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January 29, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | January 29

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For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

God accepts only one currency for salvation: Faith. Repentance and baptism are authentic expressions of faith in the person and work of Christ. The result: salvation and forgiveness of sins. Many of those listening to Peter must have been thinking, Sounds good to me, and they wanted in right there. But Peter continued forcefully: “But that’s not all!” With that one, sincere expression of faith, in addition to forgiveness of sins, God wants to give you a second gift as well. You will receive … (drum roll please!) … The gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). In just one day we have just gone from bunches of Christians to bushels. Over 3,000 people believed in the Lord (Acts 2:41).

Under God’s direction Peter delivered what the French call the pièce de résistance, which refers to the best feature of something or some experience. It was good already, right? Who doesn’t want forgiveness and permanent peace with God? But just as a good number started making their way forward, Peter dropped the bomb: the pièce de résistance of God’s salvation and transformation plan called the gift of the Holy Spirit. Just the idea of a mysterious gift tripled the anticipation.

Arguably the Holy Spirit is the least understood person of the Trinity. Quite simply, He’s God’s presence and power in and through the believer. The One who helps us, speaks to us, guides us. That’s an incredible gift to receive, and all believers—starting in that Upper Room nearly 2,000 years ago—have access to this Gift.

Gifts are synonymous with anticipation and excitement. Gifts create hope and contain the mysterious “New.” That’s the nature of a gift—and in the Holy Spirit, we have a gift free of strings, and full of strength and power.

Father, thank you for the faith you have given me. Now fill me with the gift of your Spirit.

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