Summary: #7 in the series "Patterns for Prayer." Looks at the role of Prayer on the day of Pentecost.
There’s a city that’s been in the news a lot lately that most of us had never heard of. The city is Yongbyon. The reason that Yongbyon is newsworthy is that it is the site of North Korea’s nuclear reactor. The reclusive communist state said recently it needed to restart the frozen program to generate badly needed electricity and that the reactor would only be used the peaceful purposes "at the present stage."
That last phrase is important because experts have calculated that restarting the five-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon could enable North Korea to produce 5.5 kilograms of plutonium annually and start manufacturing nuclear weapons within a year.
You see nuclear power can be used in two ways: It can be harnessed and produce large amounts of electrical power--enough to supply entire nations, or it can be used explosively in one massive momentary display of power.
On the day of Pentecost the Church of Jesus Christ experienced the Powerof the Holy Spirit in a spectacular, explosive way--3,000 were added to the church in that one day. And I believe the Holy Spirit can and does work in spectacular ways.
BUT, we need to understand that He is no less powerful as He works in and through our lives everyday in what could be called a "controlled burn"
Over the last several weeks we’ve been looking at the "Patterns for Prayer" seen in the lives of the early church which are recorded in the book of Acts. Today we turn back a few pages to chapter twobecause today is Pentecost Sunday--50 days after Easter, ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven after spending 40 days with his disciples after the resurrection.
Even though our text today doesn’t note specifically that the believers were praying when the miraculous events occurred that Sunday, I think it’s a pretty good guess that they were because Acts 1:14 tells us that "They all joined together constantly in prayer"
In Chapter 2 we read about the day of pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came in power in responseto their prayers. This morning I’d like us to look at what exactly it is that the Spirit brought to them, and what He still brings to us... The first thing is what we’ve been talking about already:
4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
What I want you to notice specifically is that the Spirit is the source of the power. They haven’t taken language courses. They haven’t had a board meeting to come up with new marketing techniques. It was the spirit that enabled them.
It’s not surprising since that’s exactly what Jesus had promised when he met with them before returning to His place in heaven:
1:8 "...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."
He had given them a tall task, no smaller than the whole earth. But where he calls He equips, and He equips with the inexhaustable power of the Holy Spirit.
Max Lucadowrote in his book "God Came Near" that one New Year’s Day, in the Tournament of Roses parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. The whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gas. The amusing thing was this float represented the Standard Oil Company. With its vast oil resources, its truck was out of gas.
Folks we have an inexhaustable supply of power to accomplish what the Lord has called us to do. We don’t have to try to do it in our own strength. The source of power is the Holy Spirit.
The next thing that the Holy Spirit brings is the reason for the power: a...
5-6 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
Note also that beyond simply drawing a crowd the Spirit empowers Peter to preach a message to those gathered in Jerusalem for this Pentecost festival and he convicts them of their need for Jesus and 3,000 are saved that day. The power isn’t just to make a show, it’s to make a difference.
One of golf’s immortal moments came when a Scotchman demonstrated the new game to President Ulysses Grant. Carefully placing the ball on the tee, he took a mighty swing. The club hit the turf and scattered dirt all over the President’s beard and surrounding vicinity, while the ball placidly waited on the tee. Again the Scotchman swung, and again he missed. Our President waited patiently through six tries and then quietly stated, "There seems to be a fair amount of exercise in the game, but I fail to see the purpose of the ball. (Campus Life)