Day of Pentecost
Acts 2:1-21 (NRSV)
Filled with the Spirit
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs - in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
'In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Today is Pentecost! Hallelujah!
On this day the Christian Church remembers the day that the Holy Spirit first came and rested upon Jesus’ disciples!
Doesn’t reading this Bible Story fire you up, make you excited, and inspire you to want to share the GOOD NEWS with everyone around you?
When I read this story I am captivated by a few things. First of all, I notice that on the day of Pentecost the believers were all together in one place! Isn’t this a wonderful reminder of the importance of unity and the urgency of making time to assemble with the saints?
Whilst you don’t necessarily have to “go to church” to experience the presence of God, we see here an example of the fact that when believers get together, on one accord and in one place, God allows something very special to happen!
Have you ever been in church, worshipping and praying, and God’s Holy Spirit did something special and unique in the place? It is an awesome experience!
I have been in worship experiences like this. I have been with other believers and God has moved in ways amongst us that I do not experience alone. The experience of lifting my hands in a crowd, or praying with a large group, or hearing the songs of Zion uplifted in the mouths of many is not something I can do by myself at home!
Alone, I cannot shake a brother or sister’s hand, celebrate Holy Communion with my church family, or sit in the room hearing the Word of God preached out of the mouth of my pastor. With all due respect to tele-evangelists and internet evangelists like me, our ministries ought not to be a substitute for going to church on Sunday!
I don’t know about you, but I love going to church! I love being around other Christians! I love the joy of worshipping Jesus with others who love Him as much as I do! I hope you feel the same way!
Secondly, I am captivated by the fact that the Holy Spirit gave the believers the ability to speak in languages unknown to them! What a wonderful gift my friends! Jerusalem was full of “devout Jews from every nation under heaven.” When the Holy Spirit came, all of sudden the disciples possessed the ability to make the GOOD NEWS plain to anyone who was around to hear it!
To me, this is one of the most awesome things about the Holy Spirit! Spirit brings people together across race, ethnicity, national origin, class, and any other barrier. God wants all of God’s children to hear and heed the GOOD NEWS.
This reality is one of the reasons I am so committed to intentionally multi-ethnic fellowships of Christian believers! I love to worship in congregations where the diversity of God’s people is represented in the faces of the members of the congregation.
Too often, I hear people excuse their unwillingness to bring diversity into their congregations by saying, “We don’t know how to communicate with those people. They are so different than us. They don’t want to worship here anyway. Our congregation has always been this way.”
My friends! These types of comments make me very sad and they are not Biblical! The Bible teaches us that with the help of the Holy Spirit we are able to communicate with all of our neighbors and friends! We are able to love and worship with people who are different than us! We are able to make the GOOD NEWS plain!
Finally, I am captivated by the fact that when the Holy Spirit filled the disciples they were sent OUT of the four walls of their “sanctuary” and INTO the streets of their community to boldly and ridiculously share the GOOD NEWS!
They did not—could not—sit around waiting for people to come IN to them, but they went OUT into the community bringing the GOOD NEWS to all who would hear it!
It tickles me that they were so excited about the GOOD NEWS and so full of the Holy Spirit that people thought that they were drunk at nine o’clock in the morning!
Do the people in the vicinity of your church think the same about you? Do they hear you worshipping and praying in such an excited and joy-full manner that they think that you are drunk on Sunday mornings?
Sometimes I do feel “drunk” with the joy and ecstasy of the GOOD NEWS message!
And what is this GOOD NEWS? Well according to the disciples GOOD NEWS declares that God will pour out God’s Spirit on all flesh allowing people to prophesy, dream dreams, see visions, and call upon the Lord in order to be saved!
WOW! Spirit empowers, enables, and equips us to share the GOOD NEWS that God loves the whole world so much that God gave Jesus to die on the cross to save us from our sin and gift us with eternal life!
Spirit empowers, enables and equips us to tell about the mighty deeds of God and to share the love of God revealed to us in Christ Jesus! Although we may not always feel like we have the right words, Spirit will give us the words to say that will make the GOOD NEWS understandable to those who need to hear it!
On the day of Pentecost, as Peter preached, and the other disciples bore witness, over 3,000 people put all of their hope in Jesus! They were baptized and became “Christians” on that very day!
Couldn’t we use some of this Holy Spirit fire in our churches and communities today? Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could get on one accord and in one place and experience a mighty move of God that would touch the hearts of the members of our communities in such a way that they too would come running asking, “What must we do to be saved?”
Friends! It can happen and it does happen, every single day, all over the Earth. If your faith community is looking like a heap of dry bones lately, don’t be dismayed! Begin to prophesy to the dry bones around you. Begin to pray as a community of faith that God will send forth the Holy Spirit in a new and special way for your community! No matter how dry it may feel now, the rains are a-coming!
But, get ready! When you begin to pray this bold prayer, God is going to answer! God is going to send you OUT of the four walls of your church edifice and into the hearts and lives of the people who live in your community. God is going to call you to speak in languages unknown to you in order to reach the world for Christ!
Perhaps you’re going to include Spanish or Hmong languages in your worship service! Perhaps God is going to lead you to incorporate drums or other musical instruments into your ministry activities. Perhaps you are going to host a block party inviting Christian rap and Holy Hip Hop artists to minister to the youth in your community. Perhaps you are going to feed the hungry or offer friendship to people just getting out of prison. Or maybe—just maybe—Spirit will lead you to go door to door, and block by block, sharing the love of Jesus and praying with your neighbors. Honestly, I have no idea what “new languages” Spirit is going to teach you!
All I know for sure is that it is God’s will for ALL of your neighbors to hear and understand the GOOD NEWS. Old, young, rich, poor, red, yellow, black, white, American citizens, citizens of the world, English speakers, and non-English speakers alike need to know that God loves them so much that God sent Jesus to die on the cross to save them from their sin and gift them with eternal life!
We must be willing, my friends, to allow Spirit to rain down on us and teach us new ways to boldly share this GOOD NEWS!
When we put all of our hope in Jesus, we were filled with the Holy Spirit. But, every day, we need to ask God to forgive our sin, and fill our hearts afresh with the Holy Spirit of God! It’s like a gas tank, my friends; please don’t try to run your life--or ministry--on empty!
Are you ready for a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit on this day?
Oh God, please forgive me of my sin and fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit. I desire to be empowered and equipped by you to share the GOOD NEWS with everyone I meet. I want to be able to speak in the “unknown languages” that will enable me to share Your Love with all the members of my community! Please, rain down your Spirit on me and on my community of faith so that we will be ready and able to incorporate many new believers into our midst! Thank you for the Pentecost experience that is available to all people who believe in Jesus. I am excited about things to come! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
MUSIC NOTES: Today's music ministry is from Bishop Paul S. Morton. He speaks a word of encouragement for 3 minutes and 28 seconds. After that, he sings his signature song, "Let It Rain!" Enjoy!
If you would like to put all of your hope in Jesus today, please visit my blog entitled, “Putting All Your Hope In Jesus” located at
If you have additional questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, "Come to Jesus"
Pastor Yolanda is now publishing another blog entitled, “A Spoken WORD” in celebration of Holy Hip Hop, Gospel/Christian Rap and Spoken Word. Please check it out @ http://aspokenword.blogspot.com/
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From Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com