This week we celebrate the birth of the Church - it's Pentecost Sunday. We're going to revisit Acts 2 and remember why the Holy Spirit was poured out that day.(SPOILER ALERT: It was for power to share Christ!)
While the events of Pentecost show God to again be full of wonder and mystery, there is beautiful order and deep meaning to everything that happened in that upper room. I'm looking forward to getting into it with you and celebrating the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit.
I encourage you to read slowly through Acts 1 and 2 this week and prepare your hearts for Sunday. Also, I've included a selection from an article written by Pastor Bob Jones for the May/June 2016 issue of Testimony Magazine. Pastor Bob is an incredible man of faith and a good friend. It's worth reading! You can read the full story at here.
"The intensity of what happened after I prayed convinced me that something supernatural was taking place. My future changed in an instant.
I was filled with the Holy Spirit. The year was 1976.
A Saturday afternoon and I was kneeling by my bed praying. It was me and God. Saturday afternoon prayer meetings were not usual for me but this was an unusual time in my life. I was living in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario where I had a job with Air Canada. God was prompting me to talk about Jesus with people who were very important to me. The thought made me nervous.
Acts 1:8 records Jesus' promise, "...you will receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon you." I needed power.
So, I prayed, "Lord, please fill me with your Holy Spirit." God answered my prayer. My experience that day was real. I began to pray in a language that I did not understand but made sense to me. I received a power that included the unction to speak up over my self-consciousness. I became Spirit-conscious.
By nature I am an introvert. I am non-demonstrative, soft spoken and reserved. Few people would ever describe me as being overly emotive. Pentecostal-type experiences are often labeled as mere emotionalism - they are much more than that. Myself and other spirit-filled, introverted ministers and believers stand as testimonies that being filled with the Holy Spirit is about power not emotion or personality.
The fullness of Holy Spirit doesn't change personality - He empowers believers to be bold, loving witnesses. A quiet spirit can be quite a powerful influence in sharing Jesus with people.
It is good with the Holy Spirit and me."
Bob Jones, May/June 2016 Testimony Magazine