Determined Resolve

by Carolyn Hope

“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:22-24)

Paul was a man of resolve. He lived, breathed, and died for the Gospel of God. Again and again, he found himself in life-threatening situations; yet he was never dissuaded from his course.

Toward the end of Paul’s work, he was making his way to Jerusalem. Holy Spirit warned him on several occasions that going there would mean chains and persecution. While others assumed these warnings meant Paul should turn back, he took them as a reason to press forward. He was willing to do whatever it took to bring the Gospel to the people he was called to. “If only I may finish the race …” was the cry of his heart. Paul ran his race focused on the finish line. It didn’t matter what hurdles he had to jump over or what obstacles he had to go around. He was determined to finish with excellence and strength, and he did. He died for the sake of the Gospel, and today, his writings and influence live on.

If you’re going to live a life of resolve, you must be determined. You must be undaunted by the opposition that comes against you. Decide now that you will not settle for anything less than God’s plan for your life. Be convinced in your heart of who you are and what God has told you to do so that nothing in the world can sway you.

Take heart, dear one. It will not be easy, but Jesus is with you. Holy Spirit will teach you, and your Father will be your guide. You are not alone, and your resolve will lead to His glory.

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Faithful to Empower

by Carolyn Hope

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Throughout the Old Testament, we see many instances where God empowered specific people. Before Israel had a king, God appointed Samson as a judge, and many times He gave him the strength to defeat hundreds of enemies at once. Later in Israel’s history, the Holy Spirit came upon Elijah, and he was able to run and overtake the chariot of the king. There are many others who received the power of God for a particular purpose at some point. These experiences, however, didn’t last. Holy Spirit came and went, but didn’t stay.

Then came Pentecost, where the believers who had been praying together were filled with Holy Spirit, and the words of Jesus in Acts 1 and the prophecy of Joel 2 were fulfilled. Now we live in a new era, under a new covenant; we can be empowered by Holy Spirit not just for short bursts of time, but for all of our lives. We can live empowered.

God doesn’t want you to be weak or helpless. He created you to be a powerful, mighty warrior. And He is faithful to give you the power you need. If you don’t feel like your life is a life of power, ask the Lord to empower you. He will do it because He loves you and believes in you.

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