The Daily Press

April 8 – Study to Show Yourself Approved

Read 2 Timothy 2:1–15

The Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity about whom I prepare myself to write meditations.  Study—study to show myself approved unto God, a workman who rightly divides the word of truth.  That was the Spirit’s instruction to Timothy, a young pastor. That lesson is necessary for all of God’s children, not only those who are ministers.

We live in a day of unprecedented access to research materials, including those of the religious variety.  Much of what I will write in the days ahead is not original to me.  As I write, I receive the faithful sermons of our pastor, Rev. Key.  I also read the brief book, Signs of the Apostles, by Walter Chantry, and listened to CPRC’s online classes on Belgic Confession Article 11, as well as several online sermons.         Yet I fear we waste an unprecedented amount of time entangling ourselves with the affairs of this life.  We are at war!  Do you use the resources at your disposal to equip you for the fight?

Sing or pray Psalter #327. (Our family memorizes Psalter numbers by choosing one per week.  I am going to try assigning Psalter numbers to these devotionals that way as well.  See if you can memorize them!).


April 9 – The triune God is one

Read John 16:1–15

“Does each person have his own work in creation and salvation? No, the triune God creates, redeems, and sanctifies” (Essentials, Lesson 6).

We must be careful not to create division in God in focusing on one person of the Trinity. When we falsely conceive of the triune God, we create and serve an idol.  Jehovah’s Witnesses charge Christians with worshipping three gods.  They are wrong. We worship the God who is three-in-one.  The all-important Biblical doctrine of the Trinity distinguishes Christianity from all other false religions.  And perhaps more than any other doctrine, it demonstrates that God is infinite – never will we fully understand him.

Though God is one, each person of the Trinity remains distinct from the others.  That’s why the Apostles’ Creed, which summarizes the articles of the Christian faith, is divided into three parts.  The third part is “of God the Holy Spirit and our sanctification” ( Q&A 24).

As we study the Holy Spirit in the days ahead, remember, He is one with God the Father and God the Son!

Sing or pray Psalter #327.


April 10 – The Holy Spirit Guides Us into All Truth

Read John 15:1–14

In the forward of his book, Signs of the Apostles, Walter Chantry writes: “Putting one’s views into print is a humbling business. It invites response and criticism.”  Writing these devotionals for Beacon Lights is a humbling business. Applying God’s word on the behalf of others is no small matter.  I approach this work with the prayer that the Holy Spirit will enable me to rightly divide the word, but I am not infallible.

That’s why I caution you with regard to how to use these devotionals.  The most important part of each day’s meditation is the scripture passage that’s listed.  My reflections are only beneficial to the extent that they encourage you to mediate on and grow in your knowledge of the holy and inspired word of God.

How is it that a wife and mother is able to write devotionals?  How is it that you are able to understand the Bible and apply its wisdom to your life?  Those things are possible only because the Holy Spirit has come.  He is the one who guides us into all truth.

Sing or pray Psalter #327.


April 11 – “A Truthless Spirit”

Read 2 Timothy 3:1–9

Over Sunday dinner not long ago, a member of our church told us about the day a well-known Pentecostal minister visited the congregation he previously attended that to “lay hands” on its members.  Soon the platform of the auditorium was filled with vibrating, babbling people.  But when our friend’s turn came, “nothing happened.”  He left the service that day feeling lonely and confused.

In 2 Timothy 3 the inspired apostle Paul warns his spiritual son against apostate leaders who will arise in the church.  These men appear pious.  They claim to have the Spirit.  They even busy themselves in the study of scripture, but they are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  Theirs is a truth-less spirit.  Like Pharaoh’s wise men, Jannes and Jambres, some of these men may even seem to work miracles, but they do not produce the holy fruits of the Spirit.  These are men to whom Christ will say on the judgment day, “I never knew you” (Matt. 7:23).  For they have not the Spirit of Christ, and are none of his (Rom. 8:9).

Sing or pray Psalter #327.


