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Keys to the Promise

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I have been filled with the Holy Spirit, and I continue to fill myself, but I know firsthand that it can be discouraging and even frustrating to feel like others are operating in power and you seem to be waiting to be filled on the sidelines. I believe that the Holy Spirit wants you to leave encouraged that you can be filled today where you sit, tonight as you pray, or tomorrow as you read, but what He wants you to know is that He is available for you.

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Introduction

BREAK THE ICE - I need feedback from you guys so we are going to practice. Everyone look at me really quick and nod. Ok good everyone throw out an amen. Ok now on three let me get a real loud “Walk the dog Bishop!” Ok you guys set the bar pretty high so no pressure.
We’ve been talking about living a life empowered by the Holy Spirit, and Pastor Ken has been discussing the specific gifts of the Spirit with us. As I was preparing the Holy Spirit took my message in the direction of how we position ourselves to be filled. Make no mistake about it, if you are born again of the Spirit of God then all of heaven is eagerly awaiting your baptism in the Holy Spirit and your continual filling.
We’ve been talking about living a life empowered by the Holy Spirit, and Pastor Ken has been discussing the specific gifts of the Spirit with us. As I was preparing the Holy Spirit took my message in the direction of how we position ourselves to be filled. Make no mistake about it, if you are born again of the Spirit of God then all of heaven is eagerly awaiting your baptism in the Holy Spirit and your continual filling.
I have been filled with the Holy Spirit, and I continue to fill myself, but I know firsthand that it can be discouraging and even frustrating to feel like others are operating in power and you seem to be waiting to be filled on the sidelines. I believe that the Holy Spirit wants you to leave encouraged that you can be filled today where you sit, tonight as you pray, or tomorrow as you read, but what He wants you to know is that He is available for you.
It took me a long time to be able to re
Smith Wigglesworth could very well be in our modern times the individual that is documented to have experienced the power of Holy Spirit the most in his lifetime. Smith raised the dead on so many occasions that it is baffling to an extent when you look at things naturally, I mean I had trouble finding two of the same socks this morning. Smith would walk into a room and pray for someone with a cancerous growth and watch it disappear right then and there. Smith Wigglesworth said a couple things I find strikingly accurate on the subject:
“Holy Ghost power in a man (or woman) is meant to be an increasing force, an enlargement. God has never done anything of a diminishing type. He is always going on. And I am going on. Are you going on? It is necessary, I tell you, to go on. You must not stop in the plains; there are far greater things for you on the hilltops than in the plains”
“It is a peculiar thing, but it is true, that the Spirit of the Lord upon one either binds people together or makes them tremendously fidgety and restless, that they have to come to some place of decision (about the power and presence)...”
“I have never seen the Holy Ghost change His position...”

Open with Prayer

Asking the Holy Spirit to guide my teaching and lead me to speak His truth to His people, to get myself out of the way and allow Him to use my words and operate through me for His glory.

Pose the Question

[INSERT SMITH STORIES HERE]
I so desire to see the Holy Spirit move in my life in a similar manner that Smith Wigglesworth experienced it in his, and God has been challenging me in my prayer life and in the Word for about the past six months to press in with expectation to see that power manifest in my life. It is so difficult when thinking naturally to imagine ourselves raising the dead (I am speaking personally here), and especially when we listen to the people in our lives and the world that will try to limit us. We must remember that we are called to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), and that the Word is clear about the availability of this power.
So if we know that we are supposed to walk in this power, but we haven’t recieved it yet, what can we do? I believe the Holy Spirit wants me to share four keys to the promise of the Holy Spirit with you tonight.

1. You Have to Understand, It’s a Promise

“It is a peculiar thing, but it is true, that the Spirit of the Lord upon one either binds people together or makes them tremendously fidgety and restless, that they have to come to some place of decision (about the power and presence)...”
I have never seen the Holy Ghost change His position...
I have never seen the Holy Ghost change His position...
One of the main issues with believers in the body of Christ being able to receive the promise, is that they are not fully convinced it is indeed a promise. Not only is it a promise, but it is a promise that bears double weight. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit in which is going to be our primary scripture, but other places in the Gospels as well. It is important to understand however that this promise was not unique to the disciples, and this promise was actually a long standing one from the Father. We are going to read in a moment but first review the context quickly.
At this point Jesus has been crucified and resurrected and has appeared to over 500 people not including the disciples, which we can see from Paul’s writing in . Lets go there quickly:

5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;

5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;

5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;”
6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
Then in we see that that Peter is standing in the midst of 120 people in the upper room:

