Sunday, 30 May 2021
Title: Plug into the Spirit
By Dorothy Teoh

John 14:6-17; 25-2616

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you… 25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (NIV)

Recently, I received my first dose of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. While doing my devotion several days later, I read a reference to God’s life-giving presence in my life. It made me think of the vaccine’s presence in me, and how it was teaching my body to make the antibodies to protect me against Covid-19.

When we believe in Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, God gives us His Holy Spirit, just as Jesus promised His disciples. It is not through a physical process like a vaccination, but we know He resides in us. And He is the life-giving presence who teaches, comforts and guides us, and intercedes for us. In Romans 8:26, Paul says: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (ESV)

The Holy Spirit enables us to resist sin and temptation, just like the way the vaccine helps us to be more resistant to Covid-19. He works to make us more like Jesus and bring glory to Him. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts unbelievers of sin and enables them to see and accept the truth of the Gospel, not our eloquence in sharing or preaching or even writing.

Both the Old and New Testament have many references to the Holy Spirit. Among the more familiar ones are the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). However, while looking up some of the references about the Holy Spirit for this devotion, I realised how little I know about Him, and how often I take for granted His presence in me.

Before deciding to opt in for the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, I read up about the risk of blood clots. I asked my home group to pray for protection from the side effects and monitored myself carefully in the days after the jab, including taking my temperature. I made sure I drank enough water and rested. I took the proper precautions of masking and sanitising at the vaccination centre and refused to go to the toilet even when I needed it, until I got home! If only I were as careful about the Holy Spirit in me so that I do not grieve, quench or resist Him in any way, and were more aware of His power. Max Lucado tells an amusing story on his website about a Welsh woman who lived in a remote place. She felt that it was not worth the cost and trouble to have electricity installed in her home but finally, she did it.

“Several weeks after the installation, the power company noticed she had barely used any electricity. A meter reader went to see her. ‘Is there a problem?’ he asked. ‘Oh no,’ she responded. ‘We’re quite satisfied. Every night we turn on the electric lights to see how to light our lamps.’ ’’You may laugh, but how many of us make the same mistake as this Welsh woman?

Max Lucado says: “We’re prone to do likewise: depend on God’s Spirit to save us but not sustain us. We turn to him to get us started and then continue in our own strength. Scripture urges us to ‘keep in step with the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:25). He directs and leads; we obey and follow. Plug into his power and leave the switch turned on.”

Ephesians 1:13-14 tell us that the Holy Spirit is the guarantee, down-payment or, as The Message translates it, “first instalment” of our heavenly inheritance. Until we claim the “final instalment”, are we plugged into the power of the Holy Spirit and keeping the switch turned on?

Prayer:

Dear God and heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit with whom we were sealed for the day of redemption. Thank You for this power source in us; forgive us that often, we do not draw on it and sometimes, even forget about it. Help us not just to plug into His power but to keep the switch on and not to rely on our own resources or strength. To the praise of Your glory. Amen.

班底浸信教会
每日灵粮
2021年5月30日,星期日
标题:插入使用圣灵的力量
作者:赵秋霞
翻译:林良億

约翰福音14:16-17; 25-26
16 我要求父,父就另外赐给你们一位保惠师,叫他永远与你们同在, 17 就是真理的圣灵,乃世人不能接受的,因为不见他,也不认识他。你们却认识他,因他常与你们同在,也要在你们里面。

25 我还与你们同住的时候,已将这些话对你们说了。 26 但保惠师,就是父因我的名所要差来的圣灵,他要将一切的事指教你们,并且要叫你们想起我对你们所说的一切话。

最近,我打了第一剂阿斯利康疫苗。几天后, 灵修时,我读到了关于上帝赋予圣灵同在的参考。这让我想起了在我体内的疫苗,以及它如何教我的身体制反抗体让我免受新冠病毒的侵害。当我们相信耶稣基督并接受祂为我们的救主时,就像耶稣应许了祂的门徒一样,上帝赐给我们祂的圣灵。它不是通过像疫苗接种这样的物理过程来完成的,但是我们知道祂住在我们里面,教导并安慰和引导我们,并为我们代祷。保罗在罗马书8:26中说“2况且,我们的软弱有圣灵帮助。我们本不晓得当怎样祷告,只是圣灵亲自用说不出来的叹息替我们祷告”。

圣灵使我们能够抵抗罪恶和诱惑,就像疫苗可以帮助我们更能够抵抗新冠疫情一样。祂积极使我们更像耶稣基督,并为祂带来荣耀。是圣灵使不信的定罪,使他们能够看到并接受福音的真理,而不是我们有口才的分享,传教甚至写作的天赋。

旧约和新约都有很多关于圣灵的参考。圣灵的果子是其中较为熟悉的一个(加拉太书5:22-23)。但是,在查找有关圣灵的参考文时,我意识到自己对祂知之甚少,而且我经常认为圣灵在我里面是理所当然的。

在决定选择阿斯利康疫苗之前,我先阅读了有关血块风险的信息。我要求我的关怀小组为保护自己免受副作用祈祷,并在打疫苗后的几天内仔细地监视自己,包括保持体温。我确保喝足够的水和休息。我在疫苗中心采取了适当的防毒面具和消毒措施,即使在需要的时候也拒绝上厕所,直到回家为止!

要是我对待我心中的圣灵如上述那样谨慎,我就会想法设想不使祂忧伤,不消灭祂的感动,并更晓得祂的力量。

马克斯·卢卡多(Max Lucado)在他的网站上讲了一个有趣的故事。一个住在偏远地区的威尔士(Welsh)女子,她觉得在家里安装电力是不值得的,也很麻烦,但最后,她还是安装了电表。安装几周后,电力公司注意到她几乎没有用过电。抄表员去看她, “有问题吗?”

“哦,没有,”她回答。“我们很满意。每天晚上,我们打开电灯,看看如何点亮我们的煤油灯。”

您可能会笑,但是我们当中有多少人会犯与这位威尔士女子相同的错误呢?

马克斯·卢卡多(Max Lucado)说:“我们倾向于这样做:依靠上帝的灵来拯救我们,但不能维持。我们求祂帮助我们开始,然后以自己的力量继续前进。圣经敦促我们“与圣灵并驾齐驱,靠圣灵行事 ”(加拉太书5:25)。祂指导和领导;我们服从并遵循。插入电源并继续被点燃。”

以弗所书1:13-14告诉我们,圣灵是我们天的保证,预付款,或者正如圣经译版(The Message)所翻译的那样,是“首期付款”。在我们要求“最终分期付款”之前,我们是否已插入使用圣灵的力量并持续供电?

祷告:亲爱的天上父神,感谢祢赐给我们圣灵,得到了救赎的封印。谢谢祢给我们神圣的动力;饶恕我们经常不使用,有时甚至忘记了。帮助我们不仅利用祂的力量,而且要保持与主相连,而不是依靠我们自己的资源或力量。荣耀赞美神。阿们!