Today Lord, send the light of your Holy Spirit into my life.
Read Acts 2:1–21
The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 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.”
Peter Addresses the Crowd
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.’[c]
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectReflect on ways in which you’ve received God’s power over recent days. Are you feeling empowered or depleted?
Praying together from the moment that the risen Jesus left them (Acts 1:13,14), the disciples are all together when the Spirit visits them in power as a violent wind blowing through their meeting. The fire that appears in their midst seems initially to be a single fire, only separating afterwards to come to rest on each of them (v 3) – a corporate consecration before an individual one. The effect is startling. As the Spirit rests on each one, they’re filled with his presence and enabled to speak other languages, seemingly of the whole known world (vs 7–11).
Remembering Paul’s challenge in Romans to both the strong and the weak, we see from the very beginning of the church God’s concern to reach across all divides. It appears that the assembled company has been carried out into the street declaring the wonders of God, and people gather to observe their ecstasy (vs 7,12,13). For the intrigued crowd, Peter interprets what’s happening as the longed-for pouring out of the Spirit on all people (vs 14–17). More than this, Peter stresses that this is a sign that salvation is at hand (v 21).
From the beginning, the Spirit is given to empower mission and ministry – and from this one event begins the church that stands to this day and into eternity.
How is the Holy Spirit empowering you, so that, like Jesus, you may see what the Father is doing and get involved (John 5:19)?
Today Lord, send the fullness of the Holy Spirit into my life. The Spirit’s wisdom and understanding, his counsel and might, his knowledge and true godliness.
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