The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

Pentecost

Sunday, June 4, 2017

 

Today we remember the day of the Pentecost, which was a holiday celebrated giving thanks to God, and offering sacrifices-50 days beyond Easter. This is a moveable day year over year depending on where Easter falls. The people in these times were very committed and reverent in their worship of God.

We too need to commit in our hearts to come before God with great reverence for who He is…God Almighty, Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, Lord of All, and our Heavenly Father. We must remember God is a holy God, who is worthy of the most sincere and devoted worship-every single day of our lives. We can always come with confidence before God, knowing He delights in our time together, and as we come, let us do so with great awe for who He is and that the Creator of the Universe makes time to listen to each one of us. It’s amazing what we have with God!

 

Today let us reflect and remember the significance of the Pentecost and what it means for God’s church yet today.

Why do we bother to look back and remember events like this? Is it just a tale? A good story handed down from generations? Does it really apply to us in 2022 or is it ancient history? Well, let’s take a look and see if there is any relevance to be found yet today. 

This day is the day God poured out His Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and they were speaking in many languages all at one time. It’s the day Jesus told them would be coming.

Jesus told his disciples he would be sending the Holy Spirit to them before he left in John 16: 7-13

7 “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 12 I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

 

Let’s Read Acts 2: 1-21 and be reminded of this very day when God sent His Holy Spirit to His people 

Acts 2: 1-21

1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 

16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

 

Read below verses 5-11 for help with proper names

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, (PAR-THEE-UNS) Medes (MEEDS) and Elamites (EE Luh Mite); residents of Mesopotamia, Judea (JU DEE UH)and Cappadocia, (CAP UH DOH SHEE UH) Pontus (PonTUS) and Asia, 10 Phrygia (FRI GEE UH) and Pamphylia (PAM FIL EE UH), Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene (CY REE NEY); visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism (JEW DAY ISM); Cretans (Kree Tins) and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

 

What is the message of Pentecost? 

  • Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord Shall be Saved. – vs. 21 

Praise God! That means ALL-not just a select few, not just those who were physically there that day to witness this magnificent event, not just the apostles who received the Holy Spirit in that moment-but ALL-meaning you and me today-and for generations yet to come-meaning the children of tomorrow.  Verse 21 states ALL who call on the great name of Jesus will be saved! To the ends of the earth-every nation, every race, every socio-economic class. All means all.

The salvation we find through Jesus Christ is available to ALL who call on His great name! 

If you are here today and haven’t truly called on the name of Jesus as your Lord and Savior yet and you desire to-you can right now. As you do you will be saved! If you believe Jesus is the Son of God who died for your sins and rose again defeating death and living for all eternity, then open your heart and ask Him to come into your heart and admit you are a sinner in need of forgiveness, and you wish to live for Jesus-you wish to follow His leading as your Lord and Savior and you desire Him to live inside you…He will. He will send His Holy Spirit just as He did all those years ago on the day of the Pentecost. You will be sealed with His Holy Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing your inheritance into God’s the Heavenly Kingdom. You will be joined with Jesus forever through His Holy Spirit. So awesome right?

ALL who call on the name of Jesus will be saved!

It is a simple, yet genuine prayer from our heart that changes everything. 

For those of us who are already saved and believers-are we just kicking back now on the easy street waiting on the day we’ll join Jesus in Heaven?  “Just biding my time until the Good Lord calls me home.” No….we have work to do here, MUCH work to do here on earth! We are His disciples and what is the purpose of a disciple? We learn from our master and teacher and we emulate Him. We are to share the Good News of Jesus with others who God places in our lives.  We are to love others as Jesus does.

How we share this Good News and truth is key though. We are to be bold in our faith yes. Often times that means living out our faith boldly by fully trusting God in all our circumstances and remaining in His peace.

So bold faith can be witnessed as not being stressed out all the time and standing in the promises of God when we are walking through uncertain times such as we have been, and will continue to do over and over again in our lifetimes. Bold faith can be witnessed by acting in love towards others-especially the most unlovable people. By offering grace to those who don’t deserve it. or forgiving those who have wronged us. By speaking blessings over others instead of cursing them. By showing compassion instead of judgment towards others.

By asking God to change our hearts, instead of demanding someone else to be changed first. By humbly admitting our own faults and seeking forgiveness from our Heavenly Father and being willing to admit that to others who need to see our humanness and our humility. By never giving up on our faith when it gets hard and continuing to run our race. By praying without ceasing and with thanksgiving for all God has and will do yet. These are just some examples of living boldly in our faith while acting in love. 

Living boldly in our faith can also be paying attention to the open opportunity God gives us to share Jesus with someone and discerning through the Spirit, when the timing is right and when it is not. Then stepping out in faith in those times He is saying yes now…and letting the Holy Spirit guide our words.

