Pentecost Sunday May 31, 2020

God is interested in change.  Look at what happened on the first Pentecost Sunday.  God changed many people’s lives.

Change number one was what happened to the disciples.  We know that the disciples believed in Jesus as their Saviour, but they were still very confused about all kinds of different things.  They still didn’t fully understand Jesus’ mission, why he had come to earth.  They were confused, and as a result, they were timid.  But when Pentecost came the disciples were together, when the sound of a blowing wind came down from heaven.  What seemed to be tongues of fire settled on their heads. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, an began to speak in foreign languages they had never learned before.  A crowd gathered, people from all over the world, and that crowd listened as the disciples preached the Gospel. The apostle Peter preached a sermon that converted more then three thousand people in one day.  Thus we see the changes that took place in the disciples on the day of Pentecost.

Change number two that took place on Pentecost was more spectacular than what happened to the disciples.  After Peter preached his sermon on Pentecost, more then three thousand people.  Our world today needs change.  There are so many people who do not know Jesus Christ.  And there are so many Christians who are like those disciples were before Pentecost – confused, weak, timid.  We need the Holy Spirit to come to us, and change us.  

Do you think there was really a “noise like a strong driving wind” at this first outpouring of the Holy Spirit?  And do you think there really were “tongues as of fire” that came and rested on everyone?  Well, there most likely was!  Why else would have it been recorded that way in the Scriptures?

Why was there the symbol of fire when the believers received the Holy Spirit?

Fire has many characteristics.  Among them what is unique is that fire is the symbol of transformation!  Fire changes whatever it touches.  

These physical manifestations of the coming of the Holy Spirit were made present for numerous reasons.  One reason was so that these first recipients of the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit would have concretely understood that something amazing was happening.  By seeing and hearing these physical manifestations of the Holy Spirit they were more properly disposed to understand that God was doing something awesome.  And then, upon seeing and hearing these manifestations, they were touched by the Holy Spirit, consumed, filled and set on fire.  They suddenly discovered within themselves the promise Jesus made and they finally began to understand.  Pentecost changed their lives!

We most likely have not seen and heard these physical manifestations of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but we should rely upon the witness of those in the Scriptures to allow ourselves to arrive at a deep and transforming faith that the Holy Spirit is real and wants to enter our lives in the same way.  God wants to set our hearts on fire with His love, strength and grace so as to effectively live lives that effect change in the world.  Pentecost is not only about us becoming holy, it’s also about us being given all we need to go forth and bring the holiness of God to all those we encounter.  Pentecost enables us to be powerful instruments of the transforming grace of God.  And there is no doubt that the world around us needs this grace.

As we celebrate Pentecost, it would be helpful to ponder the primary effects of the Holy Spirit in a prayerful way.  Below are the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  These Gifts are the primary effects of Pentecost for each and every one of us.  Use them as an examination of your life and let God show you where you need to grow more deeply in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

Mathew Henry said, “When Christ died he left a will in which he gave his soul to his Father, his body to Joseph of Arimathea, his clothes to the soldiers, and his mother to John.  But to his disciples, who had left all to follow him, he left not silver or gold, but something far better – his PEACE.                

God bless you.  Have a wonderful day. Wish a happy feast of Pentecost.