Summary: Some things about the Day of Pentecost weren’t meant to be duplicated. But what part of this mighty show of God’s power can we recapture today? *HANDOUT INCLUDED*
This is one of the most amazing days in the history of man.
****TELL THE STORY, like a narrative!******
There are some things about this day I don’t really care if I ever see duplicated.
* the “tongues of fire”
* Rushing, mighty wind
* languages that were spoken (in America, we don’t have as much need of those languages to communicate the Gospel)
But there are some things about this I want for YOU and ME in this church today!
1. We can put aside our differences.
“They were all with one accord in one place...”
Now, there’s a lot behind that statement. You have to understand WHO these people were. Let’s look back and see what we know about these disciples – you’ll find they were NOT always unified!
A. They had been divided politically.
Luke 6:13 “And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles. . . 15 Matthew [a tax collector] and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called ‘the Zealot’. . .”
The tax collectors did the work of the Roman governor, collecting the taxes that Rome imposed.
The Zealots were planning to overthrow the Roman government.
That’s worse than the Democrats and Republicans. At least neither of us is thinking of killing anyone. (I hope.)
How do you think these people felt about the other belonging to their sworn enemy?
B. They had been divided by personal ambition.
Mark 10:35 “Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask."
36 And He said to them, "What do you want Me to do for you?"
37 They said to Him, "Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory."
Mark 10:41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John.
How do you think the rest of them felt about James and John’s attempt to get on the inside track?
C. They had been divided by pride.
Matthew 26:33 “Peter answered and said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble."
How do you think the rest of them felt about Peter insinuating that they might not be as faithful as he was?
What was different about the days coming up to Pentecost? I imagine the political differences were still there. . . but somehow, the bitterness, divisions, and anger were gone! So how did this happen?
The secret to unity is not to eliminate all differences! The secret to unity is to find something bigger than our differences to focus on!!!
What problems do you have with other people? Do you have tensions between people here in the church. (I truly don’t know of any, and I thank God for that!!!) If there are, why don’t you go to that person, confess them, and put them aside in favor of the larger goals that we have?
2. We can be filled with the Spirit.
“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit...”
Here’s how the Bible says to be filled with the Spirit:
a) Surrender control of every part of your life to God.
Romans 12:1 “I plead with you therefore, brothers...present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
This may not be the easiest thing to do – we’re all born with a nature that wants to stay in charge. We want to control things in our lives.
b) Ask him to cleanse away the sinful nature you were born with, and replace it with the Holy Spirit in your heart.
Psalm 51:5 “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. . . Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
c) Trust him to cleanse you and fill you.
I Thessalonians 5:23-24 “And the God of peace himself sanctify [cleanse] you entirely. . . faithful is He who calls you, who also will do it!”
d) Stay close to God to stay “full” of the Spirit always.
Ephesians 5:18 “Be [continually] filled with the Holy Spirit...”
You and the Holy Spirit are not like a cup and water. . . you’re more like a pipe and water. You’ve got to stay connected to stay full of Him.
What’s the result of you and I being filled with the Spirit?
John 7:38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit,”
Did you know that when you and I are filled with the Spirit, we will have an AURA about us? We will be like Jesus. . . others will notice the love, acceptance, forgivness, wisdom, etc.