As we have been talking about Jesus knocking at the door and God’s forgiveness, I have been reflecting on when forgiveness first became real to me, and I opened the door to welcome Jesus into my life. I was in an evening church service saying the Lord’s prayer. As I was reciting the words “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”, which I had done many times, they suddenly came alive. I realised that Jesus died for me and it was my sin that He had died to forgive, and I surrendered my life to Him, grateful for all he had done.
I have also been thinking back to the first time I was baptised with the Holy Spirit. I was in the middle of London at Hyde Park; we were out on the streets telling people about Jesus. It had been a dry challenging week, but that morning I had heard about the need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and had invited Him to fill me. That afternoon and evening I remember the sense of His presence was so strong, it felt like I could tangibly reach out and touch Him with my hands.
As we have talked about renewing our covenant with God, I have become conscious that there is more for me to receive. It isn’t that I have not had other encounters with the presence of the Holy Spirit since then, but there was a boldness and passion that followed my first encounter with Him that I am no longer walking in. As I take this step of renewing my covenant with Him, I believe God will deepen my love for Him, deepen my love for my brothers and sisters, and deepen my love for those who do not know Jesus. This will lead to a renewed boldness and passion to see His purpose fulfilled in me, and in the lives of the people he has put me among. So watch out!