Summary: This is a sermon preached on Pentecost emphasizing that whatever is on the inside of us will come out when pressure is applied.
What’s On The Inside Waiting To Come Out
Let’s suppose for a moment that you were in a room with hundreds of bags hanging overhead. All of the bags say the same thing on the outside. All of the bags look just like each other. All of the bags are filled with sand except for one. There is one bag that’s filled with tiny diamonds worth more money than you can ever dream of having. Lying on the floor next to you is a spear with a sharp point on it. If you only had 5 minutes to find the diamonds what would you do?
Now you could get a ladder and try to open the top of the bag and see what’s inside. You could get a ladder and try to put your arms around each bag and squeeze it to see how it feels. Or you could just pick up that spear and run from bag to bag jabbing it and moving on? You know that whatever is in that bag is going to come pouring out when you put enough pressure on it to cause it to open. Now keep this in mind for the rest of the message.
In our Old Testament reading we came into Isaiah. For years we have been singing the chorus, “I see the Lord seated on the throne.” It comes from our Old Testament passage, and this week’s bible study lesson. In the year King Uzziah died, Isaiah had a vision in which he saw the Lord. Up until this point in his life, he felt he was a pretty good person, and a whole lot better than most.
But the moment he truly saw God and the holiness of God, what was on the inside of Isaiah came out. He yelled out, “oh my goodness I am in bad shape. What comes from my lips is unclean, and the people I live with also have unclean lips. It’s not his actual lips he’s speaking of but of an unclean heart. What passes from the lips, is the result of what’s coming out of the heart.
A true encounter with God never makes us proud, it makes us humble. The closer we get to God, the further away we recognize that we truly are from Him. Yet God takes the initiative to bring us closer. God commanded one of the beings around the throne to take a burning coal and place it on Isaiah’s lips to remove his guilt and his sin.
When God removed the sin from his heart, again what was on the inside, immediately came out. The first opportunity Isaiah got to serve the Lord, he took it. When he heard the Lord say, “ Whom shall I send, and who will go for us,” unlike Moses who last week asked the Lord to please send someone else, “Isaiah declared, here am I Lord, send me.” We should not ask God to come into our lives today, if we’re not ready to say, “here I am send me.”
Today we celebrate what’s known as Pentecost. After Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead, Jesus did not go straight back into heaven and remain there. For about 40 days after his resurrection, Jesus came and was teaching the disciples. How many of us could handle a formerly dead man teaching us something for forty days?
Before he finally leaves, he tells the disciples, “You are to wait in Jerusalem in order to be baptized by the Holy Spirit. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will tell others about me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and all over the world.” After Jesus told the disciples this he left and went back into heaven.
Now the disciples were scared to death to tell others about Jesus. That was a good way to get into serious trouble, because the people who had killed Jesus in the first place also wanted to get rid of everybody who was claiming Jesus had risen from the dead. So when they met together, they did so secretly and behind closed and locked doors.
Then the day of Pentecost came. Now Pentecost was a name of festival that took place to celebrate the grain harvest. Pente means 50. This festival took place on the fiftieth day. So a big celebration was going on in Jerusalem and people had come from all over the empire to celebrate. The disciples and believers in Christ, a group of about 120 people had been in a room praying in Jerusalem.
While they were praying, the building started shaking, and there was a sound like a tornado was coming through. The people sitting down on the floor praying looked up and saw this fire in the shape of a tongue hovering over head. The next thing they knew, the huge tongue split into several little tongues and landed on the top of each one of them. All of them immediately got up and started preaching. The only thing was, they were all preaching in a different language.