What We Believe
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May 11 Daily Devotional

(Monthly Theme: Christ's Heavenly Ministry)

Power Coming

Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven

"For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." —Acts 1:5

Bible Reading

JOHN 1:29-34

Devotional

John the Baptist stood on the borderline of two worlds. He was the last prophet of the Old Testament. "All the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John" (Matt. 11:13). As the last one in the row of the prophets, he alone could stretch out his hand and say: "There he is! Behold, the Lamb of God." He concludes the row of all who pointed forward, and he touches the fulfillment of all their prophecy.

When John spoke of the newness that the Messiah was going to bring into the world, he used to say that the Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit. In this way he explained how his own work was related to the work of Christ. Baptism with water is a necessary counterpart of baptism with the Spirit. We must do away with the old if the new is to enter.

At the same time, John explained that his own work was inadequate— by saying that he could only baptize with water, while the coming One would baptize with the Holy Spirit. After all, what is the advantage to a person and the world if the old is washed away but the new is not received? It is not enough that sins are forgiven if we still remain power­less to do good. The world is not really benefited by the removal of some old sores. What we need is a new power. Not only must we leave the old and crooked path—by repentance and forgiveness—we also need the power to move to a new way, a new future.

No person and no product on earth can supply this new direction. The best intentions of the best people fail because we just don't have the strength to live a different life and the might to create a better world.

But Jesus Christ has that power. He comes to redirect the life of human beings. He not only forgives our wrongs, he also enables us to do what is right. During his earthly ministry, he bore our sins in the flesh. But when he went to heaven, Christ sent the Holy Spirit. Through him a new power comes to the old, tired world. At last, raindrops are falling in the desert.

REFLECTIONS

Do we sometimes tend to downplay the work of the Spirit in our theology and in our lives? If so, why? What happens when we neglect the Spirit?


Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published by Paideia Press in 1977. This updated edition is copyright 2009 by Faith Alive Christian Resources. You can order a copy of this revised version of the book directly from the publisher.

A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this updated edition of Daylight are from the Holy Bible: Today's New International Version copyright 2001, 2005 by the International Bible Society.

 

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