April 12 – All Scripture is God-Breathed

Read 2 Timothy 3:10–17

The Holy Spirit does not commune with us through abstract experience.  He communes with us through the all-sufficient holy scriptures, which he himself inspired.  The word inspired means “God-breathed.”  The Holy Spirit himself is the breath of God.  He is the one who moved men of old to write down God’s sure word (2 Pet. 1:21).  Christ is the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ.  He is the Spirit of Christ because Christ sent him, and because he testifies of Christ (John 15:26).  He testifies of Christ in the scriptures (John 5:39).  Never does he contradict the word.  Never does he belittle the word as less than sufficient.  Rather, he is the one who puts the word of God, which is his sword, into our hands, and teaches us how to war.  He writes that living, discerning word of God on the tables of our hearts.  He comes to us through the word preached and through the word read.  As Jesus himself said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

Sing or pray Psalter #85.


April 13 – A Spiritless Truth

Read John 6:41–71

There is such a thing as “a truthless spirit.”  There is also “spiritless truth.”  We belong to churches that emphasize knowledge of doctrine.  That’s a strength in our day, in which many “are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6).  But we must examine ourselves to make sure that we are not among those who are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7).

“The human mind can follow the logic of pure doctrine and even assent to its correctness while the emotions are sterile and the will obstinate.  Whole churches may be precise, yet lacking in deep worship, practical godliness, and zeal for the Lord of Hosts” (Chantry, 110).  Such lack of zeal is nothing less than the absence of the Holy Spirit.  “Without the Spirit there may be intellectual understanding but there can be no experimental life.  God’s Word may be present, but without the Spirit it cannot be potent” (Ibid).

Do you see evidence of the quickening of the Holy Spirit in your life, or are you guilty of “dead orthodoxy”?

Sing or pray Psalter #85.



April 14 –The Holy Spirit Assures Me of Eternal Life

Read 2 Corintians 5:1–10

Have you ever gone camping?  What fun!  But even sleeping in a tent gets old after a while.  That’s how Paul describes this earthly life in 2 Cor. 5.  Your body is like a tabernacle, a tent.  After living in these tents for a while, we long to go home to heaven.  Yet even that longing doesn’t always curb our fear of death.  Since the fall of our first parents, Adam and Eve, every one of us must face the ultimate statistic: 10 out of 10 people die. You are dying. So am I.  It’s only a matter of when we will die, and how.

The writers of the Heidelberg Catechism faced the same reality.  That’s why they began their catechism with this question: “What is thy only comfort in life and death?”  Since Jesus called the Holy Spirit “the Comforter,” it shouldn’t surprise us to find him mentioned in the answer!  “By his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life.”  Are you confident that Jesus has prepared a place for you in our Father’s house?  That’s the work of the Holy Spirit in you!

Sing or pray Psalter #85.


April 15 – The Holy Spirit Makes Me Willing and Ready to Live Unto My Savior

Read Romans 8:1–14

There’s more about the Holy Spirit in Lord’s Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism.  Not only does he assure us of eternal life, but he also makes us sincerely willing and ready, henceforth to live unto our Savior.  “Henceforth.”  That’s an important word.  It means “from this time on.”  We don’t sit around waiting until we’ve gone to heaven to live for our Savior.  Already in this life we strive to glorify him.  And when we sin, we turn to him in repentance, and by his Spirit we resolve once again, henceforth, to live unto him.

Sometimes we can fall into thinking that God does great things through those who are filled with the Holy Spirit.  We may look at our plain, predictable lives and wonder how it can be true that God dwells within us.  We forget that while God sometimes does do great things through those in whom the Spirit dwells, he always does great things in those in whom he dwells.  He makes us hate our sin and long to serve our Savior.  That is the work of the Holy Spirit, and it is a great work indeed.

Sing or pray Psalter #85.


April 16 – The Holy Spirit is the Breath of God (1)

Read John 20:19–31

Take a deep breath in.  Now breathe out.  In again.  Out.  God made us breathing creatures to teach us something about himself, for, as we noted several days ago, the Holy Spirit is the breath of God.

