Links Daily Devotional

The Spirit’s Reach

“No, this is what was spoken to the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my spirit on all people.’” (Acts 2:16, NIV)

The U.S. Amateur Championship, which concluded Sunday afternoon at Olympia Fields Country Club, is not for the average golf fan. Whereas viewers who watch only a few selected events were tuning in the week before to watch Day, Spieth, McIlroy, and the Johnsons, Zach and Dustin, give it a go at the season’s last major, if you flipped on the Amateur you did so with little chance of knowing any of the players. You simply hoped to catch a good match.

Into Friday, you might have known Paul Dunne, the Irishman who in July became the first amateur ever to lead the Open Championship through 54 holes. Dunne was taken down in the quarterfinals by Bryson DeChambeau, who captured the NCAA Individual Championship in June. DeChambeau went on to win, defeating USC’s Sean Crocker in the semis and taking a 7-and-6 final over the University of Virginia’s Derek Bard.

And if you’re shaking your head, saying, “Who are these kids?” you’re not alone, and you’re not to be disdained. As we said, if you know these players, you’re not the average fan.

In the kingdom of God, however, we cannot allow ourselves to slip into such thinking. Nowhere in Scripture do we find a classification of “average believers” and “real aficionados.” In fact, if you have Christ, you have the same great asset available to all who call on his name.

In Acts 2, where we find the account of the Holy Spirit’s coming at Pentecost, Peter stepped before the crowd and made explanation for what the people were seeing and hearing. His explanation, at the outset of the church, bears lasting value right into our time. In quoting the prophet Joel, Peter’s clearest word was this: all. “God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.”

Now we can argue if we will whether this means all people, believers and unbelievers alike. But we cannot argue that the Holy Spirit comes to some believers but not to all believers. As the Spirit did on that day of Pentecost, the Spirit does today: alighting, infilling, manifesting (see Acts 2:2-4). When you are in Christ, the Spirit, whom Christ has poured out (2:33), is upon you, within you, and shows through you.

In the end, we must discard the idea that there is such a thing as an average believer, because every believer is indwelt by the Spirit of God—and the Spirit of God is anything but average!

Jeff Hopper
August 24, 2015
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