I was uncomfortable with the whole concept that I needed to have a spiritual experience. It made me feel a little bit unnerved, like “What are they going to make me do? What’s going to happen here?” I pushed back on it and I began to just think, “I don’t know if this whole thing that they’re talking about is even biblical.”
What I’m going to do for you today is I’m going to do the same thing that my pastor did for me. We’re going to study the biblical passages about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and some of the related topics that you heard in the video talk about, like speaking in tongues.
We’re going to look at what the Bible says about it, and then we’ll let you react to what you’ve heard. We’re going to study that together today. Let me take you to the first passage, one of the first passages he took me to was in Acts, chapter 8.
I don’t know about you but we are already just about half way through this year and we’re thinking about what’s going to happen next. When we think about the future, we think about it from the vantage point of whatever’s going on in our life right now. Some of us are agonizing through some challenges. I was talking with a guy with some business challenges. He’s agonizing through what to do. You’re wondering where the answers will come with the problem you’re dealing with or maybe you’re hurting and you’re wondering if this will be the year where you experience the healing and restoration that you need in your life or in a relationship. I want to take you to a moment in the Scripture that’s very similar to this. It was a transition moment. It’s found in the Book of Acts. The Book of Acts is such a wonderful book because it’s the history of the early church just after Jesus was raised from the dead. It’s also a roadmap for us. It paints the picture of what our lives should be like as we follow Christ.
For all the mothers who have had their hands full, we celebrate Mother’s Day. What a wonderful thing that God’s Word has so many messages just for moms, messages for parents really, for moms, dads, and grandparents. There are also those listening who will one day be in the delightful company of parents, and there are single adults who have such profound influence on our homes. History’s most famous mother was called by mother to her task, just as parents today are called by God to their task. You’ve made mistakes in the past, you’ll certainly make a mistake or two today, and you’ll make more mistakes tomorrow. Through it all, God will love you, work with you, and accept you. Through it all, your task of mothering, or of grand mothering, will be accomplished.
This Sunday, we are going to talk about in my opinion one of the most important “I am,” statements that Jesus made. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches, if you remain in me and I in you, you’ll bear much fruit, but apart from me you can do nothing.” That statement alone is pretty dramatic if you think about it. If you stay with me and I’m in you, you’re going to bear much fruit, but apart from me you could do nothing. That’s pretty dramatic. When you contextualize the statement as to when it was said, it begins to take on a whole new level of significance for us. My question would simply be this, what fruit is being evidenced in your life? Love, joy Peace, patience? Because as Jesus said when we remain in Him and He in us we will bear fruit, much fruit. As we do that and we love each other what happens is God takes our loneliness and He replaces it with His comfort. He takes our desires and He replaces it with His desires. As we love each other and we remain connected, we find ourselves one day in the middle of a miracle.
Today, we’re going to look at one of the most inspirational, life changing “I am” statements that Jesus ever made. It’s found in John 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” He said, “whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but He will have the “light of life.” If you follow Jesus, you will never walk in darkness, which is a good thing, because darkness is scary. When I was a kid, all I needed was a night-light. You give me a night-light and I’m fine. A little bit of light changes everything. All through scripture, you can see the light contrasted with darkness. We see the contrast between darkness and light and Jesus makes the life-changing statement, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”