FROM ORDINARY TO EXTRAORDINARY
A MESSAGE FOR PENTECOST
– Pentecost is a special time for us as Christians.
– It is a time when we remember what God has done for us.
– It is also a time to remember where it all started and the birth and the founding of the church.
– It is a time to remember how the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit radically changed the world.
– It is a time to remind ourselves that the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit is still available to us today and it is a time to be empowered and filled all over again.
WHAT IS PENTECOST?
– Pentecost is a time when Christians remember and celebrate something unique that happened shortly after the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
– Pentecost means 50th (fiftieth) and is celebrated 50 days or 7 weeks after Easter.
– Having died and risen again, Jesus spent time on earth and was seen by many people. Then He ascended to heaven, and we remember that on Ascension Day.
– The followers and disciples of Jesus ended up in an upper room in Jerusalem, praying and fasting, and the Holy Spirit came upon them.
– They were changed as a result and went on to change the world.
SCRIPTURE READING: Acts 2:1-21
1. GOD ALWAYS DOES WHAT HE SAYS HE WILL DO
– Many years before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, it was foretold or prophesized.
– Just as God, in the beginning, said, LET THERE BE LIGHT and there was light, so God said there would be an outpouring of His Holy Spirit and it happened at Pentecost.
– Joel 2:28-32 ‘I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.’
– God always does what He says He will do.
– You can have confidence in this.
– He will do what He said He will do, even in those things that you are trusting Him for.
– God keeps His promises.
2. PENTECOST IS THE BIRTH OF THE CHURCH
– It was on this day, all those years ago that the Christian Church was born.
– As a result of what happened 3000 people were saved.
– This was just the beginning!
– God, through His Holy Spirit came upon His people and unique things happened:
– The sound of wind was heard across the city.
– Tongues of fire appeared.
– These tongues of fire settled on each person.
– They were changed as a result of this ‘touch’ from the Holy Spirit.
– They went from fearful people to becoming bold and fearless.
– They began speaking in other tongues.
– People from all over were drawn to this phenomenon.
– Many people were saved.
– The church, as we know it today, was born.
3. THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
– Acts 2:3-4 ‘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.’
– Note a few things:
A. Tongues of Fire came and rested on EACH PERSON.
B. They were ALL filled with the Holy Spirit! The power and anointing of the Spirit, which had rested only upon selected Old Testament individuals called to a particular service, now was available to all believers.
C. They were changed!
They went from being fearful to becoming bold.
They went from being anxious to courageous.
They went from being intimidated to becoming intimidating.
– It appears as if they underwent a fundamental change as individuals.
– Something had shifted, and this resulted in change.
– But what made this possible?
– They had spent years with direct contact with Jesus, following Him firsthand over a long period of time.
– Why change now?
– It was the POWER and the PRESENCE of the HOLY SPIRIT!
– His presence and His power changed them.
– His power can change us.
– His presence can change us!
– My question is; ‘Has your life been touched and changed by the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit?’
– Perhaps it’s time for a touch (or a fresh touch) from the Holy Spirit on your heart and life?
4. THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, ORDINARY PEOPLE ARE ENABLED TO ACCOMPLISH EXTRAORDINARY DEEDS
– You are destined, as son or a daughter of God, to know the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life.
– The Holy Spirit makes all the difference. With the Holy Spirit, ordinary people are enabled to accomplish extraordinary deeds.
– A glorious new life in the Spirit is an ongoing possibility for each one of us as believers.
– I found this illustration by Rev. Richard Fairchild:
The story is told of a man called Yates who, during the depression, owned a sheep ranch in Texas. He did not have enough money to continue paying the bills – in fact, he was forced, like many others, to live on government subsidies.
Each day as he tended his sheep he worried about how he was going to pay his bills. Sometime later a seismographic crew arrived on his land and said that there might be oil on his land, and they asked to do a test drill.
After a lease was signed, they went ahead. At 1115 feet a huge oil reserve was struck – subsequent wells revealed even more oil than the first well revealed. Mr. Yates owned it all. He had the oil and mineral rights.
He had been living on relief – yet he was a millionaire.
Think of it – he owned all that oil with its tremendous potential, yet for many years he did not realise it.
How often are we like Mr. Yates? Considering ourselves poor and helpless all the while unaware of the extraordinary power that we have available to us – that which is lying just below the surface in our hearts and in our souls.
– When the disciples realised the power of God that was in them and available to them through the presence of the Holy Spirit, they went from hiding in a room to going out and spreading (preaching) the Word with boldness. This caused change to the hearts and lives of people and brought change to the world.
– They went from ordinary to extraordinary because the Holy Spirit had touched and changed them.
5. GUIDED, INSPIRED AND EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
– I believe that for each one of us, there needs to come a stepping forward into more of what God intended for us.
– I believe that God desires that we would live guided, inspired, and empowered by His Holy Spirit.
– Today is the perfect opportunity to ask God to fill you again.
– To ask Him to empower you all over again with the empowerment that comes from the Holy Spirit.
– I believe that it is also a call to a deeper connection with God.
– Let Pentecost (the coming of the Holy Spirit) cause faith and hope to rise in your heart afresh and change you.
– May you be stirred with the knowledge and an awareness of a purpose much greater than yourself.
– Ask Him to do for you what He did for those at Pentecost!
By Andrew W Roebert
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