Today's Foundations Devotional: Steps in faith and obedience

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Memory verse:

This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the

Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? (Galatians 3:2)

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In seeking the gift of the Holy Spirit, how should complete obedience be expressed? We find six steps set forth in Scripture which mark the pathway of obedience leading to the gift of the Holy Spirit. Today, we will talk about four.

Repentance and Baptism

The first two steps are stated by Peter.

Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

The two steps here stated by Peter are repent and be baptised. Repentance is an inward change of heart and attitude toward God that opens the way for the sinner to be reconciled with God. Thereafter, baptism is an outward act by which the believer testifies to the inward change wrought by God’s grace in his heart.

Thirsting

The third step to the fullness of the Holy Spirit is stated by Jesus.

If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water (John 7:37-38).

In the next verse John explains that this promise of Jesus refers to the gift of the Holy Spirit. This agrees with what Jesus says also:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled (Matt. 5:6).

One essential condition for receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit is to be hungry and thirsty. God does not squander His blessings on those who feel no need for them. Many professing Christians who lead good, respectable lives never receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit simply because they feel no need for it. They are satisfied without this blessing, and God leaves them that way.

From the human point of view, it sometimes happens that those who seem least deserving receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and those who seem most deserving do not. This is explained by the Scripture.

He [God] has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty (Luke 1:53).

God responds to our sincere inner longings, but He is not impressed by our religious profession.

Asking

Jesus also presents the fourth step to receiving the Holy Spirit.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! (Luke 11:13).

Here Jesus places upon God’s children an obligation to ask their heavenly Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit. We sometimes hear Christians make some such remark as this: “If God wants me to have the Holy Spirit, He will give it to me. I don’t need to ask Him for it.” This attitude is not scriptural. Jesus plainly teaches that God’s children should ask their heavenly Father for this special gift of the Holy Spirit.

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Prayer:

Heavenly Father, with all my heart I ask You: fill me with Your Holy Spirit!

Immerse me so that I experience the power and guidance of Your Spirit

every day and walk in the works You have prepared. Amen.

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