Acts 2: 1 – 13 The Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost
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, Phrygia and 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.’
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What a dramatic event Pentecost was! A rushing wind, tongues of fire, and miraculous speech in other tongues! The disciples were so filled with the Holy Spirit that they dashed into the streets, telling everyone who would listen about the wonders of God they had witnessed. The passers-by were utterly amazed, because each of them heard the testimony in their own language.
Nowadays we don’t always expect to experience such miracles, but they still happen. I, and some of my friends, pray in tongues. We’re not members of a Pentecostal church, just run-of-the-mill Methodists who have asked God to let the Holy Spirit work in us. It’s a source of inner peace and joy. I find it’s particularly helpful when I face something that challenges my faith. Surprisingly, despite speaking words that I don’t understand consciously, I often find that after such prayer I have a clearer idea of what I need to do.
St Paul describes the spiritual gifts that may be manifested in 1 Corinthians 12: 4 – 11. All of these gifts are active today just as they were in Apostolic times. (‘Nine o’clock in the Morning’ by Dennis J Bennett describes a twentieth century experience of the Holy Spirit’s power in a mainstream denomination). All of these gifts are relevant today.
The outcome of the use of spiritual gifts is that the church grows, both in numbers and in faith. Individual members of the church show evidence of the fruits of the Spirit (But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5: 23 – 23)).
The Holy Spirit dwells in each and every Christian. He can speak and act through any of us, when we let him. From my own experience I would encourage every Christian to ask God to work through them in whatever way he chooses.
God loves it when we ask to serve him; he loves to equip us with the gifts we need. But most wonderful of all, he just loves us for who we are.
Thank you, Lord, for loving me!
Dear Heavenly Father
Thank you for loving me.
Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
In Jesus name, Amen