2/18/16: The Holy Spirit Difference
The Holy Spirit is mentioned three times in the first chapter of Mark’s gospel. First, John the Baptist tells the people, “I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” Mark 1:8 (NKJ). Second, when John baptized Jesus we’re told, “And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove” Mark 1:10. Finally, verse 12 says, “And immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness” where Jesus was tempted for 40 days by the devil and ministered to by the angels.
This infusion of the Holy Spirit’s participation made the difference in Jesus’ ministry. “John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins… but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” Mark 1:4 and 8. After his baptism, Jesus began “preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’” Mark 1:14-15. The reaction to John’s teaching was that people got baptized. The reaction to Jesus’ teaching was markedly different. Mark 1:22 tells us, “And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”
Jesus’ ministry points us to the fact that living a life pleasing to God requires reliance upon the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:38 tells us that “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” When Jesus was about to leave for Heaven after His resurrection, He told His disciples “not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” Acts 1:4-5. The disciples obeyed and in Acts 2:4, Jesus’ words were fulfilled to them: “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” The Promise of the Father was the presence of the Holy Spirit.
So what’s the point? Simply this: the Holy Spirit’s presence, participation, and power make a difference and that difference in available to us as believers. Today, acknowledge His presence, yield to His participation, and be amazed by His power in your life.
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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- Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),
Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
- Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)
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