2022_01_07 Insight Post- Marcy Fleurima
This week's reading- Acts 1-2
In Acts 2, we begin to see the transformation in Peter. He begins to take charge with boldness, clarity, and courage. He is walking in forgiveness and grace. He is operating in the power of the Holy Spirit. You see, while Jesus was still on earth, both before his death and after his resurrection, he talked of the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, 10 days after he ascended into Heaven, the Holy Spirit “suddenly came with a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm and filled the house they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them and everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability 2:2-4” In contrast to when God mixed up the languages to cause confusion at the Tower of Babel, He caused everyone to be able to understand the languages among one another so the people were able to declare the wonderful things God has done. This allowed the Good News to spread to the ends of the earth. We often see fire in the Bible used to represent the Holy Presence of God as well as purity. Therefore, this was a mighty and powerful moment. After this intense encounter, Peter preaches like he’s never preached before. He recaps Jesus’ life all the way from prophetic words from David, to his life, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension, and now the Pentecost. After this message, it states, “Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what should we do? (2:37)’” Peter replied, “each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (vs38).”
Let’s unpack this a little bit together. The Holy Spirit is 1/3 of the Trinity. We are often more comfortable talking about God the Father and Jesus the Son and Savior. We sometimes don’t know how to wrap our minds around the Holy Spirit part of the Trinity. Please know, the Holy Spirit is God. And is a gift from God - to you. God is a good Father and only knows how to give good gifts to us, his children. With our Gift of the Holy Spirit, we get to have God with us wherever we are. Here’s the thing: Is this a gift we hide in the closet and forget about because it’s been there so long? Is it a gift we are afraid to open up because we don’t want to know what’s inside? Is it a gift we’ve opened but it became old news and it’s now forgotten about? I encourage you to open the Gift! Ask the Holy Spirit into your life and activate this Gift. When Peter finished his message, the hearts of the people were pierced and they needed to know what to do next. I pray the Holy Spirit puts that urgency in each of us.
In their podcast, Redmond and Riddle, worship leaders Matt Redmond and Jeremy Riddle often quote AW Tozer. I’ll include a couple quotes for you to ponder. AW Tozer says in a shocking statement, “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.” Also he says, “when we have the Holy Spirit, we have all that is needed to be all God desires us to be.”
Let’s take the examples from the early church we are learning about this year and let the Gift of the Holy Spirit transform you. It will take you further in your walk with Him than you’ve ever known you could go. You will see how real and alive and present he is.
The Holy Spirit is ONE thing that unifies us all as believers. I believe we can use more unity in our churches today.
Pierce our hearts, Lord. May we come to our knees in repentance for our sins. Forgive us for the ways we fall short compared to you. Thank you for the blood of Jesus that rescues us from the pit. Thank you for forgiving us and for loving us. Send your Holy Spirit on us, individually and as a church community. Place the fire in our hearts. We want to move in your power on your behalf. We want to declare all the wonderful works of the Lord. Have your way. Help us to surrender to you and be drawn into deeper intimacy with you. In your name we pray, Amen.
** Podcast referenced is Redman and Riddle. https://www.redmanandriddle.com