The word for the day is “serendipity!” Do you know what “serendipity” means? The dictionary says it means “the gift of finding something valuable or agreeable not sought for,” in other words, “finding something great by accident! “Serendipity” has happened many times throughout history. It happened when penicillen was discovered. Alexander Fleming was doing some normal lab work in a London hospital when he noticed mold had formed on a bacteria culture. He observed with amazement the mold consuming the bacteria. Alexander Fleming studied further into this phenomena and discovered that the mold destroyed masses of germs. From this simple observation he discovered antibiotics which have saved multitudes of lives. Serendipity!

A fellow named Christopher Columbus launched on a journey sailing west. He thought by sailing this direction that he would discover a faster route to the trading countries of the Far East. But whoops!! The earth was much bigger than he thought it was. Instead of discovering a new route to China, he discovered America. Serendipity! As a result of this man’s “mistake,” practically every American knows who Christopher Columbus is today! He’s our hero because through “serendipity” he discovered our homeland.

The Bible talks about acts of “serendipity” as well. There was a man tinkering around in a field and he discovered an incredible treasure. As a result he went and sold all that he had so he could buy the field, and the hidden treasure Then there was another man who was a merchant who searched the world for the most unique and valuable pearls. He stumbled upon just one “pearl of great price,” and likewise, he went and sold all that he had so he could buy it.

So here were two men. They stumble upon the most incredible find of a lifetime and they must respond, and respond quickly. Individually they conclude that they cannot live without the treasure they have discovered and they do the most far-out, extreme act to get it. One man sold everything that he had and bought the field that contained the treasure that he had found. The other man sold everything he had in order to buy the pearl of great price. In a nutshell, Jesus says “the Kingdom of heaven is like unto...” these particular illustrations (Matthew 13:44) So when we enter the spiritual realm of the Kingdom of heaven, there may not be fireworks, a vision or a grand display of some kind, but something big happens in our hearts! We recognize this is what we’ve been yearning for, and we must respond, and respond quickly. All of a sudden the worldly things that were invaluable and precious to us yesterday, today are on the back burner. There is a change in priorities. Our decisions, our goals and our objectives are completely different. In fact, if it were necessary to sell everything that we owned to obtain Christ and Christ alone, we would do it in a heartbeat. There is repentance in our hearts for past sins and mistakes. Our hearts long for more and more of the Divine! This is the Bible’s definition of conversion!!

It’s a sad fact today that there are many with their names listed as members of churches that have not had this experience. The Bible speaks of this type of experience in Acts chapter19. Paul visited the believers in Ephesus and he asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? And they said, No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” (Acts 19:2) Now these believers had already repented and had been baptized. They walked the walk and talked the talk. Yet it is possible to love God’s lifestyle, love His principles, but have never surrendered to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps these people had intellectually fallen in love with the message of the Savior and the story of salvation, rather than with Jesus Christ Himself. Perhaps the information never made it out of the mind and into the heart. And folks, without the Holy Spirit in our hearts, all we have is a head-full of information and a place to socialize each week.

Inspiration tells us to “Impress upon all the necessity of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the sanctification of the church, so that they will be living, growing, fruit-bearing trees of the Lord’s planting.” (T6, 86) Some may see the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an experience that by necessity should bring a highly emotional, sensational moment. Some, quite frankly, are afraid of it. Many are cautious because they want a genuine experience from God, but aren’t really sure how to get it or recognize it. I personally have prayed and continue to pray for more and yet more of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Since the Bible says we are to walk “by faith and not by sight,” it does not alarm me if I get no visible proof or response from God at the time of the prayer. But He does give evidence. As I have continued to make this request I have discovered that the Holy Spirit softly and tenderly manifests Himself in my life. A conviction enters my heart gently, and He gives me the ability to make a change in my life. An unanswered question is answered “with neon lights” in an common everyday occurrence. My prayers are taken in new directions, as if led by un unseen Hand. He opens wide new avenues of creativity to expand my ministry for Him. And the list goes on. I have concluded that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a destination, but a journey.

Yes, “the Kingdom is like unto...” serendipity! We discover Treasure. But it will never ever really be ours unless we respond with everything we have and everything we are!

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