Part 1: Filled with Agape - by Ben Bonython
And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Matthew 13:58
Matthew 13 records that Jesus did only a few miracles because the people who knew Jesus did not believe He was who He said He was. Think about the time before Pentecost. Those who walked with Jesus had doubts. Many were still waiting for the Messiah, even while Jesus was in their midst. Some worshipped while others doubted as Jesus ascended to Heaven. The one who proclaimed Jesus as the son of God, denied Jesus.
But after Pentecost, everything changes. Paul captures this in Romans
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5
Romans 5 connects agape love directly with being filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul sees this indwelling of the Holy Spirit as the ongoing work of Pentecost. The unrelenting and unconditional love of God is not just given to us, but is there to fill us to overflowing. The agape love of God sent Jesus to earth so that we might believe in Him and enjoy eternal life. For the follower of Jesus, we need to desire the filling of the Spirit, to be dwelt by agape love so that it may change us inside out.
Agape love fills us with the power of God and transforms us to effective witness. The starting point is rebirth, and being born of spirit and receiving a new heart. And into this new heart, the person of the Holy Spirit seeks to fill us with agape love. Only from agape, can we truely exercising His power. And it always reminds us that God always works from the inside out. God starts with our heart, we believe in His transforming power at work in us, and our witness of His love and power follows.
What is being filled with the Holy Spirit? It is being filled with agape Love - a love that must come from God and must continually come from God. This is what Jesus said when He use to remain in Him - He is the vine -the source of agape - and we are the branches - the carries and conduits of agape...
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not unusual - it is to experience the way, to know the truth and live the life.