When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4 ESV)

In a recent Bible discussion someone said that sometimes people think of God as a “genie,” i.e., a spiritual being in Eastern folklore that is imprisoned in a bottle or oil lamp  that one can summon any time and be commanded to fulfill one’s wishes.   They think that God will always grant their prayers. 

Before Jesus’ death on the Cross and His resurrection, even His disciples tried to “tame”  Him for their self-centered desires.  The brothers James and John asked Him to appoint them to the topmost positions in the earthly kingdom that they thought He would establish.  Simon Peter tried to stop Him from going to Jerusalem to fulfill His mission of salvation.  

But the disciples changed when they saw, touched, talked, and ate with the Risen Lord.  Fifty (5) days after Jesus’ resurrection the Holy Spirit came to them.  The disciples experienced the power of the Almighty Spirit of God as He came and a loud sound like that of a rushing wind and the appearance of tongues of fire rested on them.  Filled by the Holy Spirit these unschooled Galilean disciples began to speak languages of the Jews and proselytes gathered in Jerusalem from different countries.

Starting with Simon Peter, the disciples proclaimed boldly God’s love for the hearers —  how Jesus had died for their sins  but rose from the grave and defeated sin, Satan, and hell. Thereafter they preached the Gospel wherever they went.  The Holy Spirit’s power and wisdom accompanied them even as they faced extreme opposition to their Gospel message.  Their preaching was so powerful and effective that the jealous Jews opposed them violently, declaring that they had to be stopped because the disciples were “turning the world upside down.”

God is all-powerful.  Yet He loves  and transforms persons who acknowledge their sin and believe in Christ.  May the Holy Spirit work in us so that we may completely trust Him and allow Him to use us to proclaim the good news of Jesus.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, forgive me for my self-centered desire to control everything in my life and leave You out.  Let the  Holy Spirit Who is alongside me correct, comfort, and transform me that my life may be pleasing to You. Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

Reflection: What aspect of your life right now do you need the Holy Spirit to change so that it is in accord with His will?  How can your  Christian group help you in this?

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