Holy Spirit Story #3

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Acts 2:1-4

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

CONSIDER THIS

It’s been over thirty years ago, but I vividly remember a Day of Pentecost type experience. Having just finished law school and passed the bar exam, I was doing what new lawyers do—serving as a youth pastor to a band of teenagers. In retrospect, this post was the pinnacle of my ministry career, which I would later learn was not a career at all but a lifelong journey of consecration unto Jesus Messiah. Anyway, I found myself with a group of students in the state of Chihuahua in the nation of Mexico participating in a church building project. On one of the evenings, the whole church gathered with us for worship. Not being Spanish speakers and with no interpreter present, none of us could make heads or tails of exactly what was happening around us. Despite this, we were certain that something profound and amazing was happening.

During the preaching part of the service I noticed one of the young women in our group being powerfully moved. She responded to the invitation with several others of the locals and approached the altar at the end of the message. Afterward, she explained to our group through tears how she had been miraculously gifted with the ability to understand everything the preacher said though she had no knowledge of the Spanish language. The message and its demonstrative conveyance deeply impacted her, leading to a deep consecration of her life to Jesus. 

It was a kind of reverse Day of Pentecost experience. On the Day of Pentecost, the Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and miraculously given the ability to speak in other languages so people could hear the message about Jesus. It was a demonstration that communicated and a communication that demonstrated the presence and power of God who is the risen and ascended Jesus Messiah—and all of this unto the glory of God the Father. And some 3,000 people abandoned their lives to Jesus in response. 

The person of the Holy Spirit does two things in a way that makes them one thing. He communicates and demonstrates the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Spirit does this through a particular and peculiar people—the followers of Jesus. The Holy Spirit fills and empowers the followers of Jesus to embody the living presence and loving power of God for each other and all others in the world. The Holy Spirit communicates and demonstrates the love of Jesus through the Body of Christ—and all of this for the glory of God the Father. 

The communication and demonstration of the person of Jesus Christ through us for the glory of the Father. That’s the Holy Spirit. Who’s in? 

THE PRAYER

God our Father, who with your son Jesus, fills us with the Holy Spirit, thank you for your passion to communicate and demonstrate your great love for us and the whole world. Make us your joyful agents and ambassadors, participants in your very nature, for the sake of others. Holy Spirit, fill us to capacity and beyond with the presence of Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen. 

THE QUESTION

What stands out to you about the Day of Pentecost? How will you mark and celebrate the Day of Pentecost today—which is the Day of Pentecost? 

P.S. HOLY SPIRIT SUMMER IS ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!

Join Dan Wilt, the FarmTeam and yours truly for a one hour remembrance, reflection and celebration of the Day of Pentecost tomorrow (Monday) at Noon central time. It’s Holy Spirit Summer Friends. Come on!

We will meet per usual on Zoom. Here is the link for the call: https://zoom.us/j/92076800600?pwd=M1NUZ01GQi9VSDNTSk01TGZsd3pqZz09

Passcode: 123456
 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I mean no disrespect when I ask this, but how are stories like the one you offer checked out? (I am not doubting your integrity JD). Was it verified that the woman spoke no Spanish? We hear many tales of Christians accepting such ‘miracles’ on face value that turn out to be faked and this does not help our credibility.
    I admit to having difficulty with Holy Spirit claims in general. In my former church I witnessed a lot of falling down, shaking, giggling, etc but zero anything close to tangible evidence. I am open to the Holy Spirit’s movement and have now joined the summer book club course. I hope this will clarify my believing but sceptical position.

    • Wise observation, Julie. I believe that many Christians go along with and repeat miracle stories too easily–without adequate evidence and without being full convinced. They sometimes even use the phrase “Fake it till you make it,” to justify their stance. But is that faith, or is it presumption?

      I admire Thomas. I think Thomas was searching for a reason to believe. He was wanting faith, not presumption that was based on his friends’ and fellow disciple’s belief. So, Thomas insisted on evidence. And wow! Jesus gave him the evidence by showing Thomas His wounds and inviting Thomas to touch them. When Thomas experienced the evidence, doubts vanished and Thomas cried out to Jesus, “My Lord and My God!”

      The Holy Spirit brought me to unbelief so that I could believe. I thought I was a Christian and on my way to Heaven because I was a faithful, church-attending Presbyterian. Then one day in church this question came to my mind: “If you were born a Hindu, what would you be today?” After thinking about it, I realized that if I had been raised with Hinduism as the only religion I was exposed to, I’d be a Hindu.

      Suddenly another question came to my mind: “Why do you think you’re a Christian?” That made me realize that the only reason I thought I was a Christian was because of my upbringing. I was exercising presumption, not faith. As I thought about it, I realized that I didn’t personally believe in Jesus, the Bible, or Christian doctrine, but just assumed I did. However, I realized that I did truly believe in some sort of Creator. At that point I rejected Christianity and asked the Creator to show me the truth.
      Two years later I wandered into a Spirit-led Christian meeting on my college campus and had a life-changing encounter with the living Jesus and I’ve never been the same. When I tell people about that encounter it still brings me to tears. Now I’m convinced Jesus is real, not because of what other people say, but because He continually reveals Himself and amazingly demonstrates His reality directly to me.

      John tells us to “Test the spirits whether they are from God for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 1:4.) Exercising caution and investigating what people say is wise. The Bereans in the book of Acts, even checked out what Paul said with Scripture before they accepted it. Christians would be healthier spiritually if we all acted like the Bereans.

      • ‘fake it till you make it’? That has to be right up there with the cuckooist statements ever. How can you make anything real from something fake?
        Personally I have never experienced anything I could categorically claim was an ‘encounter’ of the Holy Spirit. Though I do believe I am led in my faith progress and that He is always there. Why I do not ‘feel’ the presence, I do not know. It does not worry me. My faith is sound. Maybe this is the HS presence in me. Having said that I am fully open and desirous of all that can be experienced.

        • Sounds like you’re in a good place. I think we humans often over-expect when it comes to God’s voice and His presence, like Elijah did in the cave. He expected to hear God’s voice in the earthquake, wind, and fire, but he didn’t. Then he “heard” the “still, small voice” in his heart. I’ve found that my awareness of God comes most when I’m quiet and trying to notice God’s “voice” and activity within me instead of outside of me.

  2. JD, in response to your question concerning what stands out the most about the day of Pentecost? Here is why Jesus , the eternal Son of the Father, was incarnated, lived, died, was resurrected, and ascended into heaven. He did all this to redeem us from our fall, to restore us to our true intended image and therefore enables us to fulfill our original calling as His image bearers, to fill the earth with His glory. The promised gift of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled on that day and will continue to be given to everyone who repents of their unbelief, receives Christ in faith, and is baptized onto His body, the Church. Our reception of His gift of the Holy Spirit empowers us to accomplish this calling.

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