Summary: The Holy Spirit empowered Paul to be Christ’s witness in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to uttermost parts of the earth
Illustration:In a seminary missions class, Herbert Jackson told how, as a new missionary, he was assigned a car that would not start without a push. After pondering his problem, he devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children out of class, and had them push his car off. As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years.
Ill health forced the Jackson family to leave, and a new missionary came to that station. When Jackson proudly began to explain his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man began looking under the hood. Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary interrupted, "Why, Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble is this loose cable." He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, pushed the switch, and to Jackson’s astonishment, the engine roared to life. For two years needless trouble had become routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting that power to work.
J.B. Phillips paraphrases Ephesians l:19-20, "How tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God." When we make firm our connection with God, his life and power flow through us.
Ernest B. Beevers.
1. The Holy Spirit empowered Paul to be Christ’s witness in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to uttermost parts of the earth. (Acts 1:8) It is hard to think of another human being who best personifies what it means to be empowered by the Holy Spirit besides Paul, the apostle.
Ask the Lord to help you to learn all you can about the leading of the Spirit by modeling your life and ministry after Paul the pastor, teacher, and missionary.
2. The Holy Spirit guided Paul to carry out all of his ministries with a supernatural love. Paul wrote, "True love’s patience is inexhaustible. True love does not assert itself, claim rights or demand privileges. It always thinks first of the other person. True love never thinks evil of the beloved. It is never suspicious, but always supportive and inspiring. True love bears all things. It is a rock, an anchor, a foundation for all the years to come. Let love be your greatest aim." (I Cor. 13:4-7 & 14:1)
Ask the Lord to infuse supernatural love into every aspect of your personal life, relationships and ministries.
3. The Holy Spirit motivated Paul by His all sufficient grace. (2 Cor. 12:9,10) Ask the Lord to help you to find sufficient incentives, power, and enabling from the Holy Spirit to face whatever difficulties come your way.
4. The Holy Spirit endued Paul to overcome all kinds of adversity when his human strength was exhausted. Ask the Lord to infuse you with supernatural strength when you are feeling weary and worn out.
5. The Holy Spirit taught Paul how to let God’s purposes direct His ministries instead of selfish desires. Ask the Lord to teach you how to let God’s purposes and power direct your ministries instead of any selfish ambition.
6. The Holy Spirit enlightened Paul’s mind to God’s hope when everything around him seemed hopeless. Paul wrote, "I pray that God may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation (of insight into mysteries and secrets) in the deep and intimate knowledge of Him. Having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hoe to which He has called you." (Eph. 1:17,18)
Ask the Lord to fill you with an optimistic sense of God’s hope that His will be shall be done and His kingdom will come in all of its qualitative and quantitative aspects to your community.
7. The Holy Spirit revealed great truths to Paul that he passed on for millions to benefit from through his writing ministry. (2 Tim. 3:16,17)
Ask the Lord to have the Spirit teach you how to have a contexually relevant writing ministry that will multiply your efforts in ways beyond human imagination.
8. The Holy Spirit buoyed Paul up with a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. (2 Tim. 1:7) Ask the Lord to help you to follow Paul’s upbeat attitude by overcoming your natural tendency to succumb to fear, worry and doubt with the Spirit’s power, love and self-discipline.
9. The Holy Spirit helped Paul refuse to become discouraged, frustrated or weary in well doing. Paul stood on the deck on a slave ship and said, "For the last fourteen days you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food. Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head. So keep up your courage men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me." (Acts 27:25,33,34)