When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 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.
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygiaand Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:“ ‘In the last days, God says,I will pour out my Spirit on all people.Your sons and daughters will prophesy,your young men will see visions,your old men will dream dreams.Even on my servants, both men and women,I will pour out my Spirit in those days,and they will prophesy.I will show wonders in the heavens aboveand signs on the earth below,blood and fire and billows of smoke.The sun will be turned to darknessand the moon to bloodbefore the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.And everyone who callson the name of the Lord will be saved.’
“Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, Or of those not having the law (that is, Gentiles) put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. David said about him:
“ ‘I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest in hope,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
you will not let your holy one see decay.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.’
“Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
“ ‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.” ’
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
~Acts 2:1-41 (NIV)
Put yourself in the mindset of the disciples after the Resurrection. From their perspective, their beloved Jesus has departed. His resurrection has taken place, the promise He made was fulfilled, but their friend has left. They feel real pain! Yes, they know He has left earth to prepare a place for all who worship and serve Him. In John 14, Jesus comforts his disciples by saying, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Nonetheless, they expected an earthly kingdom, not a heavenly one. They are still mystified about how exactly all of this will take place. What will it look like? How are they going to get their minds around all this? Don’t you sometimes ask these same questions? I know I do.
Meanwhile, they are having deep feelings of grief. They are..bereft. Can you empathize with the depth of their sorrow? Right now, remember your greatest friend and teacher. Who was that person? Was it your mother? Your father? A beloved pastor? Who in this life has loved you unconditionally and held you to a higher standard, yet never, ever chided you out of any emotion but love? Now this person has left the earth. You look forward to the day when you will see them again, but that day feels like it is a very long way off. Meanwhile, you are grieving.
Then, this joy! This elation! This Holy Spirit is come! They remembered his words… “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. In a little while, the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.” (John 14:18-20) It was happening! He is in us! The Holy Spirit is come! The prophecy has come true!
The Holy Spirit is for you and for now. Jesus is for you and for now. Don’t you need Him? Do you have a deep unquenchable thirst that no watery spring can fulfill? Come to the water that Jesus spoke of in John 7:37-38: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”
We are coming up on Baptism Weekend at Real Life. Yes, it is coming! We are having a big baptism party at all of our campuses. Won’t you take the step? Perhaps you’ve attended services for a while, but here are the big questions that only you can answer: Have I experienced Christ’s love in my life? Have I sought out Jesus Christ through prayer and given Him my heart? Am I ready to publicly repent and accept the fullness of Christ and the healing of the Holy Spirit?
If, in the depths of your soul you are saying, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” then I urge you! Make public profession of your faith in Jesus Christ. Go into the water and arise a new creation. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! You, like the disciples in those ancient days, can claim the precious promises of Jesus Christ.
Don’t be anxious about the “mechanics” of baptism. You will be guided into the pool by someone you trust. You will profess to all, “Jesus is Lord.” You will experience a joy like no other joy you have ever felt before in your lifetime.
You know you are ready. The Holy Spirit is urging you to take this step. Listen. Obey. Be healed.
What is there to fear? If Christ is for me, nothing can be against me. This weekend I will walk into the warmth of his embrace knowing that Jesus loves me: broken…imperfect…undeserving of His love, yet fully confident of His love. Break the tension. Make the leap. Breathe, woman! Reach out to Jesus with both arms. Come on, sister! Be baptized.
Abba Daddy, I love you. I have a desire to wholly worship you, yet sometimes, I just don’t feel worthy. Scripture tells me that you have removed my sin “as far as the East is from the West.” Come Holy Spirit, come great comforter, and draw me closer to you. Release in me the knot of tension in my soul placed there by experiences beyond my control and circumstances beyond my understanding. I want to know You fully and walk in Your ways. You are my rock and You are my redeemer. I worship you. Thank you, Jesus for all you have done to redeem me from the pit. Amen.
Listen to this song and worship our God and His Son, Jesus Christ and invite the Holy Spirit into your world: Fullness by Elevation Worship. It is my deepest prayer is that you are blessed and encouraged today.
Today’s post was written by Cindy Koopmans.
Cindy is married to her college sweetheart, Brian, for going on 38 years. She has three grown boys, two sweet daughters-in-law and a gorgeous little grand-man named Oliver Brian. Cindy teaches fifth grade at Sorrento Elementary and serves at the Mount Dora campus as their Worship Coordinator. Cindy’s passion is music, so her happy place is at the keyboard. She also enjoys reading (so many books, so little time), thrifting, and hanging out with Kramer the wonder Bichon. You can find her on Sunday mornings worshiping at our Real Life Mount Dora campus.