Monday, October 06, 2008
Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt
Luke 11:13 “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
Maybe you feel this way. Maybe you don’t understand the need to speak/pray in tongues. Maybe you don’t know how to receive it. Maybe you don’t even know if you want to. Why would you unless you really understood the purpose of this gift?
First, can we agree with this? Although people waste their time and energy, God does not. It’s contrary to His character. He has a plan for everything. Until a person asks and receives Jesus Christ into his or her life to be Lord and Savior, they will have no capacity to understand the heart of God. Only the Holy Spirit reveals God’s heart. No one has the Holy Spirit until they receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord. From that point, we are to know God’s ways through prayer and through reading God’s Word asking God to give us revelation and insight. You can see this truth revealed in Eph. 1:9-14. “God's secret plan has now been revealed to us; it is a plan centered on Christ, designed long ago according to His good pleasure. And this is His plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us from the beginning... And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God's guarantee that He will give us everything He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people…’’
The last part of what we just read says, “…He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God's guarantee that He will give us everything He promised...”
When we became God’s own, we become a part of His plan to touch others with the Love of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit not only teaches us how to love others but through the gift of tongues emboldens and empowers us to do so. God gives the Holy Spirit to help us. We see this in today’s Fresh Manna verses. “Jesus said, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
What is Jesus teaching us? That He will give us His Holy Spirit simply by asking. Jesus told His disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit for their source of power to do His will. Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Do you remember Peter and how he told Jesus he’d be by his side, defend Him, even die with Him if necessary. Jesus told Peter that Satan desired to sift him like wheat. Peter did become afraid and denied Jesus. Peter was devastated in his failure. Then Peter waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as Jesus told them to. The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. They began speaking in tongues and then Peter is suddenly and miraculously changed from a coward to courageous. He boldly proclaims Jesus Christ and three thousand people give their life to the Lord. Read Act chapter two for yourself and see.
We belong to God. His love is revealed to us. It’s supposed to impact our love for Him. It’s supposed to impact our desire to help others know and love Him. God offers the gift of tongues to help that happen in your heart.
In Acts 19:1-6 we read about the Apostle Paul encountering Christians in Ephesus. They were not unbelievers – they were Christians. Christians have the Holy Spirit they moment the give their life to Jesus, yet look at what Paul asked them. “There he found some disciples and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied. Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.“
This is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is for believers who already have the Holy Spirit. Tongues are the outward sign of receiving this gift which opens the door to all the spiritual gifts.
The original disciples had to wait in Jerusalem for it because it had never been given up to that point in time. It first came at Pentecost after Jesus arose into Heaven. Today it is a gift to be received by faith by asking - “Lord baptize me with your Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.” Remember how you received Jesus? Didn’t you simply ask? Did He hold Himself back from you? Was it hard at first to believe that He would so easily forgive your sins and give you a new life? This holds true with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit – of anything we ask by faith. We ask in faith. We thank Him. We act on our faith. After you ask Him to fill you, speak out or pray but not in language you know. He will fill your mouth with a heavenly language. Your head will doubt it just like it doubted Jesus’ love and gift of eternal life. But, He will give you a language you do not understand – tongues. You will never be the same. Don’t let the devil talk you out of it. It’s not just for you. It’s for your boldness to live the Christian life the way God wanted you to. More tomorrow…
If you would like a free book to help you learn more about the gift of tongues, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org giving them your name and address and ask for the book Water, Wind, and Fire. I hope it will be of great blessing to you. I am confident it will help you with questions you may have.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved