“… he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth” Lk 1.15
No one is born into spiritual gianthood. Some are born with a silver spoon in their mouths, into wealth and privileged position in this world, but none come forth from the womb with spiritual stature and power.
John the Immerser was an exception, as the chosen one to go before the Messiah and announce his coming. He played a special role in the divine plan of redemption. An angelic visit and miraculous moment surrounded his conception and birth. He was filled with the Holy Spirit before his birth. Continue reading
God does so much for us, but some things we must do for ourselves. We must build “ourselves up in the most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit” Jude 20. We must “maintain [ourselves] in the love of God” Jude 21. God gives us power to do them, but our will and effort must be present as well. Glory to God for allowing us to choose and make every effort!
READ: “Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to” Lk 13.24.
THINK: Behind the phrase exert every effort is a word that means to fight (for), combat, compete, run (BGAD). This intense term, whence comes our word agonize, indicates maximum effort, “expend all one’s energy to reach a significant goal” (EDBW). This fighting effort is needed in knowledge, Prov 2.1-5, in prayer, Col 4.18, in meeting with the church, Heb 10.24-25; 12.1, and in the gospel, Phil 1.30, among other areas. Continue reading