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the Pastor's Scratchpad

  1.  People being baptized with the Holy Spirit was highly anticipated and often spoken about by Jesus Christ.
  2. Jesus Christ associated His ascension into heaven as necessary in order for people to receive the Holy Spirit.
  3. The promise of the Father (the Holy Spirit) was among the last recorded words of Jesus Christ prior to His ascension.
  4. The sole purpose for which His disciples went to Jerusalem following the ascension of Christ was to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4, 12-14).
  5. God pouring out of His Spirit in Acts 2, was a fulfillment of prophesy from Joel (Acts 2:16) according to the Apostle Peter.
  6. The importance of the experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is evident in that it is accompanied by the God-given sign of speaking in an unknown tongue (Acts 2:4).
  7. Receiving the Holy Spirit was not relegated only to the Apostles or to their generation.  Peter extended “the promise” to those who heard his answer on the Day of Pentecost, to the next generation and to others who were “afar off,” and to as many as God would call (Acts 2:38, 39). This is confirmed throughout The Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1:8).
  8. The receiving of the Spirit was the climax in the revival in Samaria (Acts 8) in which the work of the evangelist, Philip was not finished until the people received the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17).
  9. That Saul of Tarsus be filled with the Holy Spirit was one of two purposes for which Ananias prayed for him (Acts 9:17).
  10. The Gift of the Holy Ghost falling on Cornelius and his household with the sign of speaking in an unknown tongue, convinced Peter and the Jews who accompanied him to baptize them in name of Lord.  This put those Gentiles in obedience of what Peter preached in Acts 2:38.
  11. The initial question asked of 12 disciples of John in Ephesus by the Apostle Paul was “have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” (Acts 19: 1-6). Their answer, indicated their spiritual standing to Paul.
  12. The climax of the experience of the 12 disciples of John in Acts 19 was receiving the Holy Ghost speaking with tongues and magnifying God (Acts 19:6).
  13. Although the Epistles were written to “saints,” churches and ministers, the influence and benefits of the Holy Spirit is repeatedly referred to by the writers.


Ps 119

33 HE.

Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes;

And I shall keep it unto the end.

34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law;

Yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments;

For therein do I delight.

36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies,

And not to covetousness.

37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity;

And quicken thou me in thy way.

  1.  Teach Me - verse 33 - show with the hand, point out.  Show me.  The Word before the eyes.  “If you point me in the right direction I’ll keep going that way until the end."
  2. Give me understanding - verse 34 - Let your Word change my mind.   "2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."  (Ro 12:2).
  3. V 35 "Make me go in the path of they commandments”  Let the Word influence my feet.  In verse “33” the Psalmist uses a word translated into English as “way” but in this verse, a different word is translated “path.”  This verse refers to a footpath, not a public road that many would travel but a way that few would travel.  It takes carefulness to walk on this path.  There are obstacles in this narrow way.  It parallels Jesus’ words about the broadway where may would travel and the narrow way, where few would find it.
  4. Verse 36 - “Incline my heart”  literally, “bend” or “reshape” my heart.  THERE ARE SOME THAT SEE THE WAY, UNDERSTAND THE WAY AND WALK IN THE WAY BUT NEVER HAVE A CHANGE OF HEART.  They will not endure to the end. 
Mark 29:29, 30
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 

There were over 600 commandments in the law.  The written word pointed the way and explained the way, the prophets led the way but people strayed from the paths of righteousness.  Why?  The Word didn’t reach their hearts.


30 the mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom,

and his tongue talketh of judgment.

The law of his God is in his heart;

none of his steps shall slide.


8  I delight to do thy will, O my God:

yea, thy law is within my heart.


11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart,

that I might not sin against thee.

Let me just tell you, if you are struggling in this narrow way, although you know the right way, it may be the word has not yet reached your heart.

When a person is affectionate toward God,  when they love him with their heart, they are not inclined to turn aside.  When someone is attracted by worldly pleasure and distracted by other things it is because they have a heart problem.

We don’t need more rules, we need more love.  The OT is evidence that no number of commandments can make you successful if the Word doesn’t change your heart.

The Psalmist after praying that his heart would be shaped by the word of God then prays in verse 3, turn away my eyes from beholding vanity.

Wandering eyes are only stopped by a loving heart.  When you love Him with all your heart, you will not look in other places.  You are satisfied with Him.

PROVERBS 4:23- Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

The truth is if what is in my heart is not consistent with what has been pointed out, explained and directed, eventually my eyes, my mind and my feet will be overcome by the evil that is in my heart.

Samson knew what God desired of him, the instructions were clear but Samson did not desire those things for himself.

A heart problem will keep you from being faithful to God's house.

A heart problem will keep one from tithing.

A heart problem will keep us from prayer.

Lord, reshape our hearts to desire your will.