At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said,

“At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together)...”
New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), .
So lets just assume that Jesus is speaking to a crowd of 500 here, because if you saw Jesus back from the dead I am pretty sure you might follow him around for a while.
So lets just assume that Jesus is speaking to a crowd of 500 here in , because if you saw Jesus risen from the dead I am going to assume you might follow him around for a while. So if we just assume that there are 500 people here as Jesus is speaking, this is what He tells them in :
So if we just assume that there are 500 people here as Jesus is speaking, this is what He tells them in :
4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit bnot many days from now.”
And in
“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
And :
And :
“When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,
Jesus speaks about what the Father had promised, but in then says that they heard it from Him? How can that be if so many in the audience would have been studying the scriptures for years awaiting the arrival of the Messiah?
The key lies within the the sense of the Greek verb “hear” which is akouō (ah-koo-o) which has more meaning than meets the eye seeing the English translation. In the Greek, this specific sense means “to hear and understand a message”. So when you look at the passage in that context, it makes sense. The Father promised it, but they just now were able to understand because Jesus spoke to them of it. If nothing else, this should affirm for us that we too can miss important aspects of the promise, and so we should ask for wisdom and understanding when exploring the things of the Spirit. And we are not asking for the Holy Spirit within us, because if we are born again of the Spirit of God we have that. What we are looking for is the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit that equips us for the ministry of Jesus Christ.
The reason this distinction is so important is because there is a specific anointing that we are seeking, and it’s the only one that’s available. The Holy Spirit empowers us to do the same works as Jesus and even greater works than these, but without Jesus we don’t even rate to have the Spirit within us or upon us. So we have to understand that even when we do greater works, they are still the works of Jesus because it’s His anointing. This is subsequently a large reason why people don’t receive the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, because they are seeking a power that will help them to further their ministry or their idea of what their mission should be on the earth. There’s only one ministry, one overarching anointing, and the promise of one Spirit.
So getting back to the promise, lets look back at the Old Testament references of this promise, and Peter quotes this verse to the mockers who accuse them of being filled with new wine in :
:
28 “It will come about after this
28 “aIt will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
That I will pour out My Spirit on all cmankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.
29 “Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”
And but lets read it in the Amplified:
And I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace or unmerited favor and supplication (or direct communication with God).
The amazing thing about this particular promise, is that it was given through the prophet Joel nearly 6 centuries before Christ was born. The reason it is so important to understand that this promise is from the Father, and that it predates the disciples, is because it shows the Father’s relentless pursuit of us.
FROM THE MOMENT WE FELL IN THE GARDEN YOUR GOD HAD A PLAN AND ALREADY CHOSE THE CROSS
600 YEARS BEFORE JESUS CAME TO COMPLETE THAT PLAN, THE FATHER WAS ENCOURAGING US TO HOLD ON
WHEN JESUS WALKED OUT OF AN EMPTY TOMB, HE REMINDED US THAT THE PROMISE WAS REAL
TONIGHT THE HOLY SPIRIT WANTS YOU TO LEAVE KNOWING THAT THIS PROMISE IS TRUE!
Jesus was intentional with His words, He didn’t have to call being filled with the Holy Spirit “The Promise of the Holy Spirit” that was very intentional.
The word “promise” that Jesus uses is epangelia (eh-pan-gah-lia) which can be translated, “promise, pledge, offer; assurance of agreement.” The God of the universe wants you to be be assured tonight that He meant what He said. He isn’t like the people in your life that have let you down, who promise to do one thing and do another. No, this is God who swore a covenant by HIMSELF that this promise would be given to you. The only decision we have to make is how we are going to judge God. God isn’t the only one who judges, every day we decide if we will judge God faithful to what He said, or believe a lie. Those are the only two options.
Moses knew it in the Old Testament in :
“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
The Apostle Paul knew it in the New Testament in :
7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
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9 Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.
Not only has God promised to pour out his Spirit, but the manner in which He promises to do it is significant. The sense of the word “pour” that we see in and is שׁפך (shaf-hawk) [and that hawk is the hawk a luggi sound] and can be translated “to pour out lavishly/profusely.”
This word in the Hebrew is only used on one other occasion, before both occurrences of the promise, and that’s important, in to express the wrath and the judgement of God being poured out on Judah and Jerusalem in the final days before Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar breached the walls around 586 BC.
Lets read :
He has bent His bow like an enemy;
He has set His right hand like an adversary
And slain all that were pleasant to the eye;
In the tent of the daughter of Zion
He has poured out His wrath like fire.
Thank God for Jesus, He forever removed the wrath of the Father from over us? That the Father no longer has to curb his anger, but He is well pleased with us!
So we only see that sense three times in the old testament, and the first time it shows up we see the wrath of God on display, the second time we see it God promises to instead pour out His Spirit, and the final time God promises to pour out the Spirit of Grace and direct communication with His people.
GRACE ALWAYS HAS THE LAST WORD, THE ONLY OTHER SHOE THAT EVER DROPS IS ONE OF UNMERITED FAVOR, GRACE, AND DIRECT RELATIONSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD. IF ANYONE EVER LEAVES YOU WITH SOMETHING ELSE, DON’T YOU DARE HOLD ONTO IT.
If you haven’t been filled with the Holy Spirit yet, don’t worry just rest. Know that it has been promised, and the Father will always make good on His promise.