There are many similarities between our breath and God’s.  Just as your breath proceeds from you, flowing out of your lungs, so the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (John 15:26) and from the Son (John 20:22).  When God created man, he “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen.2:7).  One who breathes is alive.  Likewise, our God is the living God.  All other religions are lifeless and legalistic, but ours is a living faith, a relationship with the God who breathes and whose breath dwells in us.  We coordinate our speaking and our breathing.  So does God.  His Son, the Word, is always accompanied by his Breath.  That is true in creation (Ps. 33:6), in the inspiration of the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15–16), and in the preaching of the word (1 Cor. 2:4).

Sing or pray Psalter #85.


April 17 – The Holy Spirit is the Breath of God (2)

Read Acts 5:1-11

Though there are similarities between our breath and God’s, there are also significant differences.  Our breathing belongs to our natural, earthly existence.  God’s Breath is Divine.  This is shown in Acts 5:3–4, when Peter charges Ananias with lying to the Holy Spirit, and in the next verse he states, “You have not lied unto men, but unto God.”  Our breathing is exclusive to ourselves.  God’s Breath is from two Persons.  Our breath is limited by the volume of our lungs.  The Holy Spirit is not limited, he is infinite.  We breathe many times a day, and when we die, our breathing stops.  God’s Breath is one, continuous, eternal Breath.  That’s why Jesus refers to the Spirt as the one who “proceedeth,” that is, “proceeds,” in the present tense (John 15:26).  Just as God calls himself I am – not “I Was” or “I Will Be” – so the Holy Spirit is the “I Proceed.”  His procession from the Father and the Son is timeless and everlasting.

Doesn’t that make you exclaim with the prophet Isaiah, “To whom then will ye liken God? Or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” (Is. 40:18)!

Sing or pray Psalter #85.


April 18 – The Breath of God is a Person

Read 1 Corintians 2

There is another significant difference between our breathing and God’s.  Our respiration is merely an action that indicates life.  God’s Breath is a self-conscious person: a thinking, willing, intelligent, relational being.  He is able to say “I” or “Me.”

Sometimes we may be tempted to think of the Holy Spirit as a force that compels us to live a more godly life.  He is not merely a power, but a person.  An impersonal force is incapable of intellectual, emotional action.  Nor can someone lie to an impersonal force. Yet, as we read yesterday, Ananias and Sapphira were guilty of lying to the Holy Spirit.

As a person, the Holy Spirit teaches us (John 14:26), testifies of Christ (John 15:26), reproves the world of sin (John 16:8), guides us into all truth (John 16:13), speaks (John 16:13), and glorifies Christ by showing to us the things that Christ has given him (16:14).  The Holy Spirit does all these things intelligently because he searches and knows the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:10–11).  He has the very mind of Christ, and he imparts Christ’s mind to us who believe.

Sing or pray Psalter #85.


April 18 – The Holy Spirit Teaches Us All Things

Read John 14:15–31

I recently watched a video that detailed how different types of technology have been predicted to “revolutionize” education: radio, television, videodiscs, computers, the Internet, smart-boards…  The video showed that even though that claim has been made decade after decade, with only the proposed medium changing, education has actually changed very little.  By and large, groups of students are still taught by a single teacher, much as they were centuries ago.  Why?  Effective learning takes place as the result of interaction between a caring teacher and his or her students.

What does this have to do with the Holy Spirit?  We learned yesterday that the Holy Spirit is a person: a thinking, willing, intelligent, relational being.  He is the person who Jesus said will teach us all things and bring to remembrance the word.  As a divine person, the Holy Spirit knows us, his students.  He knows our needs.  He understands our spiritual strengths and weaknesses.  He knows how to apply the word to our benefit.   It’s through the teaching the Holy Spirit that we are able to know the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent.

Sing or pray Psalter #255.


