Illustration results for Holy Spirit: Baptism
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What is this (a cucumber), and what is this (a pickle?) No, it is a baptized Cucumber! A few thoughts on this:
1. When those cucumbers are put in that pickling jar and covered with the pickling juice and sealed, they do not get any more juice, they are heated and stored for several weeks. Likewise we get no more of the Holy Spirit at Baptism then we had when we were saved.
2. The effect of the juice on the cucumber changes it so much it gets a new name: the pickle. It has a new taste, a new texture, even a new feel. This happens because the juice changes the characteristics of the cucumber. Like the pickling juices work from the outside in, the Holy Spirit works from the inside out.
D L Moody was once asked why he urged Christians to be filled constantly with the Holy Spirit. "Well," he said, "I need a continual infilling because I leak!" He pointed to a water tank which had sprung a leak. "Iím like that!" he said. Itís a fact that living in this sinful world we do need to be replenished by the Spirit. A friend of mine, an evangelist, was asked if he believed in the "second blessing". "Of course I do," he replied, "and in the 3rd, 4th , 5th blessing, and so on."
Thereís a story told of a husband and wife both of who were doctors - one a doctor of theology and the other a doctor of medicine. When their doorbell was rung and the maid answered, the inquirer would often ask for "the doctor". The maidís interesting reply was: "Do you want the one who preaches or the one who practices?" We know the theory of Christian living but what we must do is to practice it!
Perhaps an analogy will best clarify this. As Christians we may be compared with a reservoir for producing electrical power, like one of those you see when you drive down the canyon. When we accept Christ, construction of our reservoir is complete. We now have the potential to be useful and to affect lives. But until the flood gates are opened and the cascading river waters pour through, no power is realized. So it is when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. We open our lives to God and the Holy Spirit pours into us and through us. It is then we become most effective in Godís service.
As with the reservoir, this power-generating experience is not intended to be a one-time occurrence. It is to be an ongoing process. When our spiritual power runs low, we need to return to the Source and let the blessed Holy Spirit pour into us again, bringing fresh power.
Several years ago one of the Elders of the congregation I preached for baptized a particularly large woman. He was concerned about how he would completely immerse her into the water and decided to explain to her how she could help him. He explained, "Now, when we get down into the water this is what I want you to do. When I say, "I now baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit", I want you to squat as if you were about to sit in a chair." The woman understood the instruction and they went down into the water together. The Elder raised his hand and said, "I now baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy squat!" While most of us chuckled inside a bit we all understood what he really meant.
The first time I had to speak in public was when I was in fourth grade. The elementary school I attended was part of the college down the street from my house. I think I was a shepherd in the college's presentation of "Amahl and the Night Visitors."
I was pretty nervous--scared, really--about getting up in front of everyone. My father took me aside and explained to me: "Honey, when you get up to speak, everyone in the room wants it to go well. Everyone wants you to be your best because they share your success. They feel good when you do well."
He was explaining to me that there is an energy in a room or sanctuary that is positive. The same energy connects all the followers of Jesus. He has promised never to leave us alone and He gives us both the Holy Spirit and the each other. Baptism seals our connection.
In one of his meetings, D.L. Moody was explaining to his audience the truth that we cannot bring about spiritual changes in our lives by our own strength. He demonstrated the principal like this: "Tell me," he said to his audience, "how can I get the air out of the tumbler I have in my hand?" One man said, "Suck it out with a pump." But Moody replied, "That would create a vacuum and shatter it."
Finally after many suggestions, he picked up a pitcher and quietly filled the glass with water. "There," he said, "all the air is now removed." He then explained that victory for the child of God does not come solely by working hard to eliminate sinful habits, but rather by allowing Christ to take full possession."
A lot of people work hard to remove bad habits from their lives. Just look at all the self-help books out there. One of the most popular books today is "The Secret". Millions of people are reading it to change their lives. But sin is like cutting down one of those old cottonwood trees that we use to have in the front yard. All the trees were cut down -- but for years the roots would send out suckers and little trees would pop up in the most unusual and inconvenient places. It wasn't until all the roots were removed that they stopped coming up.
If we try to remove the results without doing anything about the cause, we only frustrate ourselves. The need is to remove the root and replace it with the Holy Spirit.
The poet William Blake wrote a poem about Pentecost. Part of the poem says: Unless the eye catch fire, God will not be seen. Unless the ear catch fire, God will not be heard. Unless the tongue catch fire, God will not be named. Unless the Heart ca...
As I sat with an individual, explaining the Baptism in the Holy Spirit I told them, "...and when you are filled with the Spirit you will speak in tongues." I watched as the excitement of the experience changed in his countenance and he asked, "Do I have to speak in tongues?" I said no, you do not have to speak in tongues; you get to speak in tongues. Speaking in tongues in not a type of punishment, but a marvelous privilege for spirit-filled believers.
In water-safety courses a cardinal rule is never to swim out to a drowning man and try to help him as long as heís thrashing around. To do so is basically to commit suicide. As long as a drowning man thinks he can help himself, heís dangerous to anyone who tries to help him. The reason why is becuase his tendency is to grab the one trying to help him and the result is he ends up taking them both under the water in the process.
The correct way to rescue someone whoís drowning is to stay far enough away to where he canít grab you. And then you wait. And when he finally gives up and quits thrashing around, you make your move. At that point the drowning man wonít work against you. Instead heíll let you help him.
The same principle applie...