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May the Lord fill your life with the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

If God is not first in your life, then something else is (Deut 6:4-5, Matt 6:24, 33; 10:32-38, Mark 8:34, Luke 11:23, 1 John 5:21).

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Holy Spirit
"Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" asks Paul to the Ephesians. (Acts 19:1-5)
Paul knew that it was only through Jesus that the Holy Spirit was given and received. Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit through Him; therefore we can only receive it by Him. As Christians, we believe that Jesus is indeed the only way to our Father's Kingdom and so we are given His Spirit as His Helper. Not only is the Holy Spirit upon us, but also in us! This is the comfort that God is always in our presence (John 14:15-21), in whom we belong (1 Peter 1:18-21), whom we serve (Romans 12:1-2), and whose trust we rely on (Deuteronomy 32:4) [see also Acts 27:23-25].
Jesus showed the power of the Holy Spirit in front of the zealous Pharisees but they dismissed it as evil powers (such as sorcery or witchcraft). But He responds by telling them that those who do not believe in the powers of the Holy Spirit will never see the Kingdom of God. In fact, he calls this the only unpardonable sin (Matthew 12:22-32, Mark 3:22-30). Why? Because if you do not believe in the powers of Christ, then you are rejecting the only evidence upon which faith can be based; and without this faith you will not be able to find forgiveness.
We should always keep in mind this unpardonable state of existence, the state of continued unbelief. There is no pardon for a person who dies in unbelief. Continual rejection of the Holy Spirit's promptings to trust in Jesus Christ is the unpardonable blasphemy, and you will never see the Kingdom of Heaven.
If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, but you are uncertain about whether or not you have received the Holy Spirit, then ask the Lord what areas of your life you still need to change (Psalm 139:23-24). Ask Him to guide you and fill you with His Spirit (Romans 15:13, Galatians 5:22-23, Philippians 1:11). Turn from your sins (Psalms 32 & 51, Isaiah 1:18-20; 55:7, Lamentations 3:22-23, 1 John 1:9) and fully commit yourself wholeheartedly to His Words, His will and His purpose so that His Spirit will be with you!
Created Tuesday, April 22, 2008