Summary: The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father, and the heart of the Father is for the lost.
The Spirit of The Father
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father, and the heart of the Father is for the lost.
Pentecost Story: Acts 2:1-41
The emphasis in church on the Spirit is often on His comfort, his gifts, his fruit. The Pentecost story has an emphasis on the power of the Spirit & on his effect on the lost.
Often times when we tell the story of Pentecost, we place the emphasis on the spectacular – the mighty rushing wind, the tongues of fire, the ability to speak in other languages, but Jesus’ emphasis is on the speech that Peter gives.
Jesus says in Acts 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."
With the way that we have experienced the Spirit in the last number of years, you’d think that he said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will fall on the ground and shake, …you will roar with laughter, … you will shout out…” No, he says “you will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth.” It is not that we reject these other outward signs of the Spirit’s presence in someone’s life, but the promise is that we will be witnesses!
This is not too surprising, since as we have been seeing over the last few weeks, the heart of God the father is for the lost, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father.
The heart of the Father is described by Jesus in Luke 15.
Have you ever lost something important to you? Do you get that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach?
Three stories of the lost Luke 15
Lost sheep read verses 1-7
Jesus tells the story of this woman who has worked hard for very little pay. But each time there was a little left over, she would put it aside just in case it was needed in the future. She had collected 10 silver coins in all over the years, ten days wages –it is her nest egg, her fund for a rainy day, her emergency cache. She had bundled the coins up and kept them on a shelf. Every once in a while she pulls the bundle down, opens it up and sees the fruit of her labor. One day as the light is fading and the days work is finished, she pulls the bundle down and opens it. There are only 9 coins! One has gone missing! She grabs the broom and lights a lamps and begins to sweep her whole house to find the missing coin. She reaches into the last corner with her broom and hears the clink of metal against stone. She brings the lamp down low, and there in the pile of dust is her lost coin, now found. She immediately runs out into the street with the coin to tell her friends and neighbours the story and they rejoice over the newly found coin.
How many of you have ever lost a child momentarily? How did it feel?
3 pictures of God:
the shepherd, - in spite of all hardships, continues to seek until sheep is found. The one who is missing is far more on the mind of the shepherd than the one ones who are safe. Last week I told you that you are priests of the most high God. You are also shepherds, or pastors. The call to become the father, is also a call to shepherd lost sheep into God’s fold.
the woman, - emphasis on the thoroughness of the search – God will not leave a place on earth unswept until he finds his lost ones. We are God’s broom, we brig the light into dark places to find the lost coins
the father - the others are lost unknowingly, the son chooses to be lost - if the father would go search, he would only drive him away, so he waits - not patiently, but expectantly
When the Holy Spirit of God comes upon the church, he drives them out on to the street to find the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son. We like to think of ourselves as a “Spirit-filled church”. If we are so Spirit-filled, what are we doing in here?
I say this a bit facetiously, since the new born church is described constantly meeting together and breaking bread. Meeting together is part of who we are as a church, but we must know that part of being Spirit filled is having God’s heart for the lost, and getting out there to seek them out. If your involvement in church means that you have no time for your non-Christian friends, you need to re-think your schedule.