Courtesy of Erik Fish http://erikfish.com/

[pocket] Disciple guides you through seven experiences with Jesus.

Do each experience over drinks or a meal with a group of friends.

Following Jesus is best experienced with others!
Third Experience [fire]

GOAL – Recognize and receive the Holy Spirit.

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. – Luke 3:16

CARING FOR ONE ANOTHER

      1. What are you thankful for this week?
      1. What has been challenging for you recently?

FOLLOW-UP

      1. Who did you tell about the things you experienced in the last section? How did it go?

A POWERFUL BLAZE

There is one God. God reveals himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When Jesus ascended to heaven, he didn’t leave us alone. He promised he would send the Holy Spirit to be with us. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “spreading like wildfire.” The Holy Spirit is like that—a powerful blaze that will propel you forward in God’s purpose for your life and the planet.

God sends the Holy Spirit to empower you, encourage you, lead you, teach you, and bless you with spiritual gifts. Some people experience gifts of the Holy Spirit the same day they begin following Jesus. For others, it is a more gradual experience. Sometimes gifts are received later, during specific moments. Let’s look at a few stories about people experiencing the Holy Spirit.

Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen.

A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria.2 (Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.)3 But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison.

4 But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went.5 Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah.6 Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did.7 Many evil spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed.8 So there was great joy in that city.

9 A man named Simon had been a sorcerer there for many years, amazing the people of Samaria and claiming to be someone great.10 Everyone, from the least to the greatest, often spoke of him as “the Great One—the Power of God.”11 They listened closely to him because for a long time he had astounded them with his magic.

12 But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized.13 Then Simon himself believed and was baptized. He began following Philip wherever he went, and he was amazed by the signs and great miracles Philip performed.

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there.15 As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit.16 The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.17 Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:1-17).

New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

      1. What do you see about the Holy Spirit from these Scriptures?

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions until he reached Ephesus, on the coast, where he found several believers.2 “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them.

“No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

3 “Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked.

And they replied, “The baptism of John.”

4 Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.”

5 As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.6 Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied.7 There were about twelve men in all  (Acts 19:1-7, NLT)

      1. What do you see about the Holy Spirit from these Scriptures?

GOING DEEPER

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you (John 14:16-17, NLT).

19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said.20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:19-22, NLT).

In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit.3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before.5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:1-8, NLT).

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. (Galatians 5:22-25, NLT).

Tongues and Prophecy

1 Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy. (1 Corinthians 14:1, NLT).

MAKE IT PERSONAL

How Can I Receive the Holy Spirit?

9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead?12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not!13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” (Luke 11:9-13, NLT).

You can receive the Holy Spirit by simply asking with a surrendered heart. People sometimes ask for the Holy Spirit while another follower of Jesus places their hands on them and prays for them.

DISCUSS

Do you want God to fill you with the Holy Spirit? You can receive the Holy Spirit by simply asking with a surrendered heart. People sometimes ask for the Holy Spirit while another follower of Jesus places their hands on them and prays for them. 

      1. Do you want God to fill you with the Holy Spirit?

ACTION

Pray to receive the Holy Spirit. You can pray something like this out loud together: “Father, you promise to give the Holy Spirit to all those who ask you. I want the power of your Holy Spirit in my life. I desire the fruit of the Holy Spirit. I desire gifts from the Holy Spirit. I ask you for them. I ask you to fill me with the Holy Spirit.”

Be still and wait for a few moments. Focus on Jesus and God the Father’s love for you. You may receive a picture in your mind that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. If you feel something stirring inside you, pray out loud. It may be a prayer, a prophecy (a word from God), tongues (speaking in another language), or a strong sense of peace and closeness to God. You may feel something or you may not. Sometimes people experience more tangible manifestations of the Holy Spirit at a later time. Don’t be afraid—God will only give good gifts to his children!

GIVE IT AWAY

      1. Sharing with others what you have received from God is the greatest blessing. Who do you know who needs to hear what you learned from God in this section?

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES

To read more on this topic, you can look up:

Luke 3:15-16

Luke 24:35-49

John 14:26

John 16:12-15

Acts 1 and 2

Acts 10

Romans 8:15-16

Romans 8:2

I Corinthians 2:1-5

I Corinthians 12, 13, & 14

Galatians 5:22-26

Ephesians 1:13-14