Dear Prayer Warriors, Do you want to enjoy a ‚ÄúSpirit-filled Easter?‚ÄĚ To be ‚ÄúSpirit-filled‚ÄĚ is a noble objective. The question is, ‚ÄúWhat does it look like?‚ÄĚ God the Holy Spirit warns us in 1 John 4:1-3:
‚Äú1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.‚ÄĚ
This confession, though, is not in the context of declaration but proclamation. God the Holy Spirit makes this abundantly clear in His teachings about Himself and about Christians who make the claim of being ‚ÄúSpirit-filled.‚ÄĚ Anyone can claim to be ‚ÄúSpirit- filled‚ÄĚ but the test of this claim is clear-- who are you confessing to others and who are you talking about in the context of your ‚Äúspirit-filled ministry?‚ÄĚ For all too many, the ‚ÄúSpirit-filled ministry‚ÄĚ is centered upon their prosperity, their healing, their gifts, their celebrations, their church services, their church growth, their happiness and the list goes on. This is contrasted with what God the Holy Spirit says about Himself.
What the Holy Spirit Does: John 15:26 "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,‚ÄĚ John 16:8-11 "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.‚ÄĚ God the Holy Spirit talks about Jesus, confesses Jesus, draws men to conviction, repentance and faith in Jesus. The Spirit-filled man will do the same. He will witness, he will confess, he will convict, he will call men to Jesus.
What the Spirit Filled Christian Does: Acts 1:8 ‚Äúbut you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." The Spirit-filled man who manifests the power of the Holy Spirit in his life is a witness. It does not say‚Ä¶ ‚Äúbut you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall speak in unknown tongues.‚ÄĚ ‚Äúbut you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be workers of miracles.‚ÄĚ ‚Äúbut you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be conduct healing services.‚ÄĚ ‚Äúbut you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be promoters of wealth, health and prosperity.‚ÄĚ ‚Äúbut you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall see visions, dream dreams, and have all sorts of mystical experiences‚ÄĚ Instead, it says, ‚Äúbut you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be WITNESSES‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ When asked, ‚ÄúWhen was the last time you said, ‚ÄėWould you like to pray now to receive Christ as your Lord and Savior?‚Äô‚ÄĚ the Spirit-filled man always has an answer. He has an answer because he is doing what the Holy Spirit does. If he does not give a satisfactory answer, then he may be a mystic, he may be a spiritist, he may be a miracle worker, he may be a healer or a prophet, but he is not a Spirit-filled man.
Where Is Jesus? As I travel the globe I see many, many posters proclaiming Spirit-filled crusades or meetings. My question is always the same, ‚ÄúWhere is Jesus?‚ÄĚ The posters speak of the Holy Spirit, of miracles, of prophecies, of demonic deliverance ministries, of blessings, of healings and more. They have large pictures of so-called apostles and prophets. They have the names of churches, ministers and men but Jesus is nowhere to be found. These are not Holy Spirit crusades because, if they were, they would be about Jesus and not man. I have these pictures posted on the GCI Facebook page if you want to take a look at what I am talking about.
What will the Holy Spirit be doing this Easter? The Holy Spirit will be witnessing and testifying concerning Jesus. Spirit-filled men and women will be witnessing and testifying about Jesus. Spirit-filled churches will be witnessing and testifying about Jesus. What will you be doing?
Here are some ways to have a Spirit-filled Easter: 1. Accountant ‚Äď Our taxes were recently due. There are seven staff who work in the office. Whenever I drop by, I take them a ‚Äúcoffee break.‚ÄĚ This time, though, I took seven New Testaments, seven gospel tracts and seven ‚ÄúMore Than A Carpenter‚ÄĚ books. I shared a short testimony and encouraged them this Easter to read and discover the real meaning of Easter. 2. Security Guard ‚Äď I recently spoke at Watermark Church. I arrived early and noticed a security guard. I asked him if he would like a book about Easter. He was unsure of the meaning of Easter so I gave him a book, a New Testament and a short word of testimony. 3. Dentist ‚Äď Whenever I go to the dentist I always take New Testaments and books for the office staff. Several are reading to their children and look forward to getting a new volume. These are all about Jesus. I always include a testimony about Jesus. 4. Neighbors ‚Äď One easy way to testify about Jesus is to invite neighbors over for dinner or dessert. We will once again be inviting our neighbors over for a gospel dinner. Both Easter and Christmas are excellent times to do this. Each will leave with a small Easter basket with candy, New Testaments and gospel tracts in them. 5. Merchants ‚Äď We will put together small evangelistic Easter baskets to take to merchants which we frequent. Later I will go by and offer to show them the key to understanding the New Testament. 6. Missionaries and Military ‚Äď At Christmas and Easter, we put together care packages for missionaries and service men and women. We include treats but also books to help spread the message of Christ. 7. Destiny Basket ‚Äď By our front door we have a ‚ÄúDestiny Basket.‚ÄĚ In it are gospel tracts, New Testaments and evangelistic books in English and Spanish‚ÄĒalong with bottled water. We consider anyone who comes to our door an ‚Äúappointment with destiny‚ÄĚ so we are ready to testify concerning Jesus. 8. Toll Road ‚Äď There are a number of toll roads in Houston. One easy way to witness is to have New Testaments and tracts for the toll road workers. 9. Flight Attendants ‚Äď During the Easter season, when I fly, I always put together small gospel Easter baskets with treats and evangelistic materials for the pilots and flight attendants. 10. Mailman, Trash Pickup and Lawn Guys ‚Äď We always remember service personnel on special holidays. We will put together evangelistic Easter baskets with treats, New Testaments and gospel materials. We will include gospel booklets for children as well. 11. Military Recruiting Station ‚Äď Most communities have a military recruiting station. Just like at Christmas, we take over a coffee break and Easter baskets for the military men. If you do not have a recruiting station nearby, there is no doubt a fire station or police station.
I hope these ideas will be helpful as you celebrate this Easter as a Spirit-filled Easter, doing what the Holy Spirit likes to do ‚Äď confess, witness and testify about Jesus.
By His mercy, II Corinthians 4:1 Rev. John S. Mahon Director ‚Äď Grace Community Int. ‚Äď Preaching Jesus as we prepare to depart for Zambia, South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria, Russia and points east‚Ä¶
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