Happy New Year church family! God is so wonderful and I love Him with all my heart! Before I begin and share what is on my heart this month, I again want to say how blessed I am because of all of you, please know that you are what makes Shepherd’s Gate Church so special. (Also we got thru 2020!)
What is on my heart this month? Well actually the Holy Spirit, and more directly the “FIRE” of the Holy Spirit.” So with that let me ask this question? “Does the Spirit Burn within you?” We read these words in the Gospel of Matthew, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire (Matthew 3:11). John the Baptist, speaking here, was referring to the spiritual fire that would blaze out through the life of Jesus and then through the lives of His totally obedient who would go on to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Although John baptized in water, Jesus knew the disciples would need more to carry on His work after He was gone: the power that would come through the baptism in the Holy Ghost with its initial evidence of speaking in tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.
So far we have looked at several facets of the benefit of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. (to recap)
1) The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a Baptism of Fire (and Power)
2) The Baptism of the Holy Spirit Gives us Boldness
3) The Baptism of the Holy Spirit Helps Us Overcome Fear
And now for this month:
4) The Baptism of the Holy Spirit Enables us to be His Witness
And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)
Truth: God Wants You to Become a Fisherman for Him!
The very first thing you will need to know about witnessing is that God is looking for each and everyone one of us to become a fisherman for Him. This is not just the job of those who hold the office on an evangelist. This is for every single believer. My take on this is that we just keep ourselves to being used by God to get others saved in our immediate circle of influence. This would include any family members who are not saved, along with any of your unsaved friends, neighbors, people you work with, and any total strangers God may ask you to witness to.
You do not have to be going on major missionary trips to other countries to witness to people. You can easily witness to all of the people who are just in your own natural surroundings. If each Christian would just keep this kind of perspective in mind, and then be led by the Holy Spirit as to who to witness to and when to do it, can you imagine how many more people could get saved in this life? The advantage to working with those in your natural surroundings is that you already
have a major advantage – and that major advantage is that they already know you.
You already have one foot in the door with most of these people. Combine that one foot that you already have in the door with what the Holy Spirit can do through your witnessing efforts, and you could end up leading many, many people into a true salvation experience with the Lord over the course of your entire lifetime.
Now that we know that God definitely wants all of us to witness for Him in this life, the next thing you will need to know is that you will not be alone when you step out to do this for the Lord. You will have the power of the Holy Spirit Himself working for you when you attempt to witness to someone. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit empowers this boldness to a much greater degree. In fact after receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit the burden for souls (the lost) greatly increases.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit gives us the boldness to say, “Jesus is Lord!”
Fear and intimidation begin to shrink, and the desire to share your heart with others greatly changes. It truly is an empowerment to be “His witness,” and share the gospel, (the Good News) in a much bolder way. Once you understand that the Holy Spirit will be working for you and with you on these witnessing attempts, it will then become very easy to do and really a lot of fun, because each case will be an individual challenge and you will know that you are stepping out into a real, live, major arena which could determine a person’s final, eternal fate once they die and cross over. Remember you are not doing this alone! God the Father and the Holy Spirit will be working with you each time you set out to witness to someone, this also tells you that God Himself will be setting up these kinds of divine assignments for you.
If God is going to be the One to actually move on these people and open up their hearts and minds so they will be able to fully understand the divine truths that you will be transmitting to them, then it only stands to reason that God will go one more extra step and literally arrange and orchestrate for these kinds of divine assignments to occur in your own natural surroundings. So not only do you have God’s power working for you when you attempt to witness to other people – and not only do you have God setting up these kinds of divine assignments to come your way in this life – but now God will give you His strength, boldness, and courage to be able to do this for Him, just like He did with the first set of apostles at Pentecost. Yes The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is evidenced with speaking in tongues, (a new unlearned language) but it also is more, a surrender of the tongue. You also become a mouthpiece for the Lord, in a way you never have. He will sometimes give you a nice flow of words to say to a person so you can release everything that will need to be said to this person. In other words, the Holy Spirit will literally help guide your speech as you are witnessing to this person. Personally I have been amazed when the Lord has literally “put words in my mouth,” to speak for Him, and souls have been touched and saved.
Let me close, if you have questions, or want to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, please contact me, you too can also be filled with the Fire of the Holy Spirit!
Jesus loves you and so do I! — Pastor Doug