Laying Hold

Pastor Jay Nicoson Life Devotions

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”Acts 1:8 NKJV

Throughout the world, there are certain individuals—real and fictional—whose identity remains almost inseparable from their weapon of choice.  From England, there is King Arthur and his sword, Excalibur. From the Middle East, Ali and his scimitar, Zulfiqar. From Spain, El Cid and his long sword, Tizona. From Scotland, William Wallace and his unnamed claymore.  Each of these individuals would, at times of battle, lay hold of their weapon to use it in order to go to battle for their people and defend themselves against their enemies.

The sword is the only item listed by Paul that serves in an offensive capacity. Even if we have all the rest of the armor equipped perfectly, without our sword, we amount to little more than heavily armored moving targets (Bible Study Guides; taking the sword of the Spirit, Lsn. 7).  Paul told the Ephesian church to take the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.  To take means to lay hold of, take up, to receive or to take with the hand. In acts chapter 1, Jesus told them that they will receive power.  That word receive is not like receiving a birthday present, or reeiving a card, or receiving an award.  It means to lay hold of something for the purpose of using it.  The power of the Holy Spirit is a power that must be taken up and laid ahold of for the purpose of using it!  Could it be that we do not have power in the church because the purpose of the power of the Holy Spirit is to be used for a gospel-purpose that we actually don’t intend to fulfill?  We lack power because when we ask for it, but we really do not have any intention of using it!  Yet, Jesus told them the reason power will come and that is so that you can lay hold of it TO USE IT!

We all have a heart to reach our neighbors, communities, cities, and even a heart for the gospel to go around the world.  We give to missions and we plant workers in the harvest fields, but I believe that we must be a people who also go, not just send.  There is harvest for each one of us.  We have spent some time recently in our Sunday services at OHCCEvansville talking about the church’s harvest fields.  Jesus has called evey church to it’s Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Ends-of-the-Earth harvest fields.  But today, I want you to think about your individual harvest fields.  The places God is calling you to be an influence for Christ.  An individual’s “Jerusalem harvest” begins in the home.  It is your spouse, children, and your extended family and friends.  Your harvest fields extend to being a “Jesus Influence” on your job, around neighbors, and in places you go for events, hobbies and sports.

I believe the Lord is challenging every one of us today to ask him to give us a circle of influence and to be more of and influence for Christ to those around us.  What is that?  Your “circle of influence” is the area and the people that you come in contact with on a frequent basis.  We often have those in our circle that are hurting, in need, wanting encouraged, or even in desperate situations that we don’t realize.   We can ask the Lord to help us identify these things around us and then intentionally shine the light of Christ by loving them right where they are at!   Shining the Light of Christ to those around us means we respond to them with Christ’s love.  Jesus is calling you to GO!  Receive power to GOLAY HOLD of His power and TAKE UP the sword of the Spirit and tell the Lord, “I will use your power when I see a need in someones life!”

Pray This…

Lord Jesus, Today, I ask you to help me to be an influencer! Help me to discern my circle of influence and know that I can shine the light of Jesus anywhere and everywhere. You have called me to LAY HOLD of your power and use it to be a blessing! Help me to see who is desperate, who is hurting, who is in need around me and to be ready at any given moment to lay hold of your power by faith to meet that need! I thank you for my harvest fields, help me to take up the sword of the Spirit and GO! IN JESUS NAME! AMEN!

Are you keeping up with devotions?

  1. Bible Reading (Devos) (5 times / week)
  2. Private Prayer (5 times / week)
  3. Private Worship (5 times / week)
  4. Journaling  (2-3 times / week)
  5. Supplemental Reading (2-3 times / week)