Ministry Resources

Day 45: Before and After

Author: Pastor Larry & Pat Downing

You’ve seen them before. Pictures of huge, overweight people who discovered the perfect diet and then appear in magazines saying, “I lost 163 pounds!” The difference is jaw-dropping. You naturally share their sense of pride and respect their discipline. As a boy I read muscle magazines, determined to be the next Mr. Universe. I was the “before picture”––the skinny kid who dreamed of a barrel chest, biceps larger than my waist, a washboard stomach, and thunderous thighs.

Before and after images still woo us––Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Biggest Loser, Debbie Boone’s Lifestyle Lift. Their attraction is the compelling contrast between life before and life after. Consider, then, the contrast between the Christian life before and the Christian life after the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Raised in a mainline Protestant denomination, I have lived in both places. The difference is like night and day––like a desert wilderness compared to an oasis garden. With the glorious Holy Spirit baptism comes an abundance of grace and gifts rarely, or never, accessed by those who have not been filled with the Spirit. The after Christians shall:• receive power, be witnesses (Acts 1:8)

• speak with other tongues (Acts 2:4)

• prophesy, see visions, dream dreams (Acts 2:17)

• magnify God (Acts 10:46)

• live according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:5)

• put to death the deeds of the body (Rom. 8:13)

• receive gifts of the Spirit (I Cor. 12:4)

• walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16)

• be led by the Spirit (Gal. 5:18)

This is the Promise. This is the Gift. Embrace the after!


• Reflect on your life before you received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Think about the differences in your life after you received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

• Jump deeper into the well of the Spirit and let Him show you new dimensions of who He is. Listen for His voice and move whenever He moves.

• Ask the Holy Spirit to show you people in your path today who need a touch from Him. Be the person who will reach out and touch them with His love and power!


Acts 1:4–5; John 7:37–39; 2 Corinthians 3:5–6

Pastor Larry & Pat Downing
Foothills Community Church
Collections of thoughts from varied sources
Scripture verses from KJV or NIV unless specified

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