PENTECOST: THE POWER AND THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BECOMES A REALITY!
- Pentecost is a special time for us as believers.
- It is a time when we remember that God has done and where it all started.
- 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 remember the birth and the founding of the church.
- It is a time to remind ourselves that the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit is still available to us today.
- It is a time to be empowered and filled all over again.
- It is a time to step out in boldness.
1. WHAT IS PENTECOST?
- Pentecost is a time when Christian believers’ remember and celebrate something unique that happened shortly after the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- It was about 50 days after Easter Sunday, or the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- Pentecost means 50th (fiftieth) and is celebrated about 50 days or 7 weeks after Easter.
- Having died and risen again, Jesus spent some 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
2. WHERE IT ALL STARTED
- As with many of things that God does, it began with words.
- It began with words of prophecy.
- 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. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 32 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
- Many years before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, it was foretold or prophesied.
- 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.
- 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 trust Him for.
- God keeps His promises.
3. 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.
- Unique things that happened
- God, through His Holy Spirit came upon His people.
- A 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.
- They went from fear to boldness.
- They began speaking in other tongues.
- People were drawn to this phenomenon.
- Many people were saved.
- The church, as we know it today, was born.
4. BUT WHAT WAS IT THAT MADE ALL THIS DIFFERENCE?
- It was the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit!
- 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:
- Tongues of Fire came and rested on EACH PERSON.
- 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
- 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 actually underwent a personality change.
- But what made this possible?
- They had spent years with direct contact with Jesus, following Him first hand over a long period of time. Why change now?
- It was the POWER and the PRESENCE of the HOLY SPIRIT!
- 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?’
5. THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, ORDINARY PEOPLE ARE ENABLED TO ACCOMPLISH EXTRAORDINARY DEEDS.
- You and I are destined, as sons and daughters of God, to know the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
- The Holy Spirit makes all the difference.
- With the Holy Spirit, ordinary people are enabled to accomplish extraordinary deeds.
- For each one of us as believers it means a glorious new life in the Spirit is an on-going possibility in our lives.
- 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 on the mortgage - 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 their might be oil on his land and could they 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 realize it.
How often are we like Mr. Yate's? 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 minds and our hearts.
6. GUIDED, INSPIRED AND EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.
- I believe that for each one 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 deeper intimacy with God.
- Let Pentecost cause faith and hope to rise in your heart afresh.
- And may we be stirred with the knowledge and an awareness of a purpose much greater than ourselves.
- Ask Him to do for you what He did for those at Pentecost!
By Pastor Andrew Roebert
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