Sunday, June 04, 2017

Power for ALL

Stained glass window from 
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church,
Moorhead MN.

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Acts 2:1-21

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts 2:4

When someone gives you a job, in order for you to be successful it is important that you have the capability to carry it out. Thus Jesus gave the large assignment -- to spread around the world the good news of what He had done -- with a proviso. The disciples were to refrain from doing anything about it until God gave them the enabling. His instructions: "And you are witnesses of these things….but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high." Luke 24:49.

And so the disciples gathered in Jerusalem to wait -- for what? I'm sure they didn't know exactly. But when it came, they did know this was it. An interesting fact to note is that the Holy Spirit came, He came on all.

Holy Spirit was no stranger to the Jews. He had come upon and indwelt numerous people in the Old Testament.

The Holy Spirit came upon or lived in:

  • Bezalel to give him wisdom and skill to design and create the Tabernacle and its furnishings - Exodus 31:1-5.

  • Balaam, Ezekiel, and other Old Testament prophets to enable them to prophecy -- bless, curse, give the people messages from God, and predict future events - Numbers 24:2; Ezekiel 11:24,25; 2 Peter 1:21.

  • Gideon, giving him courage and a plan by which to lead the people into battle - Judges 6:33-35.

  • Samson  for exploits of physical strength needed to challenge and defeat the Philistines - Judges 14:6.

  • King Saul giving him a new heart and a prophetic gift to prove it - 1 Samuel 10:6

  • Simeon to enable him to wait with hope, and then recognize, announce and prophecy over Jesus - Luke 2:25-32.

Each of these indwellings was  given to accomplish a specific task. The people in general were not so empowered. But here, on the Day of Pentecost, all were filled. And the Holy Spirit's filling is still available to all.

That filling is not to give us spiritual thrills or make us feel good. It is empowerment for service just as it was in the Old Testament. And I would suggest that such infilling can enable in the same ways it did then, depending on the need of the task and of the moment. We can claim the Holy Spirit's infilling to give us a new heart. We can claim it for wisdom and skill in the arts. We can claim it for help in leading and governing, for words to say, for courage, even for exploits of physical strength. Let's claim the Holy Spirit's presence and empowering afresh for our life, work, and ministry today!

Dear Holy Spirit, thank You for Your availability to all. Help me to allow You to work in and through me today. Amen.

MORE: Pentecost Sunday - and  "Holy Spirit Rain Down" sung by Hillsong

Today is Pentecost Sunday. The liturgy for today begins with this collect:
Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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