Acts 9:31: “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria . . . was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.”
Do you need to be strengthened and encouraged? I do. Acts 9:31 says, “The church was strengthened and encouraged.” Who is the church? We are the church. Each one of us who believes in Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior is part of the church.
When the sky is overcast and the rain pours down, we can feel sad. When conflict exists in our home, our extended family, or our church family, we can feel weak and discouraged. When our church needs a pastor, we may miss our church shepherd. When we struggle at work, we wish we were strengthened and encouraged.
Thank God for the Holy Spirit. He strengthens and encourages us. How often do we remember that God gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit? Like any gift, if we don’t accept it and unwrap it, it does us no good.
You can rationalize that you aren’t in Judea, Galilee, or Samaria. So it doesn’t matter to you. Our Judea is our home and family. Our Galilee and Samaria include our neighbors, our co-workers, and those people with whom we have contact.
I still remember the elderly woman I met on a plane trip from New Mexico back to the East coast. Her brother told her she was going to hell when she died. My friend asked if she would like to know how to go to heaven. The elderly woman nodded, and I led her to the Lord. The church grew in numbers that day.
Three months later, that elderly woman died and went straight to heaven. I thanked God for the gift of the Holy Spirit that day.
Dear God, I accept the gift of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Application: When will you ask the Holy Spirit this week to strengthen and encourage you in your circumstances?
Copyright © by Yvonne Ortega April 29, 2013