Pastor Kevin Murphy
St. Matthew Lutheran Church
Matthew 3:11 “I baptize with water those who turn from their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is far greater than I am–so much greater that I am not even worthy to be his slave. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The real action comes next: The main character in this drama—compared to him I’m a mere stagehand—will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. (Matthew 3:11, The Message)
It has always seemed ironic to me that the member of the Godhead with whom we are most intimate – the Holy Spirit – is the part of God we least understand and appreciate. Why is it only the Pentecostals and charismatic’s who emphasize the Person and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives? God bless them for the balance they bring to the Body of Christ.
I wonder if Jesus’ first listeners understood the amazing invitation in this passage? I wonder if we do?
“All of Jerusalem and Judea had gone out to be baptized by John.” This must have seemed like revival to the Jews of that time. But John tells them that they “ain’t seen nothing yet.” Once John introduces Jesus, everything changes.
“But to all who received him [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave power to become the children of God” (John 1:12, NRSV). When we become Covenant partners with Jesus, the King of the Universe, we are given the promise of being God’s beloved children. We are given the authority and power to act in his name and on his behalf to effect a Kingdom difference in the world.
This is precisely the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers. Have you received Him? Have you believed in His name? You have everything you need!
Prayer: More of your glory, more of your power, more of your Presence in me (us). Speak to my heart and change my life, manifest yourself in me. I submit to you, Father. Amen.