“But you will receive power
when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.
And you will be my witnesses,
telling people about me everywhere—
in Jerusalem, throughout Judea,
in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 NLT
Tomorrow is Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost simply means “fiftieth.” It marks the day when “the Holy Spirit came upon” the 120 believers, as Jesus promised he would. It happened on the 50th day after the resurrection. Associated with that outpouring of the Holy Spirit is “speaking in tongues” which seems “scary” to some people who are not Pentecostal.
When I was 9 or 10, some Pentecostals tried to rent our rural church to hold meetings. They weren’t allowed to use the church, but were offered the church barn – where they conducted meetings for several weeks. During those meetings my oldest brother and my three sisters became Pentecostals. In those days they were mockingly referred to as “Holy Rollers” by some non Pentecostals
After I became a Christian (at 21) I soon responded to God’s call to enter the ministry. My graduating thesis from seminary was entitled, “The Various Views of The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” I entered the research with a closed mind and basically tried to show that the Pentecostal experience was not meant for today.
Well, that changed for me during the Charismatic Movement which swept this nation and much of the world in the 1970’s. I too, became a Pentecostal, and it transformed my life and ministry in a positive way.
But the point I wish to make today is when Jesus announced to his disciples, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,” he didn’t make “speaking in tongues” the issue. Instead he said, “You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—” that was the main issue then and still is today.
When we yield to the power of the Holy Spirit and allow him to control our lives he fills us with himself and a glorious joy floods our heart - we lose our inhibitions and fears and have a burning desire to tell others about Jesus. Being filled with the Spirit doesn’t mean that we have more of the Holy Spirit, rather it means that he has more of us! We need to turn from, and empty ourselves of, all that is displeasing to God in order to give him full access to every part of us – body – mind and soul.
Let’s Pray –
Father, help us to repent of every sin – the wrong we have done and the good we failed to do. Holy Spirit, in the best way we know how, we invite you to fill us once again and rule every part of our being so that others may see Jesus in us.