ODJ: Changed Forever

December 13, 2017 

READ: Mark 1:1-9 

I baptise you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit! (v.8).

Loneliness. Lynsi Snyder felt it engulf her at eighteen years old when her father died. Trying to fill the void, she abused substances, was married and divorced three times, and ended up still feeling alone and like a “piece of rubbish”.

But then everything changed. She turned to Jesus. His love filled the void in her heart as the Holy Spirit filled her with hope and joy. The heiress and president of the In-N-Out Burger chain in America, Lynsi is now married to a godly man and runs a ministry that seeks “to unite and equip the Body of Christ to minister and bring healing to broken-hearted and hurting people through Christ’s love and by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Prior to Jesus’ ministry on earth, John the baptiser proclaimed to “all of Judea” that One was coming to “baptise [them] with the Holy Spirit!” (Mark 1:5,8). Fulfilling the prophecies of Isaiah and Malachi, John “prepare[d] the way for the Lord’s coming” (vv.2-3). Those who were convicted by John’s words entered the waters to experience a baptism of repentance—showing they had “turned to God to be forgiven” (v.4).

Jesus came to earth to offer Himself as a living sacrifice for our sins and—ultimately—to provide an inner baptism of the Holy Spirit. Just prior to His death, He said, “It is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the [Holy Spirit] won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you” (John 16:7).

When we receive salvation through belief in Jesus, we’re indwelt by and baptised with the Holy Spirit. Although our eternal life in Christ is secure, the process of spiritual transformation is lifelong. Like Lynsi, we’re changed forever even as we continue to grow to be more like Jesus as the Spirit works within us!

—Tom Felten

365-day plan: 2 Timothy 1:1-18

Read Rom. 8:9-14 and think about how the Holy Spirit continues to transform you if you’re a believer in Jesus. 
How does the Holy Spirit work within you day by day? Why is it vital for you to yield to the work of the Spirit in your life?