undeniable spiritual leaders of the EACH (Everyone A Chance to Hear) initiative that begins Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011 in Detroit.
Today’s Devotional Scripture
“But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about Me everywhere.” (Acts 1:8, New Living Translation)
“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men who had no special training. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13, New Living Translation)
Acts 1:8 contains the last set of critical instructions that Jesus gives His “chosen apostles“ (Acts 1:1). In the very next verse, the resurrected Son of God ascends into Heaven.
And yet after three years with the Lord, you get the impression based on the first seven verses of Acts 1 that the 11 apostles were preoccupied with when Jesus would “free Israel and restore our kingdom” (Acts 1:6).
I attribute the apostle’s preoccupation with their perceived needs to the fact that we are all mortal and flawed creatures. We vainly believe we can accomplish many things without God’s help or somehow direct Him to help us get out of a difficult situation.
What would have happened if Peter and John took it upon themselves to defend their faith in Jesus before the mighty Sanhedrin without the power of the Holy Spirit? My assumption is there would be no 5th chapter of Acts or Bible or Christian church for that matter.
Whether we embrace it openly or with caution, we cannot deny the power of the Holy Spirit. The two-word combination of “Holy Spirit “is mentioned 127 times in the New Living Translation (NLT) of The Bible. Three times in the Old Testament (read Psalm 51:11 and Isaiah 63:10-11) and 124 times in the New Testament. Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit three dozen times, which leaves 88 references in the remainder of The Bible.
I have never had an issue with the power of the Holy Spirit. I have seen and heard evidence of the Spirit’s work in my life and the lives of others.
I remember a very difficult week during the summer of 2007. My wife Lori had undergone routine surgery and was so tired that she went to bed early. I slept in a spare room, so I wouldn’t interrupt her sleep.
The next morning I got up and decided to see if she had gotten a good night’s sleep. Instead I found her struggling for life and quickly called 911.
The Livonia EMT crew arrived quickly, stabilized her and loaded her into their vehicle for transport to a local hospital. As I stepped into the front seat of the emergency vehicle, I began pleading and begging and calling out to God to save the life of my wife.
When we reached the hospital and rushed into the emergency room, I felt the power of the Holy Spirit guiding my thoughts, my words and my actions. The One that Jesus had promised would be a comforter to believers had assured me that Lori would recover from this tragic incident. Then Lori slipped into a coma, but the Holy Spirit kept assuring me that it would take time and God would restore her health.
Lori did recover. She came out of the coma and was home within a week. We both greatly appreciate the medical treatment she received from the Livonia EMT crew and doctors and nurses at Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills. We also acknowledge the heartfelt prayers of so many saints that it would humble me to tears if I knew the number.
Lori continues to work as an instructor for Livonia Public Schools and is an active member (acoustic guitar player) in our church’s worship band. She is so full of life and she still feels there is plenty to do before she is summoned to Heaven.
People tell me it was a miracle. And I agree with them. For our God is in the miracle business. He can take ordinary people like you and me, fill them with the Holy Spirit, remind them of what Jesus did for each of us, and let us “go into the world and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19).
So watch out, Detroit! The Holy Spirit is counseling and coaching thousands of Christians in preparation for Easter Sunday. Let’s see how metro Detroit and its people have changed 40, 60 and 180 days after April 24, 2011.
– Deni Martin
Jesus, thank you that the Holy Spirit lives in me and equips me to tell people about You. As I spend time in Your presence, please empower me by the Holy Spirit to live and speak in such a way that people will see Jesus in me. Please make me a bold and courageous witness during these 40 days of preparation. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Please Note: Scripture and prayer supplied by 33:3 – A 40 Day Devotional Connecting to God! available through EACH in Detroit. This material is being reprinted in the Examiner with the expressed approval of EACH.
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