Summary: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed

Theme: Empowered by the Holy Spirit: The Men’s encounter

Text: Ex. 37:1-9; Acts 5:1-11; Lk. 4:16-21

Today is men’s Sunday and I will like to wish all men a very happy and fruitful Sunday. In Ghana more people attend Church services every year than any other event. Many of these people attend church for a variety of reasons. For some it is to meet friends, sing and dance, for others it is to make sure of a Christian marriage and burial, and for others it is just tradition, guilt or simply habit. There are also the few who put God first in their lives and attend Church to worship Him. As we sit in Church today our main reason should be to worship the Lord. How can we worship Him if He does not have first place in our lives? If He does we would know that there are many people in the world who do not know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Our own experiences tell us that many people in the world are actually looking for God. How can Christ come first in our lives if we fail to point them in the right direction by our testimony and by our Christian way of life? God has saved us to be a blessing and the greatest blessing in life is to lead another person to Christ. This is the reason why the Holy Spirit comes to indwell the believer after their encounter with Christ.

Different people have different ideas of who the Holy Spirit is. The Bible, however, teaches that He is a person. Jesus spoke of Him as the Spirit of Truth who would guide us to know the truth. The Holy Spirit is not a force or a thing. He is a person. The Bible also makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is God and we rightfully speak of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. His attributes are without exception, the attributes of God. He is eternal, omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual life to the dead so that we can relate to God. God is Spirit and we can only worship God in spirit and in truth. We all need the Holy Spirit.

Many believers do not value the friendship of the Holy Spirit. We all know how we relate to friends and how we relate to strangers. The smile, the word of greeting, the handshake or embrace and the conversation all point to the depth of the relationship. Many believers relate to the Holy Spirit as they would to a stranger. Very often they do not even acknowledge His presence. If we do not value His friendship we end up ignoring Him and only doing what we want to do. Ananias and Sapphira either did not know the Holy Spirit or they did not value His presence and ended up lying to Him, the Spirit of truth. They had a closer relationship with the devil than with the Holy Spirit. The devil, the father of lies, deceived them to seek the praise of men rather than the praise of God by lying to the Holy Spirit and this cost them their lives. Today many people see nothing wrong with lying to the Holy Spirit even those who profess faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They believe it is now all right because they stay alive. It is not. Lying is an indication that they are serving the devil and not Christ. The case of Ananias and Sapphira is to serve as an example to us and lying to the Holy Spirit today still has severe consequences.

When a person encounters the Lord Jesus Christ, the way, the truth and the life he or she receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit reveals our sinful nature “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23. He also reveals the way to life through Jesus Christ “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23). He indwells believers and makes them spiritually alive. This is made possible when the Holy Spirit leads us “to confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation”. The Holy Spirit not only gives us spiritual life but empowers us to lead the supernatural life. Jesus Christ does not save us to live a life of failure and discouragement but an abundant life of peace, wholeness, success and power. This life is only possible with the Holy Spirit as our helper. The Holy Spirit empowers the believer to witness and serve to the glory of God. Witness without service does not glorify Christ.

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