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The Effect of the Holy Spirit

When the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost, there was no stopping the spreading of the Good News. The church grew from 120 to 3,000 (Acts 2) to 5,000 (Acts 4) and on and on.

Some of characteristics of the early church were:
* They were one in heart and in mind and shared their possessions. (Acts 4)
* The apostles healed the sick and lame, and they began spreading the gospel to others, even though they were warned to keep quiet. (Acts 3)
* The message of salvation could not be stopped: Every time the disciples were stopped from or persecuted for preaching the Word, they were delivered by miraculous means. (Acts 9, 12, 16)

All of these miraculous events point to one thing -- the presence of the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of God's people.

In this week's reading, we read about Paul's letter to the church in Corinth. What a blessing and also a great challenge. The church of Corinth had been saved, but there was still a lot of confusion and division among believers. They argued about everything: Who should they follow? Paul? Apollos? What were the requirements of marriage?
What about eating meat offered to idols? Celebrating the Lord's Supper?

Paul's letter addresses each and every question practically and in detail. He encourages the people to unify and work out their problems. He also talks to them about marriage, sexual immorality, spiritual gifts, and the role of the Lord's Supper. As he poured out wisdom to the people of Corinth, Paul continually pointed the people back to Christ. His goal was not to just provide answers and guidance. His chief aim was to glorify Jesus Christ!

How did he accomplish this? By relying on the Holy Spirit to work in his heart and in the hearts of those to whom he was preaching. Paul states:

"The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words."
(1 Cor. 2:10b-13)

The command to spread the gospel comes to all of us. How we be a Godly witnesses and mentors that lead people to Christ? Like Paul, we must pray fervently for the work of Holy Spirit. We must pray for wisdom and for opportunities to witness. We must also be diligent in our study of the scriptures so that when those opportunities come, we can be sure our wisdom comes from God and the work of the Holy Spirit within us.

My prayer is that each of us may become an effective messenger of Jesus Christ and be able to fulfill God's command to preach the Word as Paul did with the church in Corinth and, subsequently, with all the other churches. May God bless our efforts!

~Karlene Holleman

November 18th Readings
ACTS 18:24-19:20
1 CORINTHIANS 1:1-3:23

November 19th Readings
1 CORINTHIANS 4:1-7:40

November 20th Readings
1 CORINTHIANS 8:1-11:1

November 21st Readings
1 CORINTHIANS 11:2-13:13

November 22nd Readings
1 CORINTHIANS 14:1-15:58

November 23rd Readings
ACTS 19:21-20:6
ROMANS 1:1-32

November 24th Readings
ROMANS 2:1-4:25