While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?"
Thoughts for Today:Paul is on his third missionary trip, which ends with his return to Jerusalem. He passes through what is present day Turkey and stops in Ephesus where he encounters some disciples and asks, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" Isn't that an odd question? What could he have seen in their behavior that would have made him wonder whether they had?
Not long ago I attended a Missions luncheon with my wife Sherry and daughter Amanda. Our Missions Team hosts these events regularly to keep the church body informed of the great work that is being done as a result of their financial partnership. Following the presentation, and without any encouragement from me, Amanda, who is seven years old, got up and began clearing tables -- putting food away and throwing out trash.
A few days later, one of the ladies from our church who observed Amanda working that day, told me that Amanda was full of the Holy Spirit and had been blessed with a true servant's heart. One thing I know for sure is how much my daughter loves Jesus. It comes through in what she says, how she looks, and especially in what she does -- like serving. In our passage today, perhaps it wasn't what the disciples in Ephesus were doing that made Paul wonder, but what they weren't doing. If someone were to look at your acts, would they wonder not if you believed, but if you had received the Holy Spirit?
Questions to Ponder:What evidence do you demonstrate of the Holy Spirit's power in your life? What are your acts? The book of the Bible we have been studying is fully entitled "The Acts of the Apostles." In other words, it's what they did after the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost. There's a big difference between intellectual belief in Christ and genuine faith in Christ as your Lord and Savior, filling you with the Holy Spirit. Would anyone wonder if you had received the Holy Spirit? Want to know more? We'll continue this story with tomorrow's devotional!