2. Be Convinced That You Need It & That You’ll Receive It

The second key to The Promise is to be convinced that you need it, and that you’ll receive it. There are far too many in the body of Christ who discount the power of the Holy Spirit, who say that He no longer operates in the world today. Even worse, some say that only certain people can walk in the power of the Spirit. This is even more dangerous because not only is the promise discounted but it becomes an exclusive club, rather than the inclusive invitation it was designed to be.
If anyone needs convincing that we need the power of the Holy Spirit, we need look for no other example than Jesus. Jesus performed no miracles of any kind until He was baptized in the Holy Spirit. If Jesus performed no miracles until He recieved the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, how much more do we need the Holy Spirit to walk in the power of the miraculous?
The context of Jesus’ receiving the Holy Spirit is interesting as well. Remember that John the Baptist is Jesus’ cousin and before Jesus begins His ministry John is baptizing people in the Jordan River for repentance from their sin. Let’s read in :
13 Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.
--
14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”
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15 But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him.
We so often read over this passage without thinking about what would have really been going on in the moment. Imagine that you’re standing on the banks of the Jordan, watching all of this unfold. At this point Jesus has not started His ministry, but He has spent his childhood in the temples from the age of 12 at least and so He was certainly known by the religious leaders of the day by this time. In fact let’s look at the interaction Jesus has with the religious leaders in the temple at 12 years old, and we are going to find that in :
41 Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.
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42 And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast;
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43 and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it,
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44 but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances.
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45 When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem looking for Him.
--
46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.
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47 And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.
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48 When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.”
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49 And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”
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50 But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them.
It would be absolutely fair for us to say that twelve years old was a shift in the life of Jesus, and the Bible records it as so. The religious leaders are amazed at His understanding and His answers. We must remember that Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit, and so while not empowered by the Holy Spirit from birth, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Jesus was 100% human but undeniably 100% God at the same time, He gave up His deity to live among us as a man and we can see from this verse that Jesus at the very least has began to understand that He is different and the will of the Father for His life.
So now, fast forward 18 years and here Jesus stands on the bank of the River Jordan, undoubtedly fully aware of His assignment from the Father by now, the only sinless human being on the planet and He would certainly know this, and in front of the same religious leaders He has known since childhood, He submits to a ceremonial process that to the world would seem to imply that He is sinful and just like everyone else.
Even John tries to stop Him, but He proceeds anyway. Why? The Bible doesn’t give us a clear answer, but I suppose this is the reason. Jesus in this moment proves that He is not concerned with exterior holiness or public opinion like the Scribes and Pharisees, but only with fulfilling the plan of God. Remember where Jesus says “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” Surrounded by people who are responding to John’s message of repentance to prepare for the coming kingdom, Jesus joins them in the water and baptism. To me, this is the first time in Scripture that we see Jesus standing in our place. Jesus would no have any sin to confess and he’s not shouldering any sin, but in this act He shows us that He is willing to bear our burdens that are not his own in the journey ahead.
In Luke’s account we then see the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus in :
“and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”
The Holy Spirit takes literal form and lands upon Jesus, and this fulfills what John prophesied about the Messiah he would be a forerunner for in .
The Father publicly declares that Jesus is the son of God, and Jesus is set apart publicly through His empowerment. Today the power of the Holy Spirit working through us is the public declaration of the Father in our lives that we are sons and daughters of God. Receiving the Holy Spirit and His power will set you apart, there is no way for it not to. If you’re expecting to receive the Holy Spirit and for life to stay looking exactly the same its not possible.
WE NEED THIS
The friends that you used to shoot heroin with might not believe that you’re a son of God and you really know the most high God, but when the power of the Holy Spirit gets a hold of them and heals them of their addiction when you lay hands on them there won’t be any denying it.
Your spouse may not believe you know the Messiah but when you start raising the dead areas of your marriage to life through the power of the Holy Spirit they sure will know its not you!
Your family might not believe that the Holy Spirit is real but when you wake up in the dead of night and pray in the spirit at the exact same time that they were having a heart attack and it stops dead in its tracks, they might think differently.
Peter denied Jesus three times and then turned around and preached with boldness in the face of the same people that crucified Jesus only 7 days after Jesus ascends to heaven in .
The Apostle Paul killed and slaughtered the church before receiving the Holy Spirit in Acts 9:17.
The Apostle Paul killed and slaughtered the church before receiving the Holy Spirit in .
WE ALL NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND WE ARE ALL QUALIFIED TO RECEIVE IT THROUGH FAITH. DON’T BE ONE OF THE 380 WHO HEARD JESUS’ COMMAND TO REMAIN AND LEFT BEFORE THE PROMISE CAME.

3. Find Your Upper Room

A third key to The Promise lies within us all finding our upper room. What I mean is that the key isn’t where but it’s what you’re doing.
Lets read from the NKJV:
1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
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3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
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4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
This is another verse we don’t always think about in context, but remember that these 120 disciples are packed into a room certainly not fire coded for that many. The room is actually a similar size to the one that the 12 shared their final meal with Jesus. I'm sure that bathrooms were an issue, I’m sure that patience had to be exercised, and I am positive that they were all somewhat terrified.
Jesus has just left, told them to stay, and now there are 120 of them packed into a single room in a city where Christians are quickly becoming public enemy number one. In we see that the disciples are hiding:
So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
Now lets go forward to Acts 8:3 where we see Saul before he becomes the Apostle Paul and after he has just helped to have Stephen stoned to death:
58 When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
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59 They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”
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60 Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.
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1 Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
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2 Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him.
3 But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.
So we see that immediately following Jesus’ death the Apostles are scared, and that not too far in the future this great persecution begins to rise against the church. We would be fooling ourselves to assume that this same fear wasn’t present in the upper room, and this is very likely why the 500 dwindled to 120 (as well as the bathroom issue). But lets look at again:
1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
First, the day of Pentecost had to fully come. Too many in the body of Christ give up on the promise because it doesn’t come quick enough. Too many give up because they don’t see the conditions as perfect or because they attempt to be filled on their terms.
Second, they were all with one accord in one place. Today, this might be better translated that they were not forgetting the importance of getting together with other believers to praise and learn about God. They were surrounding themselves with people who had recieved the promise already and those who earnestly desired for it. You can absolutely receive the Holy Spirit alone, but it is so much easier to receive from another who can freely give it to you and many people receive the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands.
Third, the Spirit came suddenly. If you ask anyone who’s been filled with the Spirit they will tell you that He comes like a spiritual freight train.
Finally, they were ALL filled and they knew it was the Holy Spirit when they were. When He comes, there’s no doubt about it. If you desire the Spirit, the Father will give it to you and you’ll have no problem knowing it is Him.

4. Seek to be Refilled

Finally, we have to constantly seek to be filled. This filling is not a one time event, but rather a continual process.
says:
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
Ok all the wine drinkers heads just went down, no condemnation remember. The point here is not if you’ve ever had too much wine you’re going to hell, the point is that if you’re seeking to find joy through being drunk then you’re settling for the counterfeit of true joy, and desensitizing yourself from the need to be connected in the Spirit.
That be filled in in the Greek is in the present imperative voice, which is used to describe “a command to do something in the future and is a continuous or repeated action.”
“a command to do something in the future and is a continuous or repeated action.
A better way to read would be like this:
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be being filled with the Spirit,
This filling is continual and never stops, and we have to stay hungry for it and aware of our need to be filled. Luckily we get some practical tips in :
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; (INDIVIDUAL & CORPORATE WORSHIP)
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20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; (AN ATTITUDE OF THANKSGIVING, NOT ONLY FOR WHAT WE HAVE BUT WHAT GOD HAS DONE, FOR GRACE)
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21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. (A CULTURE OF HONOR)
By the way, that “fear of Christ” in verse 21, in that sense and nearly every other place you see “fear of Christ, fear of God, fear of the Lord” it means reverence/awe to such a degree that you tremble at the majesty. Not a fear, but a reverence and awe for the Grace that has been given to us. If you’ve ever been in love, when you get together with that person how do you feel? Excited, and if we’re honest a bit fearful. We all probably start coaching ourselves in our head like, “Ok, don’t let them know what a goober I am…” We feel that way because we revere that person in our heart and we want to put our best impression forward.
Now just imagine that feeling of wanting to put your best foot forward and present the best you, and multiply it to a degree you can’t imagine. That’s the “fear” or reverence of Christ. Recognizing whats been done and your hearts cry is to honor Him with your life.

To Recap

To recap on our keys to The Promise:
The promise and receiving that promise is based on God’s faithfulness and not yours.
You can not receive it unless you are convinced that you need it.
You may have to wait for it, you’ll certainly have to ask for it, and you’ll have to seek out a place where you can be prepared to receive it.
Once you have it, you must continue to seek after receiving it, but you’ll never loose it.
End with an illustration of oil in a jar, and even after you pour out the oil there is still residue on the jar.
Pray that those who wish to receive would, according to the Word and their honest desire to carry out the Great Commission. If anyone doesn’t know Jesus, they can know that feeling tonight where they sit. If they need to come home, etc.
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