The disciples had to tarry, staying in Jerusalem until the day of Pentecost, not only for their own preparation but because they had to wait until the Lord was actually glorified. And as soon as He was glorified, what happened? “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear” (Acts 2:33). The statement in John 7:39 — “. . . for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified”— does not pertain to us. The Holy Spirit has been given; the Lord is glorified— our waiting is not dependent on the providence of God, but on our own spiritual fitness.
The Holy Spirit’s influence and power were at work before Pentecost, but He was not here. Once our Lord was glorified in His ascension, the Holy Spirit came into the world, and He has been here ever since. We have to receive the revealed truth that He is here. The attitude of receiving and welcoming the Holy Spirit into our lives is to be the continual attitude of a believer. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive reviving life from our ascended Lord.
It is not the baptism of the Holy Spirit that changes people, but the power of the ascended Christ coming into their lives through the Holy Spirit. We all too often separate things that the New Testament never separates. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not an experience apart from Jesus Christ— it is the evidence of the ascended Christ.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit does not make you think of time or eternity— it is one amazing glorious now. “This is eternal life, that they may know You . . .” (John 17:3). Begin to know Him now, and never finish.
Daily Devotional Bible Verse
When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food. Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven. (Proverbs 23:1-5 ESV)
In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he instructed the “love of money is a root of all kinds of evils,” and it is “through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith” (I Timothy 6:10). Interestingly, he calls the “love of money” a “craving”, if this is the case, we need to be vigilant, lest we begin to go the way of greed. Proverbs 21:1-5 assists us in this by beginning with a person sitting at the king’s table. It then tells those of us who are often controlled by our appetite to put a knife to our throats. This is because gluttony leads to greed. We start eating and acquiring more: more money, more clothes, more cars, and gradually what we have is insufficient in satisfying our greed.
As Christians we are called to lay up our treasure in heaven and not here on the Earth (Matthew 6:20). We each have things in our life we want just a little bit more of because we want more comfort, entertainment, status, or even security. We think we will in turn have stability and then need less and give more to God. This is not the case though. Examine those things according to Scripture and be certain you aren’t traveling the path of greed. For if we do, we will find our things “gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.”
by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
John 21:14-15, 22 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”
After Yeshua’s (Jesus) resurrection, He showed himself to the apostles several times. Once, they were fishing, and Yeshua met them on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Peter was there, back at his craft, but swirling with inward emotions. The anguish of his recent denial, three times, exactly as Yeshua had predicted, mixed with the amazement and perplexity at the empty tomb, and finally the astounding relief and joy witnessing the risen Lord. Peter was on an emotional roller coaster for days, but the issue of his denial remained unresolved.
The Lord’s encounter with Peter on the Sea of Galilee was to fully restore him. Three times Yeshua probes His beloved disciple “Do you love me?” But this is more than just a quantitative restoration. The Lord is penetrating the apostle’s heart in this amazing conversation, because He really knows how much Peter loves Him and He wants Peter to know that He trusts him completely even after his awful failure. So Yeshua gives Peter his lifelong commission– “Feed my lambs!”; “Feed my sheep.” Yeshua knew that He could entrust Peter with this responsibility, and He told him so. Peter was restored.
Yet Peter still wobbles, even as he receives his restoration, when he asks about his fellow apostle, John. Yeshua’s response, “what is that to you, you follow me!” settles the matter. The Lord is saying, “stop the competition, Peter. Those days are over, yet you’re still comparing…I have work for you; I have a life for you; live it!”
The enemy would love to dig up your past, thrust it in your face, and leave you comparing yourself with others for the rest of your life – but the Lord has a life for you and He wants you to live it. Your life, not someone else’s. He loves you and He trusts you to be who He made you to be. So don’t allow your past failures or your present jealousies to prevent you from the life you’re called to live for Him!
Matthew 6:30-34 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today, and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? O you of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, “What shall we eat?” or, “What shall we drink?” or, “What shall we wear?” For after all these things do the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will will worry about itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
In Biblical Hebrew, the verb tenses are not like our “past”, “present”, and “future” – there are only two: “perfect” and “imperfect”. The “imperfect” tense is that which is not yet, not done, or not completed. The “perfect” is that which is done, complete and finished.
The Bible speaks of things that are yet to come in the perfect tense, as if they are already completed; (also called the “prophetic past”). God can have a finished work that hasn’t happened yet — for example, our salvation! In Messiah, we are a finished work that hasn’t happened yet. We are becoming what we are already, in Him.
Yeshua (Jesus) instructed us to pray, “on earth as it is in heaven.” Since we (believers) are born from above — from the finished, perfect work of God, we are already participating in His perfection, though we are still on earth doing His will.
So, reflect on this truth of your already complete perfection in Yeshua. You will look at your problems a little differently — actually be less worried about them from this “Heavenly” point of view. You may still be working them out with fear and trembling, yet rest in this simple and amazing fact: in Yeshua, they are already resolved!
by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions