How often do we really seriously pause and meditate upon God’s desire to be close to us and among us? It should be an important part of our understanding of God. After all, God created us all to love, serve and communicate with him.
The God of the Old and New Testaments is a Triune God who wants to be with and among His creation and His children in such a way as to celebrate them.
That’s us! So, He moves in his spirit as close to us as we will allow him to come.
In the beginning, when God created the heavens, the earth and then us, God came down and walked and talked to us, with us and among us in the garden.
God was exactly that close. God was interested in being “talking and walking” close to us, exactly because God wanted to be “talking and walking close to us.
Even after we somehow managed to get ourselves into serious trouble with sin, separated ourselves from his presence, he continually “stayed home.” He never gave up on us, let us out of his sight. God rescued humanity over and over again.
And Scripture tells us that in the fullness of time, God came to earth where the sin problem was, and still is. Jesus, the word became flesh and lived among us.
This was certainly something new, God becoming flesh! God coming among us.
Nothing, whether political, social, moral, economic or spiritual would ever be the same again. Yet although this looked different, it turns out to be the same story. It was God wanting to be among his people and to restore us to his image.
That very first Pentecost marks and celebrates the powerful beginning of a global movement of the power of God’s presence sweeping across the earth.
As we again read the account of what happened as the Spirit descended with power on God’s people, place yourself in their midst. Imagine for more than just this one Sunday’s day of Worship, what it would look like, sound like, and feel like to witness firsthand such a powerful movement of God’s Spirit.
Pentecost means so much to us as believers. The day of Pentecost changed everything for us. Today we will celebrate! Today we’ll explore walking with the Holy Spirit and how he affects our daily life so much. May your heart grow in gratitude and friendship with the Spirit today as a result of your time with him.
Today, as we gather, may there be a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit upon you!
Acts 2:1-13 Amplified Bible
The Day of Pentecost
2 When the day of [a]Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place, 2 and suddenly a sound came from heaven like a rushing violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 There appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were being distributed [among them], and they rested on each one of them [as each person received the Holy Spirit]. 4 And they were all filled [that is, diffused throughout their being] with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other [b]tongues (different languages), as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out [clearly and appropriately].
5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout and God-fearing men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound was heard, a crowd gathered, and they were bewildered because each one was hearing those in the upper room speaking in his own language or dialect. 7 They were completely astonished, saying, “Look! Are not all of these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears in our own language or native dialect? 9 [Among us there are] Parthians, Medes and Elamites, and people of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and [c]Asia [Minor], 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and the visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism), 11 Cretans and Arabs—we all hear them speaking in our [native] tongues about the mighty works of God!” 12 And they were beside themselves with amazement and were greatly perplexed, saying one to another, “What could this mean?” 13 But others were laughing and joking and ridiculing them, saying, “They are full of sweet wine and are drunk!”
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
The Holy Spirit is our greatest gift.
When the disciples received the Spirit, they began living as Jesus did.
They believed in the promise of God to always be with and among them. They finally began believing in themselves. speaking to, healing, and transforming a “conquered” world that had known no restored relationship with their Creator.
And Scripture makes it clear that our lives are to follow their example.
We have been given the same Holy Spirit as those first disciples, the same Holy Spirit who moved so powerfully in the Creation Story, revealing to us our loving heavenly Father to a world in desperate need of relationship with their Creator.
What a glorious vision comes to my soul of God quite literally; “among us!”
With that vision clearly before me, I feel there are three areas in which the Spirit would anoint us more powerfully today as he did the disciples at Pentecost.
Let’s boldly seek out all that the Spirit would do in our hearts and lives today.
The first act of the disciples upon being filled with the Spirit at Pentecost was to come out from behind the Upper Rooms “locked” doors to ‘speak’ to all who had gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate God’s long covenanted Day of Pentecost.
All who had gathered to worship God in the Temple, who had brought their required sacrifices of “first fruits,” a captive audience” to be blessed of God for a good harvest and a prosperous life that year, who would ‘listen,’ to the Priests and scribes explaining all the powerful acts that were going on around them.
Except, this harvest celebration was immediately recognized as being different. It was not the Priests nor the Scribes nor the Elders of the Temple speaking and preaching and teaching them. It was no longer “Temple Business” as usual.
It was a complete newcomer – Peter, it is an uneducated Galilean fisherman!
And this complete newcomer’s words were speaking mightily different words to them. Words they’d undoubtedly never heard spoken before and much to their surprise, the were words they could understand and be mightily inspired by – in every one of their own native tongues and dialects of their own native lands.
And with the preaching of Peter several thousand listeners accepted the free gift of salvation in the name of someone whom they’d probably never met nor had ever talked to nor walked side by side with nor shared a meal with or heard on any street corner nor transacted any business with – Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
In these 21st century days, we too will gather amongst people whom we have seldom or never met, whom we never or seldom shared meals with, or heard on any street corner, nor ever seriously thought to share in any celebration of God with. We are now that world community gathered outside the Temple that day.
Like those first century thousands who gathered in Jerusalem, we too, who are marked by the Spirit’s presence are disciples who move forth the power of love.
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The Spirit longs to use us to proclaim the goodness of God’s love to this lost and dying world.
The Holy Spirit longs to fill us with the desire to love this world the way he does.
1 Corinthians 16:14 says, “Let all that you do be done in love.”
Galatians 5:22-23 Amplified says,
22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
And in Mark 12:31, Jesus says that the second greatest commandment is, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Is your life marked by love for others?
Does our life “bear good fruit” for God’s Kingdom in the name of the Father, the Son, Holy Spirit?
Or does it bear “bad fruit” “sour wine” for ‘worldly’ consumption, drunkeness?
Do you live your life in service to your heavenly Father and his children?
Seek out a fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit today.
It’s the Spirit who bears the fruit of love in your life.
You cannot love nor serve others on your own, for true love and service comes solely from God.
But the Spirit longs to fill you with a desire and anointing to love and serve all others around you that they might better know the love of the heavenly Father.
The coming of the Holy Spirit also brought powerful unity to the disciples.
Acts 2:44-47 Amplified says,
44 And all those who had believed [in Jesus as Savior] [a]were together and had all things in common [considering their possessions to belong to the group as a whole]. 45 And they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing the proceeds with all [the other believers], as anyone had need. 46 Day after day they met in the temple [area] continuing with one mind, and breaking bread in various private homes. They were eating their meals together with joy and generous hearts, 47 praising God continually, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord kept adding to their number daily those who were being saved.
Only the Spirit can bring unity between broken, competitive, and needy people.
Only through the Holy Spirit do we have the ability to love and accept others regardless of our differences and unite toward the common goal of loving God and others wholeheartedly.
Paul writes in Ephesians 4:1-3 Amplified,
Unity of the Spirit
4 So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation], 2 with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another [a]in [unselfish] love. 3 Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace [each individual working together to make the whole successful].
In and amongst our own generations, can we genuinely say we too are a disciple marked by a desire to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace?”
In and amongst our own generations, can we genuinely say before God, we too are a genuine Christian marked by grace-filled love for your fellow believers?
In and amongst our own generations, we all absolutely and desperately need to seek out, with all vigor, a greater anointing, desire from the Spirit toward unity.
We cannot be selfless in our own strength.
We need the help of the God of perfect love to pursue unity through humility.
In and amongst our own generations, seek out a desire and anointing to be a person who works tirelessly toward the goal of unity instead of division today.
In and amongst our own generations, we absolutely need to spend time in God’s presence together allowing him to transform our hearts to look more like HIS!
Lastly, Pentecost filled the disciples with the ability to connect directly to God through the avenue of the Holy Spirit.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 Amplified,
6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those spiritually mature [believers who have teachable hearts and a greater understanding]; but [it is a higher] wisdom not [the wisdom] of this present age nor of the rulers and leaders of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom once hidden [from man, but now revealed to us by God, that wisdom] which God predestined before the ages to our glory [to lift us into the glory of His presence]. 8 None of the rulers of this age recognized and understood this wisdom; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; 9 but just as it is written [in Scripture],
“Things which the eye has not seen, and the ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, who obey Him, and who gratefully recognize the benefits that He has bestowed].”
10 For God has unveiled them and revealed them to us through the [Holy] Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things [diligently], even [sounding and measuring] the [profound] depths of God [the divine counsels and things far beyond human understanding].
Acts 15:27-29 Amplified says,
27 So we have sent Judas and Silas, who will report by word of mouth the same things [that we decided in our meeting]. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to place on you any greater burden than these essentials: 29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from [consuming] blood, and from [eating the meat of] things that have been strangled, and from sexual impurity. If you keep yourselves from these things, you will do well. Farewell.”
These first century disciples knew God’s desires, received revelation from him, were steadily being inspired, transformed into the likeness of Christ through fellowshipping with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
We as disciples are to be marked by direct connection with the Holy Spirit.
Paul and Peter had no special human ability to talk to God.
Prior to the coming of the Holy Spirit, Peter was an uneducated fisherman. Paul was zealously persecuting the followers of the very God he was trying to serve.
Peter chose his own personal safety over the very life of Jesus, who had shown him such an immeasurable degree of wisdom, forgiveness, love and grace.
It was only with the Holy Spirit that these men were able to connect to God so deeply, and we can have that same connection today.
So, in and amongst our own generations, are you a believer who is genuinely marked by direct connection with the Holy Spirit?
In and amongst our own generations, can we genuinely say before God, we all spend quality time and abundant energy, seeking his presence, his wisdom, his truth, his counsel, and his fresh “every single day of our lives,” anointing?
In and amongst our own generations, let’s be children of God who pursue deeper connection with our heavenly Father today.
In and amongst our own generations, let’s seek the face of God as the early disciples did and be believers marked by relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Spend time during guided prayer pursuing all that the Spirit would do in you.
Open your heart and mind to be transformed by his love. And commit to living your life with direct connection to the God who dwells within you.
In the name of God, the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
1. Meditate on the Spirit’s desire and ability to anoint us with the power and desire to love others.
Ask him to show you how to better love others today. Ask his forgiveness for any way in which you have been hurtful to those whom he loves. And receive the anointing to love people from his heart and strength rather than your own.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31
2. Now meditate on God’s desire to use you to bring unity to his children.
Confess to God anyone who annoys you or angers you. Confess anyone whom you have a hard time loving. Ask him for his heart for that person. Ask him to fill you up with a supernatural ability to love those who are difficult or different. Ask him to help you be a person who pursues unity.
“And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:44-47
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
3. Now seek after a direct connection to the Holy Spirit.
Ask him to guide you into the knowledge of his presence. Ask him to show you the overwhelming love, grace, and anointing he has for you today. Seek out answers to any questions you have of him. May you discover a wellspring of friendship in the Holy Spirit today.
“But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” Psalm 73:28
“These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:10
“And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 2:13
It’s crucial that we as children of God seek out all that he longs to give us.
Relationship with God is meant to be anything but stale, stagnant, and weak.
The disciples demonstrated that those filled with the Spirit of God are to be marked by adventure, mystery, and the miraculous.
God has a story for the ages written with you in mind.
He has a plan beyond what you could ever imagine if you will seek him out, trust him, and follow him.
Rest today in the fact God loves you enough to lead you away from a mundane life. Pursue his plans and watch as he fills your life with adventure and wonder.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Absolute Joy of Heaven, we are so blessed that You came to dwell in each of us on Pentecost, when Your church was born. Surely, through Your Spirit, we have died to sin and are alive to holiness. May we each serve You faithfully, in praise, prayer, and loving service to others, as we are changed from glory to glory. May we each walk as children of the light, in all goodness, righteousness, and truth. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.