Summary: There are two reasons why we need to allow the Holy Spirit to be present in our lives – strength to live God’s way and power to do God’s mission.
MAIN THEME/TOPIC: Who is the Holy Spirit?
TEXT: Isaiah 40:31 “ But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Acts 1: 8 “But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
MAIN POINT: There are two reasons why we need to allow the Holy Spirit to be present in our lives – strength to live God’s way and power to do God’s mission.
1. It is nice to have the children with us today. Kids, would you be willing to draw another picture to help us understand something very important today? We are going to talk about God’s spirit today. We also call Him the Holy Spirit. And when I think of the Holy Spirit, I often think of wind. So I am going to ask you to draw a picture of something helpful the wind does for us or we can make the wind do for us. Now, instead of sharing our pictures with everybody after the service like we normally do, I will ask for volunteers to come up front here and share their picture with all of us later in the sermon. Okay? Crayons and paper are up front here so come on and get some.
2. (Overhead 1) Now, I have already given away our topic for today. But, in the spirit of Jeopardy, we are going to briefly play reverse Jeopardy, okay? I’ll ask the question and you share an answer to it. Ready? Here goes: Who is the Holy Spirit? (Ask three times)
3. There is a lot of interest in the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is an important part of the Godhead. And if we want to live rightly with God, we need to allow the Holy Spirit, to be in our lives for two important reasons: (Overhead 2 – Main point)
4. One of the great verses of the Bible is Isaiah 40:31 “ But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Overhead 3) Notice the following words/phrases in this verse: “waiting,” “new strength” “fly high (soar),” “not weary; not faint.” These are word pictures of strength, power, but primarily endurance. Why? Well, what gives the eagle the ability to soar, to fly high? The wind! I learned something important about the eagle this week. The eagle uses the air currents to rise and glide. But I also learned that when you see an eagle flapping its wings it is working to keep itself airborne. And because of the size and weight of its wings – it cannot stay airborne for very long. It has to land and rest. Been flapping your wings lately? (Flap my arms) Got to get this done. Got to get that done. Got to be here. Got to be there.
5. An old hymn requests, “breathe on me breath of God.” The Holy Spirit is the breath of God. The Holy Spirit longs to breathe on us; He longs to bring us to life! It is His way of giving us the power, strength, and endurance to live faithfully for and with Him. We cannot live God’s way without letting in the Holy Spirit and allowing the Him to bring us to life. But, the Holy Spirit does not breathe life, in other words, salvation and purity, into us solely for the sake of breathing life into us. There is also another reason for the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives.
6. In Acts 1:8 we read this statement “But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” This is the mission of the Church. This is your mission as a believer and follower of Christ – as a Christian. This is my mission as well. This is our mission. But, but, it is only achievable as we let the Holy Spirit come upon us. For it is only by His power that we can and will tell everyone, everywhere about Jesus! I fear that for far too long we have been more concerned about being filled with the Spirit in order to live our lives than being concerned about fulfilling God’s mission for us. Why is that? Two main reasons that I call Power Inhibitors: (Overhead 4) 1. Fear 2. Disappointment
7. Fear is a negative motivator. It causes us to give up. It binds us from believing, hoping, dreaming. It shackles us and ties us up so much so that we simply stop trying. 2 Timothy 1:17 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” The disciples to whom Jesus is speaking in Acts 1:8 had experienced their share of fear and timidity. But then, the Holy Spirit came as we read in the rest of Acts 1 and 2. Then the power came and the authority to speak and live boldly, to fulfill God’s mission was realized in a group of people who had never had such boldness before. They did what Jesus told them to do – they began, in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit, to tell people about Him everywhere they went! We have the same mission right now. And for us to move out and move forward and fulfill this mission in this time, in this place, and in this community, we have got to let the Holy Spirit into our lives, individually and congregationally. We cannot let our past dictate to us what God has called us to do now and in the future – go and tell! We cannot let the fears of the past or the present or the future stop us from planning and dreaming the plans and dreams of God for us.