We find the most wonderful promises from our Savior in God’s Word: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). – “But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).
Such was the life of the apostles after the eventful Day of Pentecost. Fearful, selfish followers became outspoken and heroic messengers of Jesus Christ, proclaiming His Gospel with wonderful power and joy. One was Stephen, “a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit” (Acts 6:5), and Barnabas, “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith” (Acts 11:24). The first deacons were “full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom” (Acts 6:3). Paul traveled from place to place on his great missionary journeys “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:9). We could add to the list God’s messengers of times past who worked for their Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Galatians 5:22-23, we read of the precious fruit that a life of the Spirit produces.
A Life of Overflowing Love
See how the apostles were filled with a burning zeal to preach the gospel of Christ’s love to all people. See how Stephen, Peter, and Paul lovingly committed themselves to reaching a dying world!
Also, in the last centuries there were people like David Brainerd, Adoniram Judson, David Livingstone, and John G. Paton who suffered greatly because the love of God filled their hearts and motivated them. They put their lives on the line to share the love of God with people on different continents.
Do we also live a life of overflowing love? Do we know its power, joy, and fullness? If not, then we are missing the high calling of the One who came that we might have love, not limited love, but overflowing love.
A Life of Overflowing Peace
“But the fruit of the Spirit is…peace” (Galatians 5:22). “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
There is a peace “that surpasses all understanding,” a peace of which it is said, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). This peace is not dependent on external circumstances but on the indwelling Christ. This peace cannot be disrupted by any storm. It is peace in the fullness of the Spirit.
The surface of the sea surges, foams, and crashes, cresting and falling with every passing wind that moves it. But it also has depths that remain peacefully undisturbed for centuries, untouched and unmoved by wind and waves.
In the same manner, there are immovable depths of peace for the fearful heart which can be explained by the wonderful words “the peace of God.” This is the peace of God that can keep our hearts and minds. It is not a manmade peace, attained by personal struggle or by self-discipline, but the peace that God Himself has, indeed, that He Himself is.
Jesus said in John 14:27, “My peace I give to you.” He spoke this just before His suffering and death. If ever a soul should be seized with pain, terror, and fear, it would be at such a time. But instead of sadness or fear of what He would face, He spoke the wonderful words, “My peace I leave with you.” This peace shall abide with you. It is an overflowing peace. It is the peace of God that remains forever.
A Life of Overflowing Strength to Serve
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,” Jesus said to His disciples (Acts 1:8). From then on, their lives were full of mighty deeds done by the power of the Holy Spirit. “Stephen,” we are told, “full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8).
At a conference where the most scholarly sermons could move no one to repentance and conversion, the entire assembly broke down in tears of remorse and repentance through the calm message of a simple man, a man who was clearly filled with the Spirit of God. A word, a prayer, an earnest testimony, or a song can have power when flowing from a Spirit-filled life. Moody testifies he never knew anything of the fullness of power in his preaching until he experienced the fullness of the Spirit, but afterward his preaching never failed to bear fruit.
The power of the abundant life is not limited to the preaching of the Word of God. God equips some with power in prayer, others to witness, some to sing, and others He gives strength to endure suffering. Everyone who has experienced the overflowing life through the Spirit touches the lives of others with a power, the impact of which is realized only when he stands before the Lord.
The fullness of the Spirit, however, is not limited to overflowing love, peace, and power. It is also a life of overflowing joy. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). A life of overflowing perseverance gives us patience in trials we could not otherwise endure. It is a life brimming over with gentleness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control. It is evident that this fullness of the Spirit is not only for apostles, preachers, missionaries, or teachers but for all of God’s children. “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off” (Acts 2:39).
Therefore, every Christian should believe and claim this promise. Believe that the Holy Spirit is waiting to fill you and dwell in you just as He did in the first disciples on the day of Pentecost and in the rest of their lives!