April 19 –The Holy Spirit Helps Our Infirmities

Read Romans 8:15–27

In Galatians 6:2, Christians are enjoined to “bear one another’s burdens.”  To whom do you turn when you are overwhelmed by trouble or temptation?  Likely the person in whom you confide is someone who knows you well and loves you: a spouse, a sibling, a parent, or a friend.  Perhaps their words of encouragement testify to the truth of Proverbs 12:25: “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.”  And are you aware of and ready to help others bear their burdens?  Your tongue has been given to you so that you might edify and minister grace to those in need (Eph. 4:29).

Here is a word of comfort that you can give to one who is burdened: the Holy Spirit is our sovereign friend.  He understands our weaknesses and burdens as no one else can, and he helps us bear those infirmities.  In the words of John Calvin, “There is then no reason for anyone to complain, that the bearing of the cross is beyond their own strength, since we are sustained by celestial power” – that is, a powerful, celestial Person, the Holy Spirit, who is God himself.

Sing or pray Psalter #255.


April 21 –The Holy Spirit Intercedes for Us

Read Romans 8:26–39

As God, the Holy Spirit is all-knowing, that is, omniscient.  As we saw several days ago, his omniscience makes him the perfect teacher.  Among other things, the Holy Spirit teaches us how we should pray and for what we must pray.  When the inspired apostle writes that the Spirit makes “intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered,” he does not mean that the Spirit mediates for us before the face of God.  That work belongs to Christ: “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).

Rather, when the Spirit makes intercession for us, he “dictates our requests, incites our petitions, draws up our pleas for us. Christ intercedes for us in heaven, the Spirit intercedes for us in our hearts…The Spirit, as an enlightening Spirit, teaches us what to pray for, as a sanctifying Spirit works and excites praying graces, as a comforting Spirit silences our fears, and helps us over all our discouragements.” (Matthew Henry).

What a comfort!  Though we know not what to pray for as we ought, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in our very hearts.

Sing or pray Psalter #255.


April 22 – Groanings According to God’s Will

1 Sam. 1:1–20

Yesterday we considered the Spirit’s intercession in our hearts.  What does scripture mean when it says that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groanings that cannot be uttered?  It means that “It is not the rhetoric and eloquence, but the faith and fervency, of our prayers, that the Spirit works, as an intercessor, in us” (Matthew Henry).  Sometimes we come before God as Hannah did, so troubled and agitated that we are unable to express what is in our hearts.  At those times the Spirit still moves us to enter God’s presence with humble boldness, there to trust that as our Father he knows our hearts, our grief, and our sincere desire to praise him, and that he will work all things for our good.  That is the inexpressible intercession of the Holy Spirit.

What a comfort that the Spirit always makes intercession for us according to the will of God.  “The Spirit in the heart never contradicts the Spirit in the word. Those desires that are contrary to the will of God do not come from the Spirit. The Spirit interceding in us evermore melts our wills into the will of God” (Ibid).

Sing or pray Psalter #255.


April 23 – Pray for the Holy Spirit

Read Matt. 7:7–12

In Matthew 6:31-33 Jesus calls us to seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, “and all these things” – our earthly needs, like food and clothing –“shall be added unto you.”  One way in which we seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness is through prayer.  According to Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 116, prayer is necessary for Christians “because God will give his grace and Holy Spirit to those only who with sincere desires continually asks them of him, and are thankful for them.”

In the passage that we read today, Jesus teaches us regarding the frequency and fervency that must characterize our prayers, and reassures us that our heavenly Father will always give us good things.  In the parallel passage in Luke 11, Jesus names those “good things.”  He says, “How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”  “In this way, [we] will set little value on food and clothing, as compared to the earnest and pledge of [our] adoption,” [knowing that] when God has given so valuable a treasure, he will not refuse smaller favors” (Matthew Henry).

Sing or pray Psalter #255.


April 24 – Do Not Grieve the Holy Spirit

Read Ephesians 4–5:5

“God is Person, and in the deep of His mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys,  feels, loves, desires, and suffers as any other person may” (A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God).  That’s why he, through the inspired apostle Paul, warns us not to grieve him.

