Thought for the week – 31st May 2020
This is the day they had been waiting for, they knew the day would come, they knew they were to wait in Jerusalem, but they did not know which day God had chosen.
As the Christians were celebrating the feast of Pentecost together in Jerusalem the Holy Spirit comes and the promise Jesus had given to them 10 days before was fulfilled:
Act 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (NIV)
What a difference He made to them then and still makes to us now.
I wonder if while they were waiting they had been recalling some of the other promises Jesus made when He spoke to them about the coming of the Holy Spirit, promises which were to undergird their lives, their witness and their power.
Promises which still undergird the lives, witness and power of Christians in the 21st Century for as Paul wrote in Romans the Holy Spirit lives in us:
Rom 8:9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. (NIV)
Consider, as we run through them now, some of the promises Jesus made just hours before His arrest and crucifixion – why not pause after reading each of these to think about them and ask God to make them real to you.
Jesus knew we would need continuing help when He returned to heaven and made all the arrangement for us to receive it:
Joh 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever
Joh 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (NIV)
The coming of the Holy Spirit means Christians are not left on their own for God is with us.
We need more than a helper we need a guide and teacher and with the Holy Spirit we have that too:
Joh 16:13 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. (NIV)
The Holy Spirit teaches us and guides us into all truth
In all that He does the Holy Spirit has one aim:
Joh 16:14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. (NIV)
The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus.
Crucially we need help if we are to make Christ known and others are to come to faith in Christ. The Holy Spirit is key to making Christ known and in fulfilling the call of Jesus.
Alongside His promises for those who have become Christians Jesus tells us the Holy Spirit is the One who convicts people they have sinned, convicts them that God is righteous and convicts them judgement will result.
Joh 16:8 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. (NLT)
As Charles Spurgeon the great 17th Century Baptist said without the Holy Spirit we cannot do anything.
‘Without the Spirit of God we can do nothing. We are as ships without wind or chariots without steeds. Like branches without sap, we are withered. Like coals without fire, we are useless. As an offering without the sacrificial flame, we are unaccepted.’ C H Spurgeon
Pentecost was only the start of the rest of their lives when through triumphs and failures, in times of ease and times of difficulty, times of rejoicing and times of pain, at every time of life the presence of the Holy Spirit will be a continuing help, support, challenge and encouragement.
John Hughes © 2020