July 18

Today's Bible Readings
     Judges 1
     Acts 5
     Jeremiah 14
     Matthew 28
''And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him." (Acts 5:32)
            The early days of the Book of Acts were a decisive time in the life of the Apostles. Jesus had taught them many things, but now that the Holy Spirit had come upon them, they were learning many new things. They had already chosen Matthiasto take the place of Judas. The power of the Holy Spirit had fallen on the Day of Pentecost. After praying 1O days, Peter preached 10 minutes and 3,000 people were saved. Many were baptized, and the church had begun. God had already given miraculous healings, and the Apostles were already in great trouble, with Peter and John having been arrested. They were brought before the officials and magistrates like the Sanhedrin, and God was giving them increasing boldness to preach and teach the Word of God. Ananias and Sapphirahad lost their lives because they lied to God and the church. These were eventful days as God began to use the Apostles to turn the world upside down.
            Day by day, these men of God were discovering the absolute necessity of the power of the Holy Spirit in their life. They discovered there was no true evangelism and discipleship without the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  That is still true today.
            In the Book of Romans, Paul asked four questions about this subject. (Romans 13:17) The answers to these questions must be fresh upon our hearts and minds now.
''How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?'' People cannot call on Jesus and be saved until they exercise faith and believe that He is who He said He was, and will do what He said He would do.
''How should they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?'' They must hear the clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
''How shall they hear without a preacher?'' We are clearly integral to the plan of God to share the Gospel with the lost world.
''And how shall they preach unless they are sent?'' The Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost to baptize every born-again believer into the Body of Christ, and to empower the believer to witness. (Acts I :8) When the Holy Spirit came on the church, there were 120 sent into the fields that were already ''white for harvest." For almost 2,000 years, the Lord of the Harvest (the Holy Spirit) has continued to send Holy Spirit-filled laborers into the fields. When you enter the harvest to win souls to Christ, the Holy Spirit, who is the world's greatest evangelist, will go with you, indwell you, and fill you with power to evangelize.
            Remember, the lost cannot be saved until they call upon the Lord for salvation, but they cannot call until they believe, they cannot believe until they hear the Gospel, and they cannot hear without a witness. The witness cannot witness unless he or she is sent by the Lord of the Harvest, who will fill the witness with His power. He is waiting for you to say, ''Here am I, send me."
One of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean is St. Luciawith a population of 170,000 people. Pray for a spiritual awakening on this island where 80% of all the children are born out of wedlock. There needs to be liberation from the deadening blanket of religion without life.
''Were the works of God readily understandable by human reason, they would be neither wonderful nor unspeakable."
Thomas A. Kemple