“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:1-4 NIV
As we consider all that was unfolding during the time that the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, let’s look at the surrounding situation that those who followed Jesus were called to face.
It must have been a truly emotional time for them. I can imagine the confusion that they had to deal with, the questions of doubt and uncertainty and yet while they were sifting through all the mess and chaos, God was about do to something incredible in their lives and in their world.
Fifty days before this as they assembled at the cross, they could not have imagined that this very hour of brokenness was going to quickly fade and they themselves would be walking in a demonstration of the power of the One they now were seeing lying limp with nails in his body, and a crown of thorns on his head. They could not have seen that all of this, was going to release into their personal lives a shift from a God who walked with them, to a God who dwelt in them, but it would require a letting go of what was and all they seen as the way it needed to be done in order to embrace what was ahead.
Pentecost brought change
Up to this point, the followers of Jesus still embraced the idea of the law being their way to life and it was the only system in place until Christ the passover lamb was crucified and took on our sins once and for all. The thing is, while this was GOOD NEWS, it still required a letting go of the old in order to receive what Christ had done. Continuing to return to the annual sacrifice when it was not necessary would only keep their hearts in a place where ritual and religion would replace relationship and personal journey with God.
Pentecost was bringing to the world and to those who encountered it the Holy Spirit who wanted to be a part of the daily and moment by moment journey of our hearts. The once a year thing was left up to someone else to make atonement for me. The work of the Holy Spirit would bring conviction of sin to my life immediately and because I loved Him I would seek to allow all sin to be immediately brought to the foot of the Cross.
It also began something new. The Church. While we let go of what was, God is birthing the new thing that He wants to do. We can fight it, or embrace it. For those who embrace where He is taking us, we will receive all that we need to enter in and be supplied.
Pentecost brought power to tell your story
Pentecost brought into the life of everyone who received what God was doing, the present indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He came, and brought power into the weak to be strong and to rise up and be witnesses to the Truth of who Christ was. The Holy Spirit fell upon people, but in falling lived in the life of the believer and gave them everything they needed to tell the world around them what they had heard and seen of Jesus. This is true in our lives today. We are not called to testify of what we don’t know but of what we have seen and heard…rather of who. We all have experienced God work in our lives. I don’t need to tell what God has done in you. I need to share what he has done in me and as I do, no one can take away my story. It is my journey with God. It makes me who I am.
Pentecost is about the promise of His return
Pentecost is also about the promise of His return. When Jesus left, He said to his disciples and all who stood there, the same way that I go, I will return. They were watching Jesus depart. They were losing what they had known for the past number of years, but He made a promise to them. I am coming back. This is the blessed hope for every believer. He is coming for us Church. While many have spoken that he will not come, we have a promise…..from his very mouth. He will return. He has never failed on one of his promises and he will not fail on this one either. We need to keep our eyes fixed upon Him and look up because our redemption draws nigh.
Sue Holmes says:June 5, 2020 at 8:33 pm
The first thing to stand out in the recount of the disciples in the upper room is that they were isolated … but together. Although this a bit off the topic of Holy Spirit’s indwelling, it brought to mind the significance of meeting together.
(And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Heb. 10: 24-25 )
The disciples could have each gone their separate ways & been even more isolated when Holy Spirit came. But God knew the synergy that would come when His Holy Spirit was poured out on His people together in one place with one purpose. The encouragement & assurance that can come from each other cannot be overrated. We experienced this to a degree when we were first allowed to meet as a ‘drive-in’ assembly. Just to know that our brothers & sisters were there in the other vehicles with Karen & Pastor Freda conducting the services meant so much. It makes me wonder how much greater the joy when we finally can look across the aisle & see each other assembled together.
That time of being together when they experienced the intimacy of Holy Spirit led to one of the greatest evangelistic services of that time. I wonder what Holy Spirit can do through us when we meet together – if we allow Him.
PENTECOST BROUGHT CHANGE:
We are hearing a lot about ‘our new normal’ these days. What is it & what will it look like. We have a God who never changes (Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Heb 13:8) but is continually bringing something new to our journey. (Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:19)
Whether it is changing our perspective through His word, changing our mission, commission or intermission, or changing our love for Him & His Church … He will take us through the changes needed to bring us where He needs us – if we are willing.
“it still required a letting go of the old in order to receive what Christ had done.”
Holy Spirit is very patient in nudging me along in His direction but I must admit to being sometimes a bit hesitant (sometimes it is more than just a bit) in the ‘letting go of the old’ part. That often is the only part required of me but the most difficult to accomplish. Taking that first timid step out of my comfort zone without the hand of Holy Spirit is scary.
PENTECOST BROUGHT POWER TO TELL YOUR STORY:
I so appreciate that you said “He came, and brought power …”. So often I have seen Holy Spirit referred to as simply a power. “He came & He brought” denotes a personal impartation. That in itself is a story of how He has impacted my life. That He brought me power to tell my story takes so much pressure off. One doesn’t need a PHD in order to tell of the amazing things God has done in our lives daily. We just need eyes & ears open to His work within us.