It is through our actions that we can best show the love of Jesus to others. It is in how we choose to live by faith that grows curiosity and causes people to wonder what is different about us, and how they can get some of what we have-peace, joy, and hope. We are to live as Jesus did, so when others see us and interact with us, they see Jesus radiating through us. It is through loving others-really loving others, that we share the Gospel, and draw them to the heart of Jesus so they may call on His great name.

Jesus tells us in John 13:35, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

 

  • He Will Pour out His Spirit Upon All People. – vs. 17 

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”

 

I love this scripture. What is God telling us here? He will pour out His Spirit on ALL people! Just the Apostles? Just the priests in that day? Just men? Just adults? No…..ALL people young and old, women and men. Everyone who has called on the name of Jesus He will pour out His Spirit upon.

Don’t ever believe anyone who says you can’t, you’re not qualified, you’re not old enough, you’re too old, you’re not educated enough…it’s not about YOU when we are serving for God’s kingdom! It’s not about me or any of us. It is absolutely about the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon us and in us! He is looking for us to have a willing and submissive heart for Him to fill with His Holy Spirit.

Just as the Apostles were willing and yielded their thoughts and actions to the Holy Spirit. You and I are to do the same. As we do, God fills us with His Holy Spirit-it is flowing like a river within us! If you tune within, you can feel that flowing sensation within you and it’s powerful. You feel more alive and more energized than you ever would in your own power. 

This is why the scripture says in 1 Corinthians 10:31 “ So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Nothing is insignificant when we do it for the glory of God! Every act of service and kindness matters. 

When we seek God’s will in our lives and let the Holy Spirit be our guide in all we do-we accomplish great things, we achieve great successes, and we give immense glory to God because we are not acting in our power, but the power of the Holy Spirit! 

 

The most awesome thing to remember is as long as you have breath in you-you are an instrument and a vessel for God to work through. You are a means to spread the gospel to the nations, remembering the US is the 3rd largest mission field. Right here in our own backyard, there are countless people who need to know the love of Christ and they will come to know it and Him through you and me, based on our willingness to be a vessel of God’s love to flow through.

God will use whomever He wants, whenever He wants, however, He wants. 

 

We as humans place limits on one another-but God doesn’t. There are no limits with God so long as we remain open to following Him and wherever He leads us. It’s only when we start listening to the doubt and judgment of the world around us that we become limited. Don’t do that.

Don’t think because you’re young or older that you can’t be used. Don’t think because you’re a woman you can’t be used. Don’t think because you aren’t as well educated as others you can’t be used or because you are highly educated you’re over qualified. Don’t think because you don’t travel around the globe you can’t be used. Don’t think because you’re just coming into your faith or just starting to follow Christ, you’re too new to do any good

Start praying for God to show you how He wants to use you right now-right where you are in life, and then trust in Him that He has already equipped you with all you need to fulfill whatever He puts on your heart. Then follow! God will increase or change how He uses us for His glory and Kingdom as we evolve and grow. He can and will work through you in every stage of your faith journey as you let Him. Don’t wait. Believe you have a purpose now.  

 

When we yield and let the Holy Spirit be our guide-we enter into the most amazing adventure we will ever know! Remember this day of the Pentecost, and what Peter was sharing goes way back to the prophet Joel in the Old Testament and what God foretold way back then, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.” It’s always been His plan for ALL to be filled with His Spirit-not just a select few. So let us believe this and seek His leading on how and where He wants us to serve. So instead of thinking, we’re not qualified or capable, let’s start praying for an in-filling of God’s Holy Spirit who is more than capable! 

 

  • We Are Unified Through His Holy Spirit – vs. 6-8 

With the apostles’ ability to speak in every native language of those who were present to hear, God was showing He was bringing unity to all His people through the understanding of the Holy Spirit. For us this means we are called to create unity in our churches, in our lives, and bring peace to all brothers and sisters and those we interact with. 

It is the love of Christ that allows us to live in this type of unity. Without it, we see great division and hatred that wells up in the world around us. With it, we see immense kindness and compassion and genuine love for humanity that rises above the hate. This is what God desires for us. THIS is what Jesus prayed for us before He went to the cross. 

John 17: 22-23 2I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Unity in Spirit is how we show the love of Christ to the world. It is the love of Christ flowing through us that empowers us to live in unity.

Ephesians 3: 16-19 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Our theme this year is Taste and See the Lord is Good. It is my hope that we will all seek God more through His Holy Spirit flowing in us, that we will desire to experience the power of His Spirit moving in and through us more and more, and that we will pray to be immersed in His Holy Spirit and be filled daily, that we will learn to tune to His flow and hear His voice guiding us more and more. This is His gift to us and His desire, that we all live out of Christ, who lives in us. This is what God meant in His Word to taste and see the Lord is good. 