You probably know what grieves your siblings, your parents, and your friends, because they’ve communicated those things to you.  We know what grieves the Holy Spirit, too, because he has revealed that in the word.  The Holy Spirit is grieved when we live like unbelievers (4:17–19,) when we lie (4:25), when we are sinfully angry or bitter (4:26, 31), when steal by our refusal to work (4:28), when we use our mouths for foolishness or jesting rather loving edification (4:29 and 5:3), when we refuse to forgive (4:32), when we engage in sexual immorality (5:3), and when we are covetous (5:4).  In short, the Holy Spirit is holy: all the sinful actions of God’s people grieve him.

Sing or pray #255.


April 25 – The Holy Spirit Conforms Us to the Image of Christ

Read John 3:16–36

God gives his Holy Spirit to his children in different measures, but to his Son, Jesus Christ, God gave “not the Spirit by measure.”  That is, the Holy Spirit dwelt in our Savior in all of his fullness. “The incarnate Son of God did nothing in this world independent of God the Spirit” (Chantry).  “Jesus Christ is the picture of the Spirit’s perfect work.  The Holy Spirit was Jesus’ constant companion” (John MacArthur)

Knowing that the Son of God did not live upon this earth without the constant ministry and enablement of the Holy Ghost, “it is not to be imagined that we mere creatures can please God in anything apart from the power of the Spirit” (Chantry).  The Holy Spirit is the one who conforms us to the image of Jesus Christ.  For what evidence of the Spirit’s work should you and I look?  In the days ahead, we’re going to study Jesus’ life in order to better understand the work of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.

Sing or pray #255.


April 26 – The Holy Spirit Gives Life

Read Luke 1:26–38

We confess in the Apostles’ Creed that Jesus was “conceived by the Holy Spirit.”  That is, “God’s eternal Son…took upon Himself the very nature of man…by the operation of the Holy Ghost” (Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 35).  Because he was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary, Jesus Christ was both very God and a real righteous man.  Thanks to that work of the Holy Spirit, we have the only mediator and deliverer who is able to make satisfaction for our sins.

Jesus Christ’s human life began as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit.  Through the work of the Holy Spirit, he entered the kingdom of men.  Not only is the Holy Spirit the creator of our physical lives with God the Father and God the Son, our spiritual lives begin by the work of the Spirit.  He gives us spiritual birth, a new heart, and eternal life.  Our Savior said, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

Sing or pray #255.


April 27 – The Holy Spirit Regenerates

Read John 3:1–15

The fall of our first parents brought more than physical death: it brought spiritual death.  Question and answer eight of the Heidelberg Catechism define our spiritual condition this way: we are wholly incapable of doing any good, and inclined to all wickedness.  We noted yesterday that one is freed from this state of corruption by the work of the Holy Spirit.  That work of the Holy Spirit is commonly called “regeneration.”  Regneration means “rebirth.”

According to the Essentials catechism book, regeneration is “the first work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the elect sinner.”  Regeneration is wholly the work of the Holy Spirit.  Just as a baby has nothing to do with being born into the world, so you and I have nothing to do with our rebirth into the kingdom God (Doctrine According to Godliness).  Just as a dead branch cannot engraft itself into a living vine, so we are incapable of engrafting ourselves into the true vine.

How can you know if you have been born again?  Like a healthy infant, you will grow.  Like an engrafted branch, you will bring forth fruit.

Sing or pray Psalter #287.


April 28 – The Holy Spirit Gives Growth

Read Luke 2:40–52

It is the nature of living things to mature and grow.  Jesus “grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him” (Luke 2:40).  This inner growth was visible to those around him.  He astounded the theologians of the day with his understanding of God’s word.  His parents recognized his wisdom and maturity.  As Jesus grew physically, he grew “in favor with God and man.”

