Northway Christian Church – Dallas, Texas
Day 1 – Friday, May 15, 2015
The Proof of the Holy Spirit’s Presence is Love
Scripture – I John 4:7-13
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
In the 17th century when Presbyterians and Episcopalians were feuding in Scotland, the Episcopal Archbishop James Usher was traveling incognito through southern Scotland and arrived one Saturday night at the home of the Presbyterian minister Samuel Rutherford. He was received with characteristic hospitality. It was the custom of the Rutherford home on Saturday evening for all the family members and guests to gather for catechetical instruction under the direction of Rev. Rutherford. The question that was addressed to them that evening was, “How many commandments are there?” To which Archbishop Usher answered “eleven!” Everyone present thought that he was truly ignorant.
The next morning Rutherford rose early to pray in a nearby grove of trees before Sunday morning worship, and he was surprised to find his house guest from the previous night – the “ignorant” one – already there kneeling in fervent prayer. The Archbishop upon disclosing his true identity, was asked by Rev. Rutherford to preach the morning service in his stead. And standing in the pulpit later that morning, Archbishop Usher read John 13:34 – “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another.” Rutherford, sitting beside his wife in a pew, leaned over and whispered in her era, “There you have the eleventh commandment!”
Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire;
strengthen your children with the gift of faith,
revive your Church with the breath of love,
and renew the face of the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.