Summary: The Holy Spirit calls us into service, empowers us to serve and shows us the way to serve.
Service and the Spirit
Global Day of Prayer Prayer
Introduce Service Week…
As I looked at the Schedule for the Service week, I had it in my mind that I would speak on “Meeting Jesus in Service.” - a good topic as we head into the week
But then I realized that it is Pentecost! – Pentecost is one of the most important holy-days of the Christian calendar. As Graeme read, Pentecost is the day that the Holy Spirit came upon the Church in power in Acts 2.
Often times when we think of the Holy Spirit, we think about personal spirituality – the effect that being filled with the Spirit has on our lives, manifestations of the Holy Spirit, ecstatic experiences of His presence, the gifts of the Spirit, how he draws us together in unity…
What does the Holy Spirit have to do with acts of service?
John Stott’s Commentary on the Book of Acts is called “The Spirit, The Church, and The World.” On the back cover it says “The Spirit moves the Church into the world.” It was this tag line that got me to thinking about how the Holy Spirit is connected deeply to acts of service.
The Book of Acts is full of stories of service to the poor – some miraculous like the healing of the lame beggar in Acts 3; some very basic like providing food for widows and others in need.
When the Gospel spread to the Gentiles, and they were trying to figure out weather you had to keep the Jewish law and customs to be Christians, the main stipulation that the elders had for the new church is that they not forget the poor.
The Holy Spirit leads us into acts of service.
The Spirit leads us into service
Jesus’ first public words in Luke 4 – His mandate for his ministry, his mandate for his Kingdom
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
Jesus Mandate is deeply connected to his relationship with the Spirit
He is anointed by the Holy Spirit to … bring Good News to the poor.
… to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.
The Bible teaches us that when we become a Christian, we are given the Holy Spirit – you cannot be a Christian without the Holy Spirit.
We are anointed with the same Spirit that Jesus is!
If Jesus is the king we serve…
If His is the Kingdom that we join when we become a Christian…
If this is His royal Mandate…
If this is His anointing…
Then this is our mandate, this is our anointing, this is our Call given by the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 …the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Active kindness, active goodness, active shalom,…
those who sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
The Spirit is not just about personal spirituality and experience of God, He leads us into acts of service.
The Spirit empowers us for service
If it is by the Spirit….
Matthew 12:22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, "Could this be the Son of David?"
24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons."