Happy Pentecost Sunday!

Today in the Christian year is Pentecost Sunday!  Today we celebrate the fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel that God would pour out his Spirit on all people, both young and old, both men and women, irregardless of ethnicity or nationality or any such thing!

Joel prophecied, in 2:28-29, in part:

28 “And afterward,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 

It is the PROMISE of the Father that has been given to all Christians!  The Holy Spirit is the promise of the Father – and that gift is available to all to ask and receive.  There are lots of reasons God poured out His Spirit, to guide us into all truth, to point us to Christ, to be a comforter/encourager in tough times, and so on.  Acts 2:4-5 read

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”

But I think most importantly he came to give us power (no, not dynamite power you silly) to be and give witness to the risen and exalted Jesus Christ in both word and in deed; in all that we say and in all that we do!   Here is Act 1:8:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

I think this is the heart of what Pentecost is all about – all Christians receiving POWER (enablement, special ability) to be and give WITNESS to Jesus in word and in deed!  It comes through our being “baptized” (like being dunked?) into the Holy Spirit!  When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, our bodies and our lives are fully submerged into his presence and power.  Through the power of the Spirit we can give WITNESS to Jesus in ways we were not able to do before.  We gain a new kind of boldness and courage to proclaim the gospel and a SPIRIT EMPOWERED ability, even a new passion, to live holy lives!   For example here is Acts 4:31:

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

There is a connection between being filled with the Spirit and speaking and living out the Word of God with boldness!   Struggling with boldness?  Pray that you may be filled with the Spirit to be bold in word and life!
So all this to say I think the real heart of Pentecost (a harvest festival) is Missions!  Giving witness to Jesus in word and in deed is an element of the larger thing to which all Christians have been called, and that is Missions, even cross-cultural missions, or as Dave Black might call it, across the street missions!   The Spirit empowers us to go about the spiritual harvest of souls (all people) for the glory of God and the futherance of his kingdom in this world  But we cannot do it on our own, it can (and must) only be done in and through the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives personally and corporately!
Be Blessed!
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