PENTECOST IS ABOUT THE PROMISE OF HIS RETURN:
This one I can truly sink my teeth into. I find myself looking around & asking myself “Am I going to miss any of this when I leave?” The answer is quickly becoming a resounding “No”. But the goal of each of us should be to take as many with us as will come. To share the story that Holy Spirit has empowered us to share. To compel them from the street corners & the gutters. The words of some who have gone ahead still ring clear … Keep your eyes on Jesus. Not only will that allow me to be aware of His coming but will also remind me to turn my eyes upon Jesus …
“His word shall not fail you, He promised
Believe Him and all will be well
Then go to a world that is dying
His perfect salvation to tell.”
j holmes says:June 6, 2020 at 1:50 am
Embracing what God has for us…
1. bringing change
2. bringing power to tell our story
3. about the promise of His return
Thinking about the title as regards this topic, the words “embracing” and “for us” stand out. It is because we are “one body” in Christ Jesus and that what I have embraced is… for you. It would be for your edification and for building up the body of Christ. I would like to share some of my thoughts on the above three subjects.
1) When we come to Christ, we are changed… are a new creation in Christ Jesus.. are “babes in Christ” and are encouraged to grow in the knowledge and love of God. Moreover, we grow in the Way, the Truth, and the Life… Jesus… to know the resurrection power of God working in us. This process is occurring as we take hold of the Word of Life… and eat the bread He has given us. We recognize that Life does not consist in food, drink, and what we wear, what possessions we have; it’s not in the flesh, but our new life is in the Spirit… for we have put on Christ, so much that we identify with Him in His Joy and suffering, and in His victory. He is the Prince of Peace, we have peace… He is our healer, we have healing, He supplies all our needs, we have no need but fur Him.
When I first came to Christ, I had needs and was desperate to know truth. There is only one Truth… the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ… through Whom God has spoken to us in these last days… to know Him through the word which is spirit and it is Life. We are changed into His likeness by the Word… the Light that has shone into our hearts and… we are changed. We walk in this world as blink, deaf, and dumb. Our wisdom comes from above… our new life in Christ is from above… the kingdom that we are a part of is from above… We are not to be entangled with the things of this world… but our fight is with principalities and powers in heavenly places. Yet, being in the world, we recognize our submission to governments and rulers God has put in power, both they that are corrupt and God-fearing… for it is God at work, working out His plan of salvation for anyone that would desire to choose Life.
When we consider… that Christ Jesus fulfilled the law… and that He did not do away with the law… that the law put Him (who took our sin upon Himself who knew no sin) to death… that it put us to death in Him… that He rose from the dead…. That in Him we have resurrection Life… that in Him we have victory… have Life… It is our relationship with Him in death that we have Life.
It is amazing how history brings so much together: 2000 years ago the church is birthed with Christ, the chief cornerstone… bringing together the past and future, the foundation of apostles and prophets of old and the Gentiles and Jews, one new man… a building for the habitation of God. It is God that is building His church… in Christ… who is from the beginning… who said…”before Abraham was, I am”
2) Power to tell the story… The Power to enable us to speak Truth… that for me “to live, is Christ”. The scripture speaks that “many may come in my name and do many wonderful works” and Jesus will say He never knew them. Even the devil can do miracles, as in the day of Moses (ie rods becoming snakes). The roadmap for us is only found in the Word, the Bible, as revealed by the Person of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. We cannot “accept any word that does not line up with the scripture. God has preserved His word for us… God is God. The word was not given by inspiration of man. So God, by His Spirit has come to “convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement… and to testify of Jesus… to reveal Jesus, … The Holy Spirit has come to be our teacher, our comforter in this world of darkness. We know that the world is presently in great spiritual conflict… and deception… good is evil and evil portrays itself as good. This can clearly be seen in the recent rallies, and mass destruction across the U.S., and the world. We are deceived in our thinking to think that by aligning ourselves on any side of any “earthly” conflict that we are on the “right” side. The deceiver’s tactics are to bring both sides together, to kill, and to destroy. Our conflict is not earthly, it is spiritual. Our dependence is upon God and upon the Person of His Holy Spirit to enable us to be the “Christian” God has called us to be… to stand and to keep standing upon the solid Rock which is Christ and to proclaim the good news… Christ Jesus, and the power of His Resurection. We are not of this world.
We all have personal testimonies as regards to how we have come to know Jesus as our personal savior. The scriptures speak of His faithfulness, His love, His care, that He promised to never leave us, to comfort us, to teach us by the person of the Holy Spirit, that His Father is truly our Father… and 1st , 2nd, and 3rd John tells us… that we can know many things. We invite those that do not know… that they can know Jesus… that they can know that they have eternal Life and that it is In the Son of God. We grow in the knowledge of God… the Person of the Father, the Person of the Son, the Person of the Holy Spirit… the Godhead. It is with patience that we inherit the precious promises of God.
3) Jesus is coming… this is the glorious hope we have… that He is coming to take us… not to be here, but to take us to be with Him where He is. It is to take us out of the trial that is coming upon the whole earth. He is coming for His own. To whom do you belong? Is it the god of this world or the God of all creation? Man is making a choice… the way of this world or the Way, who is Christ. The choice of masters… one is Deception and the other Truth. One is death, the other Life. It is a heart choice… to choose the One who died on your behalf or to choose “self” righteousness. Jesus is coming… soon . The scriptures tell us the season… that we are in that season where “lawlessness” is working world wide, Israel exists, and Jews are returning to their homeland after 2000 years, Jerusalem is their capital, Israel is prospering as told in Ezekiel , right is wrong, and wrong is right… Jesus is coming… “appearing” for His own… and then “another coming” to reign. Now is the day of salvation. Now the day is “approaching”. What and whom are we looking at? Will we be deceived and our love for God grow cold as we wait for His appearing? Will we always be looking up, fighting the fight of faith, running the race, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith? Or will we entangle ourselves in this world? The promise of His return is a glorious one.