Week Beginning Sunday 28th January 2018

 

This week we focus on the Holy Spirit who is probably the least understood and seemingly most mysterious person of the Trinity.

Some think of him as a strange force, echoing the catchphrase in ‘Star Wars’ – May the Force be with you.

We even catch ourselves using the word ‘It’ as if the Holy Spirit were not a real Person but an impersonal force around us, or within us. In the Nicene Creed we read earlier in the year we found

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.

So this week discover more about Him.

Read Acts 9:19-31 The Holy Spirit as Encourager.

V 31   The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.

In all the ups and downs of daily life it is really great to have someone close to us who is able to encourage us. The blunt fact is we all need this kind of encouragement if we are to make the most of life’s opportunities. Parents know that with children – the carrot is better than the stick! Teachers, Employers, Pastors, Officers in military service, Football coaches, … in fact anyone responsible for the welfare and development of others, knows that encouragement is very often the key to progress and personal development.

This may involve offering careful guidance, gently correcting mistakes, and certainly involves recognising success with praise. You can probably think of times yourself when a few words of praise have gone a long way towards encouraging you in a particular direction.

We often need some kind of encouragement in our Christian lives; it might come from friends, family, our Growth Group, or even a well-written book. But of all the encouragers the Holy Spirit, who is both with us and within us, is the most powerful and understands best what is needed. At this crucial moment of Church history that we read about in Acts 9, with Saul on the rampage hauling Christians off to prison and even death, the miraculous conversion of this persecutor of the Church brought peace, holy living and Church growth. The disciples could never have planned or engineered such growth, but the Holy Spirit’s encouragement brought it about.

Pray for such encouragement in our day and age that will renew and revive individuals and whole churches, resulting in others coming to faith in Jesus.