We noted yesterday that those who have been given a spiritual birth must be characterized by spiritual growth.  How does one who is reborn in the image of Christ grow?  That growth is the work of the Holy Spirit, but it is a work in which we are called to be active.  We grow through careful study and application of God’s word: “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: so shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man” (Prov. 3:1–4).

Sing or pray Psalter #287.


April 29 – Kinship to God

Read Ephesians 1:1–14

At present, I am our nine-month old’s favorite person.  Whenever I come into view, his face breaks into a smile, and he reaches out his little arms for me.

In The Pursuit of God A.W. Tozer writes, “The moment the Spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition.”  Isn’t that a beautiful picture?  He continues, “That is the heavenly birth without which we cannot see the Kingdom of God.  It is, however, not an end but an inception, for now begins the glorious pursuit, the heart’s happy exploration of the infinite riches of the God head.  That is where we begin, I say, but where we stop no man has yet discovered, for there is in the awful and mysterious depths of the Triune God neither limit not end.”

Because Christ’s work has been applied to us by the Holy Spirit, that limitless, endless God is our Father, whom we are called to know more and more.  Doesn’t that make your heart leap for joy?

Sing or pray Psalter #287.


April 30 – We Are Baptized in the Name of the Father, Spirit, and Son

Read Mark 1

The Biblical accounts of Jesus’ baptism are sometimes used to prove the doctrine of the Trinity, for all three divine persons were manifest on that occasion.  God the Son received the sign of baptism, God the Father spoke from heaven, and God the Holy Spirit descended upon the Son in the form of a dove.

Water baptism is a sign of a spiritual reality.  According to our baptism form, when we are baptized with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that sign points to these spiritual realities: First, God the Father makes his covenant with us and adopts us to be his children and heirs.  Second, the Son seals to us the promise that we are washed from our sins and that we are righteous before God.  And third, the Holy Spirit assures us that He will dwell in us and sanctify us until our lives end.  Are you a recipient of that spiritual baptism?  Then you are also consecrated—that is, set apart—to love the Lord and to walk in a new and holy life (Essentials, Lesson 26).

Sing or pray Psalter #287.


May 1 – The Holy Spirit Works Sorrow

Read Ezekiel 36:22–31

When we think of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the life of those who are converted, we tend to think of things that are positive and pleasant.  Perhaps we first recall the fruits of the Spirit that are listed in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance, or self-control.  Or maybe we focus on the truth that he is our comforter.  These things are true, but we must not forget that the first positive fruit that the Spirit works isn’t so pleasant: that fruit is the fruit of sorrow.

The prophet Ezekiel predicts this fruit in Ezekiel 36.  God says that when he sanctifies his people and gives them a new heart and a new spirit, “Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves.”  Zechariah 12:10 also testifies that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit would result in mourning and bitterness.  And in the upper room Jesus taught that the promised comforter would “reprove the world of sin” (John 16:8)

Has he convicted you of your sins?  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5:4).

Sing or pray Psalter #287.


May 2 – The Holy Spirit Anointed Christ

Isaiah 11:1–9

Old Testament prophets, priests, and kings were anointed with oil.  That sign symbolized their spiritual anointing, for the anointing of the Holy Spirit qualified and enabled them to fulfill their offices.  Yet Old Testament saints lived in the awareness that the daily sacrifices of the priests did not atone for sin, they chafed under the rule of the king for whom they had asked, and they looked for the great prophet of whom the prophets foretold.  They sought the Messiah, or Christ, which means “anointed one.”  He who was the very Word of God in the flesh would atone for their sins once and for all.  He was the King whose glorious, peaceful kingdom would never end.

Jesus identified himself as the “anointed one” early in his ministry, when he read from the book of Isaiah in Nazareth’s synagogue on the Sabbath day.  All who heard him understood what he meant when he read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me…” (Luke 4:18). Christ is the one who “hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity”; therefore God, even our God, has anointed him with the oil of gladness above his fellows (Heb 1:9).

Sing or pray Psalter #287.


