Jesus left his disciples with a massive responsibility - to get the good news of salvation by grace to the ends of the earth, making disciples of Jesus along the way. He trusted a ragtag group of men and women with the task of con- tinuing his own ministry in the world, charging them to preach, teach, & heal in his name! It was a seemingly impossible work for a his small rebel band.
And so, Jesus promised after he was gone he would send them a great helper: the Holy Spirit would come to empower them to carry out their great missionary task, just as the Spirit had empowered Jesus! And he told them to wait until the Spirit came before they began to work on the mission.
For the early church, the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit - or as the old translations put it, the Holy Ghost - was central and essential. They didn’t make great missionary plans, raise funds, or start committees! They waited & prayed, for the power and presence of the Spirit was their plan.
This month, we’re digging into the Scriptures to learn more about the person and work of the Spirit, asking what it looks like for us to live - individually and corporately - in prayerful dependence on his empowering presence. We’re asking Jesus to fulfill his promise regarding the work of the Spirit: ”Whoever believes in me, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7.38).