I know that in the church stream that I am involved in we tend to not look at the traditional church calendar and it is only because of our involvement with ‘church’s together’ that I am aware of the upcoming Pentecost Sunday. I have also been focusing my reading on acts, particularly the first few chapters. From reading them I cannot help but long for another Pentecost and I always hope that on Pentecost Sunday maybe God would break out again – not that I think that he is restricted to a day of the year when he can move and I do long that he will come every day in power – but that particular day focuses the mind. With special days as with all things it depends on how you use them that makes them religious or a stumbling block to others or something we depend on as if that particular day could give us life – God is the giver of life and can move in one day as much as he can another.
However, from looking at the first couple of chapter in Acts a few things have been stirring in me. The book starts off with Jesus speaking to his disciples through the Holy Spirit about the kingdom of God – what was he telling them? How cool it was? How great it was? How awesome it was? He goes onto give them the promise that they must wait in Jerusalem until they have been endued with power from the Holy Spirit. The power which many will know as dunamis – and some say dynamite – but we know it never meant dynamite to them as dynamite was not invented until hundreds of years later. It does have these words associated with it. (strongs)
1. strength power, ability
2. inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
3. power for performing miracles
4. moral power and excellence of soul
5. the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth
6. power and resources arising from numbers
7. power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts
His power in us enables us, gives us the ability to do things that we could not do before, his power is strength in us, it is the power of God for performing miracles, it is the the sanctifying power of God.
If we now jump to chapter 2 and look at what happened when the Holy Spirit came in power. There are two groups of people that I want to look at, the disciples and the crowd.
Firstly looking at the disciples. What happened when the Holy Spirit came upon them?
1. they were able to speak in new tongues
2. they were drunk in the Holy Spirit
3. They were bold and confident
4. They preached the word
5. They prophesied
6. They had authority in their speaking
7. They had renwed revelation – Jesus is both Lord and Christ
6. They taught the word
7. They broke bread and drank the wine
8. They were devoted to one another
Then looking at the crowd
1. They listened to what was being said
2. Some mocked them
3. They were cut to the heart and cried out ‘what shall we do?’
4. They repented
5. They were baptised
6. They were devoted to the apostles teaching, to fellowship, breaking of bread and to prayer
From the Holy Spirit being poured out the community is changed from one degree of glory to another. This is his transforming work – the kingdom come, the atmosphere changed, peoples lives being opened up to the glorious truth and being cut to the heart so much that they were crying out ‘ what shall we do’, the presence of God demands a repsonse – what are you going to do?
Both groupd of people were dynamically effected and brought together, the disciples – filled with power and able to communicate affectively the truth that they new. The crowd, previously unknowing, now cut to the heart.
We need his power to enable us, to transform us, to lead us that we may see many being added to our number, that we will see his kingdom come with the same authenticity that the early disciples saw. I desire that the church be devoted to one another, eating together with glad and sincere hearts and enjoying the favour of the people and of God – but I feel that we need more of his enabling power, more of his presence, more of him. I know that when I am ‘possessed’ by his Spirit, you are bold and confident in God, condfident in who He is and what He can do. My preayer is fill us again with your Holy Spirit and as it says in Ephesians – be being filled with the Holy Spirit. I know I need to be constantly filled.