May 3 – The Holy Spirit Anoints Us

Read Acts 2:1–21

As members of Christ by faith, we share in his anointing with the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit was active in the Old Testament: he regenerated the Old Testament saints and worked faith in their hearts.  He sanctified them.  But the extraordinary endowing power of the Spirit was limited to a few.  As we saw yesterday, ordinarily those who were anointed with the Spirit were prophets, priests, and kings.  The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost signaled that the Holy Spirit would now dwell in all of God’s people, including those who were Gentiles.

Because we are partakers of Christ’s anointing, we share his name: we are called Christians.  Christians are prophets, who confess the name of Jesus Christ; priests, who present themselves as living sacrifices of thankfulness to Him; and kings, who fight against sin and Satan in this life.  They are those who look forward to reigning with their anointed, risen, and ascended Lord over all creatures for eternity (Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 32).

Sing or pray Psalter #141.


May 4 – Anointed to be a Prophet

Read Numbers 11:16–40

We have a tendency to misunderstand what a prophet is.  We are inclined to think of prophets as those who foretell the future, equating the word “prophesy” with “predict.”  It’s true that sometimes in the Old Testament telling the future was incidental to the message that God’s prophets brought, but the word prophet as it is used in the Bible essentially means “to bubble over.”  Like a fountain bubbles over with water, so a prophet bubbles over with the word of God.

Jesus is the Word of God in the flesh.  “God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” (Heb. 1:2).  That Son is the “more sure word of prophecy” (1Pet. 1:19-21).  Because we have been anointed with his Spirit, we are able to understand the will and counsel of God in the infallibly inspired written word.  We experience the reality for which Moses longed: “Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and the Lord would put his spirit upon them!”

Sing or pray Psalter #141.


May 5 – Anointed to be a Prophet (2)

Read John 7:37–44

The same HolySpirit who breathed the scriptures enables us to understand them.  1 John 2:27 reads, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you.”  1 Cor. 14:32 verifies that a prophet is one who knows and shares God’s word, that others may learn and be comforted.  You and I are called to bubble forth with “things touching the King” (Ps.45:1).

That King is the fountain of living water.  He is the Word who said, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).  That’s a strange expression with a beautiful meaning.  “Whosoever shall believe in Christ shall have a fountain of life springing up, as it were, in himself…The Holy Spirit is like a living and continually flowing fountain in believers” (Calvin).

When that fountains bubbles within you, it is impossible that you not bubble over with the wonderful works of the Lord.

Sing or pray Psalter #141.


May 6 – Anointed to be a Priest (1)

Read Romans 12

In the third verse of beautiful, familiar Psalm 100, God’s saints are referred to as his “people” and as the “sheep of his pasture.”  In the very next verse, they are enjoined to enter his gates – the gates of the temple – with thanksgiving.  As I read that verse, I always wonder if the psalmist has in mind the throngs of people who entered the temple court, or the throngs of sheep.  The throngs of sheep were there for one purpose: they were to be sacrificed.

We are God’s anointed people.  As those who have been anointed to the office of priest, we are called to offer ourselves as living sacrifices of thankfulness unto him.  Do you remember that a priest is one who is consecrated?  One who is consecrated is “set apart” or “separated.”  He is separated from the service of sin and to the service of God.  According to the inspired apostle, the living sacrifice of ourselves is the reasonable or fitting way in which we must serve our God.

Sing or pray Psalter #141.


May 7 – Anointed to be a Priest (2)

Read Psalm 100

The words of the familiar hymn “Take My Life and Let it Be” describe the life of the saint who is consecrated to God.

Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.  Take my moments and my days, let them flow in endless praise.  Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love. Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee. Take my voice and let me sing, always, only for my King. Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee.  Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold.  Take my intellect and use every power as Thou shalt choose.  Take my will and make it Thine, It shall be no longer mine.  Take my heart, it is Thine own, it shall be Thy royal throne.

Do those words describe your life?

Sing or pray Psalter #141.