THEMES: PENTECOST – Holy Spirit
Celebrating Pentecost Sunday provides the occasion for us to recognise God’s Holy Spirit at work in the life of the church and in the lives of individuals.
Where we have noticed the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. Take a moment to become still as you become aware of God’s presence now…you might like to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you during this time of worship…
Looking back over your week, where did you notice the Holy Spirit moving?…
Perhaps you encountered a movement of the spirit whilst making a particular decision… or maybe you felt comforted or consoled during a difficult time… perhaps a particular joy arrived in your heart during a time of prayer…
Now looking back over your life, does a particular moment stand out to you where you experienced the Holy Spirit at work? Perhaps at a turning point in your life, or again, during a special time of prayer…
Here is the miracle of the Holy Spirit…
I love the feast of Pentecost. On this day, several miracles took place, miracles that God also desires to accomplish in your life!
- The Holy Spirit came according to Jesus’s promise. (see Acts 1:8) He always keeps His promises. Persevere in trusting God’s promises because they will come to pass! If the promise tarries, it will surely come, the Bible says. (see Habakkuk 2:3)
- A violent wind was heard, and it filled the house where they were gathered together. The wind of the Spirit is blowing on your life today!
- Tongues of fire touched down upon each of the disciples. I believe that the Holy Spirit is lighting a new fire in your life!
- They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Because you are a child of God, His Spirit already lives in you. But He also desires to fill you and make you overflow. The promise is for you!
- They spoke in languages that they didn’t know. The Spirit can give you the gift of speaking in new tongues and you will accomplish things that you’ve never done before!
- Peter preached the Gospel with great boldness. The Spirit gives you boldness to be His witness! (see Acts 1:8) God has not given us a spirit of fear. (see 2 Timothy 1:7)
- People understood the message. They heard the wonderful works of God in their own language! God desires to use your life to make the marvelous message of the Gospel understandable to those around you.
- 3,000 people were baptized that day. Yes, by the power of the Holy Spirit acting in you, God can do with your life exceedingly abundantly above all you can ask or think! (see Ephesians 3:20)
Empowered to Advance
As Acts opens, the disciples had just come off a time of spiritual renewal and encouragement in the company of Jesus, their friend and leader turned Saviour.
Their consciences clear, their anxiety eased, and their confidence boosted by the power displayed in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, the disciples were fired up and ready to take on the world for the sake of God’s Kingdom as they understood it.
Had Jesus remained in the flesh, the disciples would have followed Him to the ends of the earth, but He did not. According to God’s plan, Jesus issued orders, ascended into Heaven to take His place at His Father’s right hand, and left the disciples to advance the Kingdom armed with nothing but personal knowledge of the Gospel and a promise that help would come soon.
You see, even as the disciples waited patiently, God was working all things together for the purpose of His will, His own glory. He waited until His people were gathered together in one place to send the Holy Spirit and reaped a large first harvest of believers for His Church.
Had the disciples not been ready, physically, spiritually, or corporately, to receive the Holy Spirit Jesus had promised, they may have missed the privilege of participating in the miracle of Pentecost. Thankfully, they were ready.
The disciples were faithful. Although they must have had doubts and questions when things did not go as they had anticipated, the disciples demonstrated sincere faith by sanctifying themselves, or setting themselves apart, for God’s use.
The disciples were humble. Understanding they were limited in and of themselves, they submitted to God’s authority and waited for further instructions, seeking His wisdom and guidance in any decisions that had to be made while they waited.
The disciples were expectant. Believing Jesus’ promise that help would come, they prayed. For what, we do not know, but it is logical to assume they prayed for the same things we would pray for, strength, protection, guidance, peace, etc. Jesus had told them that God would send the Holy Spirit if they asked, so they probably prayed for that, too. Talk about results!
The Holy Spirit and Christian Life
As Christians empowered by the Holy Spirit, we grow in a desire to serve God through service and mission. That means focusing not only on spiritual growth but also works of justice and peace and service to the poor, imprisoned, and suffering. When we witness or participate in such acts, we can be certain that the Holy Spirit is at work.
The joy of the spiritual life is constantly learning about God’s grace and God’s care. It is a growth of love for God and one another and a removal of our desire to sin. Such growth, as individual Christians and as communities of faith, illustrates the dynamic and vital presence of God’s Holy Spirit. The Spirit is both the daily presence of God and the way by which we grow as Christians. Pentecost Sunday is an excellent time to celebrate the presence of the Holy Spirit within us and within our churches.
Looking ahead, where would you like to see more of the Holy Spirit moving in your life?
Take a moment now to talk to God about this… ask God for whatever it is you would like to experience more of as you continue on your journey of faith…
Today, the miracle of Pentecost is for you!
I invite you to pray with me: Prayer for Life-Changing Power: Breath of Life, on this Pentecost Sunday, we ask that You breathe on us once again. Make our consciences tender to Your touch. We hunger for the life-changing power that Your Holy Spirit brings. May our lives exemplify the fruit of Your Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. May we use the gifts of the Spirit that You have distributed to bless the church and build Your Kingdom on earth. Amen.