Today's Foundationals Devotional: Tremendous joy before the baptism in the Holy Spirit

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Memory verse:

Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we

may be justified by faith.

(Galatians 3:24)

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Yesterday we’ve seen how people can expect to have a strong emotional response when receiving the Holy Spirit.

This expectation is not based on examples from the New Testament, but on stories from people who have had such an emotional experience themselves. The work of God's Spirit can certainly have emotional (and as we shall see in the coming days also physical) consequences. Testimonials of this are sincere and true.

However, believers who have asked the Father for the Holy Spirit and then spoke in new tongues do not have to think that they have not received the Holy Spirit simply because they have not experienced any emotions and therefore their (unjustified) expectation has not come true.

The second reason why we cannot accept any strong emotion, like joy, as evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit is that there are instances in the New Testament of believers who experienced a wonderful sense of joy but who nevertheless had not yet received the Holy Spirit. An example is the first disciples’ reactions after the ascension of Jesus (but before the day of Pentecost).

And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God (Luke 24:52-53).

Here we find that the disciples, even before the day of Pentecost, experienced great joy in their worship of God. Nevertheless, we know it was not until the day of Pentecost that they were actually baptised in the Holy Spirit.

Again, after the people of Samaria had heard and believed the gospel of Christ preached to them by Philip, “there was great joy in that city” (Acts 8:8).

We see that the wholehearted acceptance of the gospel immediately brought great joy to these Samaritans. Nevertheless, as we read on in the same chapter we discover that it was only later, through the ministry of Peter and John, that these people received the Holy Spirit.

These two examples prove, therefore, that an intense emotional experience, such as great joy, is not an essential part of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and cannot be accepted as evidence of having received this baptism.

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Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for filling me abundantly with the joy of

Your Holy Spirit. I would like to make it a habit to ask You that joy

every day, so that my life and attitude are a constant witness to

others. Amen.

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