 

We are not called to change people, fix them, or make them right in our eyes. We cannot save people.  All of that belongs to God and God alone. We are simply called to love others, as God loves us and through that love, point them to the salvation found in Jesus. That’s it. Love. As we love as Jesus loves, we move towards unity through the working of the Holy Spirit. It is the love of Christ that unifies us. 

 

Conclusion:  The Holy Spirit is the power behind Christ’s message that drives the gospel message past human ears and targets the soul of the listener. Jesus didn’t come to stay in the flesh on earth forever. He came to show us the invisible God we serve, to teach us how to seek and follow God in all aspects of our life just as He did, to show us how to live with great victory and peace, and how to love even an unloving world.

As he left this earth, He gave us the most incredible gift to keep us closely connected with Him always and to continue teaching us as we grow in our faith-the gift of the Holy Spirit. May we make this gift our most treasured gift, for the Spirit brings us the power of Christ Himself in us. May we draw upon the Spirit daily, and may we in turn extend an outpouring of the Holy Spirit placed within us to all others around us. As your cup runneth over-let it pour out into the hearts of those around you. 

Pray.  Lord we thank You for the indescribable gift we have with Your Holy Spirit in us. Thank You Lord for Pentecost and the powerful display of Your power and Your intentions for all to be filled by Your Spirit. We ask for a fresh filling of Your Spirit within us today Father. Overflow us with Your Spirit and every spiritual blessing. Let the overflow pour out of us as we interact with others that through our actions they might encounter You Lord. Help us to walk with Your Spirit’s leading each day and no longer strive in our own ability. Let us draw from Your power that is ever flowing in us. Let us listen to Your counsel that is ever speaking over us. Help us to keep in step with Your Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, our Advocate and our Comforter. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. 

 

Communion: 

Through His Holy Spirit, we are building the body of Christ stronger and stronger. As we allow our lives to become woven together knowing we all have the same Spirit living inside us, that is our connection-that is what unifies us and allows us to love one another. It all starts with the love of Christ. A love so great he shed his blood for us on the cross. His blood poured out as our perfect sacrifice, that paid our debt once and for all. He was the spotless lamb laid on Heaven’s altar. All because of His love for you and me, and generations to come. His Holy Spirit is a reminder of His great love ever-present and ever near to us-He will never leave us, never forsake us, and He is always going before us to make a way for every situation we face.

 

Let us take a moment to reflect on His great love and sacrifice. Let us give thanks this morning and if we need to confess any sin let us do that before we partake in communion. If you desire to accept Jesus into your heart, pray that now. If you desire to more fully draw upon the Holy Spirit that has been poured out upon you, pray that now and ask God to fill you with His Spirit and every spiritual blessing that comes through His Spirit. If you desire to know more fully the purpose God has for you right now in your life-ask Him to show you. In this time as we remember the sacrifice Jesus made, let us also remember the gift we have been given in the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, and pray for God to show us how we bring Him greater glory-how we show the love of Christ through our lives more-how we bring the gospel to the nations-beginning in our local community. Let us not just be thankful. Let our thankfulness compel us to serve as Jesus did.  Spend a moment in quiet reflection, repentance, and thankfulness. 

 

Let us pray in remembrance and thanksgiving, and then partake in this sacrament together. 

Lord Jesus, we come before you in humility and ask You to examine our hearts today. Show us anything that is not pleasing to You. Reveal any secret pride, any unconfessed sin, any rebellion or unforgiveness that may be hindering our relationship with You. May we repent from it and release it to You now. We know that we are Your beloved children, having received You into our hearts and lives and having accepted Your death as a penalty for our sinfulness. The price You paid covered us for all time, and our desire is to live for You. 

 

You taught us to remember Your sacrifice and what Your life, Your body, and Your blood given means to us. 

“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  Matthew 26: 26-28

 

As we take the bread representing Your body that was given for us, we remember and celebrate Your faithfulness to us and to all who will receive You. You died for us! Thank You, Jesus. Thank You that Your death gave us life—abundant life now, and eternal life forever. As You instructed Your disciples, we, too, receive this bread in remembrance of You.

 

And in the same way, as we take this cup representing Your blood poured out we realize that You were the supreme sacrifice for all our sin: past, present, and future. Because of Your blood shed for us, and Your body was given for us, we can be free from the power and penalty of sin. Thank You for Your victory over death. You took the death that we deserved. You took our punishment. Your pain was indeed our gain. And today we remember and celebrate the precious gift of life You gave us through the spotless blood that You shed.

 

Each time we take communion, Lord, we recommit our lives, our hearts, our thoughts, our all to You. Fill us today with Your powerful Spirit. As we leave this place, help us to hold on to this fresh indwelling of Your presence. Help us to share the message of salvation faithfully as You give opportunity. In You, we hope and give thanks, Jesus. Amen. 

 

Final Blessing: Hebrews 13: 20-21 “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

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