JULY 13 - Ephesians 1:13-14 and Acts 7:54-57

By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.”
Ephesians 1:13-14

“When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him (Stephen) with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into the heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.’ And they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord.”
Acts 7:54-57

Memory Catcher: The first three letters of Stephen’s name aid me with recall on this passage:
S-Spirit-filled, T-Triumphant, E-Empowered
Stephen was Spirit filled, Triumphant, and Empowered.
Repeating this little sentence over seven times, my mind catches a “metric beat” to it, and it is likely it will come to me throughout the day in needful moments of empowerment.
Stephen was an ordinary man composed of extraordinary power;
He possessed the Holy Spirit.
Selected and elected by the disciples (Acts 6:1-8) to oversee and feed (spiritually and physically) the physically needy (widows) and those requiring extra care, Stephen gave himself over to the role and task of equipping and serving others in a practical manner.
He is referenced as full of faith and power, and he is noted for his performance of mighty miracles and wonders in the presence of the people.
It is admirable to rehearse the qualities that Stephen possessed and consider the “humble” role he perceived God had called him to.
While the other disciples would “go out,” Stephen would remain “within” and in the place of Stephen’s calling God’s power would be made manifest.
Empowerment of the Spirit is for the believer’s good and for the glory of God.
The seal of the Spirit within us is as the signet placed upon the ring finger of the Almighty God authenticating His presence within.
You shall stay on His hand and within His possession forever;
None can remove you from Him.
The seal can only be lifted by the Father.
Worthy of great reflection is the suggestion that our treatment of one another is our treatment of the Spirit’s presence within.

Hmmm …
That’s a powerful and sobering thought.
How careful we must be, in our conduct and conversation with believers, to provide the Holy Spirit with the most holy and pure habitat conceivable for growth.
We must not harm nor hurt the Spirit in a man in any way or we shall experience judgement from the Father who has secured that Spirit.
The environment of the Holy Spirit and His dwelling place secures the power whereby the church operates its power from and it is a serious matter and earnest consideration.
Repentance, cleansing, and renewal, therefore, should be ongoing and habitual practices within leadership of the church in order to ensure a Spirit of truth and holiness abides within.
Praise be to God where fellow believers experience the dynamic force and power of the Spirit’s presence.
His presence will become more rare and attempts to "oust" Him will be observed in the latter times.
Equally vital is the reminder that the Spirit is our empowerment to operating in the place which God has called us to.
Be sure of this:
Whatever humble employment God calls one, the Spirit-filled servant will project a Spirit-filled power that radiates and testifies to the glory of God, and many will be drawn to Him.
There is nothing so wondrous, my soul thinks, as witnessing an individual given over to humble tasks possessing a full embodiment and enablement of the Spirit.
Pray to God to be such an individual and immerse yourself daily in the holiness of God's word.
God and His Spirit ... be with you.
Great and merciful God,
For the abiding presence of Thy active and Holy Spirit, I give Thee thanks.

For the ownership of my soul, and the works Thou hast called me to, I give Thee thanks.
Let the operation of Thy Spirit be given in full in order that others see a manifestation of Thy glory and are drawn to Thee.
Forgive the carelessness and casualness applied to my mind and body which house Thy holiness.
Forgive my neglect, my ill treatment and wrongful conduct to brothers and sisters in Christ who are housing Thy great and sacred Spirit.
Let this day be lived forcibly in the strength of Thy spirit and let me engage lovingly and truthfully with those my Spirit comes in contact with.
To Thee be all praise and glory.