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Devotion - June 1, 2012
I will put my Spirit in you and you will live.
In the section of Ezekiel 37 that precedes our Bible verse for today, God gives us a very interesting analogy. Ezekiel was given a vision in which he saw himself in a valley filled with dead bones. Those dead, lifeless, human bones were scattered everywhere.
But then at God’s command, Ezekiel prophesied—he spoke God’s word. Suddenly there was a rattling sound. All around, bone came to bone. Everywhere the bones of lifeless skeletons were reconnected. Before his very eyes, tendons and flesh appeared on them and finally skin covered them. Complete human beings were reconstructed. But they were still lifeless.
Once again God commanded Ezekiel to prophesy. Then breath entered those bodies; the Spirit of God brought life to the lifeless.
Why this vision? Ezekiel’s message was preached to a people in captivity whose country lay miles away in complete ruins. As a people, as a nation, they believed they were as good as dead. But through the Holy Spirit, God promised to bring them back to life and return them to their land.
This is a picture of the work of the Spirit in God’s believers. Even though we came into this world physically alive, we were spiritually dead. We were born from sinful parents and inherited their sinfulness, a sinfulness that goes all the way back to the world’s first parents, Adam and Eve. That’s why the apostle Paul wrote, “You were dead in your transgressions and sin” (Ephesians 2:1). We were the living dead.
But the Holy Spirit made us alive. Through God’s Word the Holy Spirit breathed life into us. We came to life spiritually as the Holy Spirit created faith in our hearts. We were “born again…through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). We are no longer the living dead. We are spiritually alive in Christ through the faith creating power of the Holy Spirit, and we are headed for heaven! The apostle Peter wrote, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).
The Christian Church celebrates this work of the Holy Spirit every year with the festival of Pentecost. Pentecost means “fifty.” Fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit came to the disciples and through their preaching on that first Pentecost, the Holy Spirit worked spiritual life in about 3000 people who were brought to faith in Jesus that day.
On the Festival of Pentecost, as well as every day of the year, we thank the Holy Spirit for working spiritual life in us so that you and I are no longer a bunch of spiritually lifeless bones, but people who are spiritually alive with faith in Jesus Christ.
Dear Holy Spirit, thank you for breathing spiritual life into me and bringing me to faith in Jesus. Amen.
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.