The Comforter 

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 If you are a new Christian, or possibly one who feels weak, and you are searching for a peace and comfort you haven't experienced yet; this comes through a closer relationship with God.  Receiving Jesus as your Savior is only the beginning of your newness of life and there is a lot more glory to come!  Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" John 14:15.  The Bible also says, "Love not the world or the things that are in the world.  If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" 1 John 2:15.  Do you want more of God and less of your old self and the distractions of the world?  Before Jesus ascended up into heaven, after His resurrection, He instructed the disciples, "...do not leave Jerusalem; wait there for the promise of the Father that I spoke to you about.  You will be baptized with the Holy Ghost in a few days."  He went on to say, "You will receive power and you will be witnesses ...to the uttermost part of the earth" Acts 1:4-8.  A lot of Christians in the world today stop short in their relationship with God by not praying for the gift of the Holy Ghost.  They believe it was only for the apostles, or they believe they are automatically filled with the Holy Ghost once they say the "sinner's prayer."  The apostles were already saved and ministering when Jesus told them to remain in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Ghost.  There is another incident (Acts 10), when Peter went to visit Cornelius and his family and while he spoke to them, the Holy Ghost fell on Cornelius and his household and they spoke with tongues (the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost); just as the apostles and others (120 people) were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues (different languages) in Acts 2.  The apostle Paul encountered disciples in Ephesus and he asked them if they received the Holy Ghost "since you believed."  These disciples were already Christians.  They told Paul they had not even heard of the "Holy Ghost."  Paul then laid hands on them and they received the gift of the Holy Ghost and they spoke in tongues and prophesied (Acts 19:1-6).  What many Christians fail to realize is that the gift of the Holy Ghost is separate from salvation.  We do receive Christ when we get saved and the Spirit dwells in us, but the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues is similar to receiving the call from God to prophecy.  Not all Christians are prophets, but the Bible specifically tells us that this gift of the Holy Ghost is available to all who ask (Acts 2:38-39).  The gift of the Holy Ghost provides power for service, but we have to be willing to serve and surrender all in obedience to God.  If our hearts are in the right place and we want more of God, and if we ask for the gift of the Holy Ghost, He will freely give it to His people.  Jesus said, "I will pray to the Father and He will give you another Comforter who will abide with you forever" John14:16.  This was the promise Jesus told His disciples about before He ascended to heaven.  Here he refers to the Holy Ghost as the Comforter.  Speaking first hand, I can tell you that not only does the gift of the Holy Ghost give God's people power for service, but the Holy Ghost is the Comforter, like no other.  The Holy Ghost gives peace which passes our ability to understand (Philippians 4:7).  It is really indescribable and must be experienced by someone to fully realize the impact this has on your spiritual walk with God.  If you are a Christian, but you have not yet received the gift of the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking in other tongues (a heavenly language, or sometimes even a language known somewhere in the world, but one you have never spoken before), I can't encourage you enough to pray and ask God for this special, indescribable experience.  Sometimes it takes a bit of time.  The apostles had to wait in a room for a number of days in Jerusalem before the Holy Ghost fell; at other times, it comes instantly (God's time is not our time).  If you do not receive it immediately, continue to delegate time for prayer to seek the Holy Ghost.  It is also important to be yielded, allowing the Spirit of God to move in you, because some people hesitate, not having experienced this before.  The Bible says that the witnesses of the down-pouring of the Holy Ghost on the apostles actually thought they were drunk (Acts 2:13).  When the Holy Ghost fell on them, they were so anointed with the power of God, they felt a certain Spiritual "high" which was mistaken for drunkenness.  I encourage you to pray, seek God and literally get "drunk on the Spirit of God" - you will never be the same!  God bless you!  


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