September 1 Luke 10:21-24 JOY AND THE SPIRIT This devotion is really a mini-study of the particular word for joy (Greek: agialliasthai) used in the following places in Luke’s narratives. Luke 1:47 — ‘My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.’ Mary has become pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit, who in turn fills Elizabeth with joy when her cousin arrives. The verse is portion of Mary’s enthusiastic hymn. Luke 10:21 — ‘In that same hour he [Jesus] rejoiced in the Holy Spirit.’ The seventy have returned from their mission, and Jesus rejoices that their names are written in heaven. Acts 2:26 — ‘Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced.’ This is part of Peter’s Spirit-inspired Pentecost sermon. He quotes a psalm to show that death could not hold Christ. Acts 16:34 — ‘[The jailer at Philippi] rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God.’ The jailer has just come to believe in Jesus. These four instances have a common factor. They speak of Christ and his saving purpose. The first three speak of the Spirit; so, when the word joy is used of the jailer, we cannot help picturing the Spirit at work there as well. We are people who have faith. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, for faith is not of our own manufacture. Because we have this Spirit- bestowed faith we accept Christ’s death and resurrection for us, and we accept it in joy. The joy of the early church at the spread of the good news was no mad enthusiasm; it was a God-given joy. This is what makes true ‘Pentecostals’ — what we, indeed, are! We can be nothing else, for ‘the fruit of the Spirit is... joy’ (Gal. 5:22). Dear Spirit awaken in us the real joy of faith. Amen.
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