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Israel went from victory to victory as they conquered Canaan. But during Eli's time the ark of God was captured by the Philistines. On that same day Eli and his sons died. And as Eli's daughter-in-law heard that the ark of God was captured she gave birth and called the child Ichabod meaning "the glory has departed" and she died.
The Philistines realised that the ark was special in that the Israelites were so victorious and prosperous.
The Philistines took the ark and placed it next to their idol. The following morning their idol was fallen on its face and eventually it was totally broken.
As they passed the ark from city to city and dealt irreverently with it people started to get sick and die. Eventually they sent the ark back to Israel.
When Saul became king he was quite happy that the ark of God, representing God's glory, was somewhere in Israel. It was only a spare-wheel to him. No wonder he made so many mistakes. God was not the center of his life. He never sought to bring the ark up from the house of Abinadab into the midst of Israel. As long as it was somewhere in the borders of Israel he was satisfied.
However when David became king he sought to bring the ark of God into the midst of Israel. So he brought it up from the house of Abinadab. When the oxen stumbled Uzza stretched out his hand and touched the ark to stabilize it. But God struck him and he died. Then David feared God and placed the ark in the house of Obed-Edom for a while. But when he heard that God blessed Obed-Edom he arranged that the ark should be brought up into the midst of Israel and carried by the Levites as Moses had prescribed.
And David rejoiced exceedingly so much so that he danced and sang and so-to-say made a fool of himself because of his great joy that God's ark is brought into the city of David and into the midst of Israel.
The question is, is Jesus the center of your life? God gave us the Ark or arks the Lord Jesus Christ. Is He the One round which your life revolves - not the spare-wheel but the center. Do you rejoice greatly in Him?
In Luke 5:1 we read that the people came to hear the Word of the Lord. That was the big draw-card. How many people have you drawn to the Lord Jesus Christ? Has your life been changed completely so that people see the glory of God in your life?
This word is so precious - that the people are drawn to Jesus to hear the Word of the Lord.
It was so wonderful to see people who loved the world repent and surrender their lives to the Lord. And others who once were on fire for God and left their first love and started to love the world surrendered their lives once again to the Lord. We saw marriages which were on the rocks healed again. Brothers and sisters at odds with one another made peace with one another. We saw God in the most wonderful way working in our midst. For five weeks our hearts were filled with the glory of God and we spoke about His glory.
Summary of sermon by Rev Erlo Stegen
In Acts 1:15 we read that there gathered 120 seeking the Lord's face. They were together daily with one heart. The Cross has done its work in their lives. The cross takes away the enmity between God and man and between men and their fellow men. So if you have something against your brother the cross must still work in your life.
We read here of The Spirit of Truth. Never forget that God's Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. There is no hypocrisy. Ananias and Sapphira were not genuine and lied to the Holy Spirit and were struck dead.
What were these 120 people doing? They were busy in prayer. They were together with one heart, fervent in prayer. They were diligent in every way, especially spiritually. It's good to be diligent and zealous in the faith otherwise the devil gets in.
Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven has come and those that enter take it by force. They go for it with all their might and strength.
The Lord had promised them His Spirit and they wanted Him and His promise more than anything else. And those that seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit will find Him if they seek with all their heart.
Some say they are so busy that they don't find the time to seek the Lord. But such are lazy spiritually. Remember how busy Daniel was and what responsibilities he had yet he found time to pray and seek God's face three times a day.
People with Godly authority spend time with the Lord.
Some Christians when asked to share something about the Lord do not know what to say. They are empty spiritually.
Are you walking in the truth or walking devious ways? God's Spirit of Truth can only fill you if you walk in honesty and truth.
Jesus said that the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is the greatest. When the mother of James and John requested that they could sit on His right and left Jesus replied that they did not know what they were asking. At that time they did not know the Spirit of Truth. People jostling for position do not know God's Spirit.
The Lord said that the world does not know My Spirit but you know Him. Do you know Him? Are you the servant of all? Can you forgive those who wrong you?
When you see someone else blessed by God you should be thankful and bless him too.
Not many days before they were filled with the Holy Spirit the disciples were afraid and locked themselves away but now they were bold and could speak boldly to these thousands of people. And even what they spoke were sharp and to the point and cut them to the heart.
Jesus promised them that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit come upon them and it was wonderously correct. Even the disciples were not expecting this. The Lord was working in His sovereign power.
There are different gifts, the gift of wisdom and discernment, the gift of preaching. We must not be envious of another's gift, but serve one another. We must let God's Spirit dwell in us and proclaim His Word fearlessly.
What kind of congregation shouldn't we be when the Spirit of Truth is among us?
Someone who walks in the light wants everything he does to be in the light.
Have you experienced Pentecost? Have you been filled with God's Spirit?
And if you have received the Holy Spirit and have experienced Pentecost do not boast but fear lest you quench the Spirit of God. There are many who claimed to have received the Holy Spirit but have quenched Him and are in the world today and love the world.
Walk daily in the light and in the Holy Spirit. Do not quench Him but be sensitive to His leading. Take time to be alone with God and grow in grace.