Summary: The power of the Holy Spirit enables us to carry on the mission Jesus started when He walked the earth.
Text: Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Story: “Our Best – Nothing, Without Him”
Mr. Spurgeon once preached what in his judgment was one of his poorest sermons. He stammered and floundered, and when he got through he felt that it had been a complete failure. He was greatly humiliated, and when he got home he fell on his knees and said, “Lord, God, Thou canst do something with nothing. Bless that poor sermon.”
And all through the week he uttered that prayer. He woke up in the night and prayed about it. He determined that the next Sunday he would redeem himself by preaching a great sermon.
Sure enough, the next Sunday the sermon went off beautifully. At the close the people crowded about him and covered him with praise. Spurgeon went home pleased with himself, and that night he slept like a baby. But he said to himself, “I’ll watch the results of those two sermons.”
What were they? From the one that had seemed a failure he was able to trace forty-one conversions. And from that magnificent sermon he was unable to discover that a single soul was saved. Spurgeon’s explanation was that the Spirit of God used the one and did not use the other. We can do nothing without the Spirit who helps our infirmities.
We can not do God’s work without the help of the Holy Spirit’s. You might say this is not true. You might say that you can do anything you want to do. That may be true, but you cannot fix your frailties, your sickness or you ill-health using your own power.
Spurgeon thought that his first message that came from his heart was not too impressive and wasn’t worth much. He was disappointed because his presentation was unacceptable according to his standards.
Spurgeon thought he would prepare a really good message based on his way of thinking along with what he thought people wanted to hear. He did this and his presentation was flawless. He was proud of himself.
After the message people crowded around him and spoke many complimentary words to him. I believe the Holy Spirit spoke to him giving him the idea to wait and see how many souls were saved by each message.
To his surprise, forty-one people accepted Jesus as their own personal Lord and Savior after hearing the first message that Spurgeon thought was not well-done while no one accepted Jesus upon hearing the polished message.
Why was this? What happened? The polished message brought many positive comments from people while the first message seemed to be unworthy. Spurgeon asked God to bless the first message which He did. The Holy Spirit stirred the souls of the people and they saw the need to accept Jesus, trust Him, obey Him and let Him control their life.
God can take what little we have and make it work miracles. Our speech does not have to be elaborate to tell others of Jesus. Our knowledge does not have to be that of a Harvard scholar. Our presentation need not be perfect according to speech techniques.
If our heart is sincere, God will take what we have to share and through the work of the Holy Spirit will move those people who are searching to fill the empty place in their heart. We are merely vessels spreading the Gospel message that will give God the glory and honor which is His.
Today is Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is fifty days after Passover. Jesus was crucified during Passover and rose after Passover which we call Resurrection Sunday. He remained with the disciples for forty days and then ascended to Heaven.
The Holy Spirit appeared ten days after the ascension. So, the Holy Spirit was made available to people fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection. This is what we know and celebrate as Pentecost Sunday.
Before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He said to his disciples, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4-5).
The disciples did not understand what Jesus was saying and Jesus knew that just by the question they asked. He told them “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” (Acts 1:8).
As the disciples watched Jesus ascend into Heaven, there was no question in their mind that He indeed was Almighty God. Jesus knew that the disciples had to see this phenomena if they were to truly believe in Him.