Read This Week: Acts 2

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. – Acts 2:1-4 NIV

It has been said that the global church is not going to move or change the world by criticism of it or compliance with it, but by the power of the Holy Spirit within the lives of God’s people. The life-changing power of the Spirit through the church is the way the Lord has chosen to impact the world from the beginning. 

The early believers that we see in the book of Acts didn’t have all the resources that everyone says is essential for success today. They didn’t have slick media, buildings, money, political influence, or social clout. Yet, the gospel spread rapidly throughout the known world, thousands of people came to faith in Jesus Christ, and many local churches were planted and established. All of this happened because the church had the only thing it needed – the transcendent power of the Holy Spirit propelling and enabling its ministry.

Luke opens Acts chapter 2 at Pentecost and one of the most pivotal events in the New Testament and the catalytic moment for the movement of Christianity. Pentecost was one of the three major feasts on Israel’s annual calendar and marked the fiftieth (pentekoste) day after Passover. Jews from all regions were in one place on that day, and Jesus positioned the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promised Spirit to come on them. Then the power move happened. Verses 1-2 says:

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

The Holy Spirit had been active before this. He had worked in creation, in Old Testament history, and the life and ministry of Jesus. But Pentecost marked two changes and differences in how the Spirit would work and move going forward. God’s Spirit would dwell in people, not just come upon them, and His presence would now be permanent in the church and not temporary among the people. This presence and power are what Jesus told them in Acts 1:8, and it was now coming to pass.

In a display of God’s might, the Spirit came upon them and did miraculous signs and wonders. Sounds of a mighty rushing wind were there (v.2). A magnificent fire was seen (v.3), and the gift of speech happened where the believers were empowered to speak in different dialects and languages they had not previously known and were understood by those standing nearby (vv.5-12). The Holy Spirit had come in an incredible display and foreshadowing of God’s movement in the world like never before. It was a divine power move. 

The Apostle Peter then stood up to preach to the people and declared this word to them and over them about the Holy Spirit’s ministry in verses 17-21:

“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. Even on my servants, both men, and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

This moment marked the beginning of a new covenant and time where God would complete His plan of salvation for man. Jesus finished the work of redemption on the cross, and now the Holy Spirit would move in and through the church to share that good news with the world. The family of God now had divine momentum and power to spread the message of Christ to the ends of the earth.

The same Holy Spirit that came down at Pentecost is available to us today to live for Jesus and be His witnesses in our concentric circles of influence, just like the early Christians. The ministry of the Spirit is to bring glory to God in the life, expression, and testimony of the believer. The more we understand what happened at Pentecost and draw closer to that same Spirit, the more we will relate to Him and experience His power move in our lives and the world.

8 Comments

  1. almaschmidt on October 9, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    This week in Act chapter 2 verse 33, God gave me a song called “Lifted High”:

    We are lifted high, lifted high, lifted high
    To the right hand of God
    Being blessed with his promised Holy Spirit

    So let’s open our eyes to see God’s work
    To be fulfilled with his love, joy, and peace

    Let’s listen with our ears to hear his voice
    Obey and do his wonderful works
    Our hearts are wide open, wide open
    Ready to share his love

    So let’s sing with our arms lifted high
    You are amazing our Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit
    Amen.

    God’s promise is his spirit, we are blessed to be able to hear his words. Always trust, believe, and obey. When we listen and do it with God, it’s always better.

    • Jason on October 13, 2020 at 9:06 am

      Thank you, as always, for your songs to God, Alma. This was my favorite lyric from this week:

      So let’s open our eyes to see God’s work
      To be fulfilled with his love, joy, and peace

      I pray that we will all have eyes to see God’s work. His work in our lives and in the world. His work that is easily detectable and obvious as well as His work that is more subtle and hidden but still profound. May the Holy Spirit help us to be more in tune with God’s movement on earth and in our lives so that we may experience, as you said, his love, joy, peace, and gratitude.

  2. Heidi on October 11, 2020 at 9:39 am

    I’m so thankful to Father God for blessing us with His Holy Spirit! He blessed us because we responded to His love for us. His Holy Spirit will guide you and bless you in so many ways. The Holy Spirit, God’s presence gives you the strength you need to do God’s will. As you love God, listen and respond to Him and you will grow, be transformed. The more you seek Him, the more He will teach you. He will bless you inside with His peace.

    Father God has blessed us with many gifts, The Holy Spirit is a gift. The Holy Spirit gives each believer spiritual gifts, they are for building up others, teaching others about Jesus like Luke is doing. Seeing someone who is lost and helping them to know the truth. If they want to know.

    The Spirit of God empowered Christ for His ministry to others. God also blesses you for ministry so you can continue to do His work, He fills you, empowers you for serving others, to minister to others for Jesus. We are so blessed to have a good good Father, He loves us so much.

    Thank you, Father God, for teaching us in this new season about your Holy Spirit through Luke in Acts and all the people who got blessed by you. I hear God saying to me, “I did all this so we could be with each other forever and ever because I love you.”

    • Jason on October 13, 2020 at 9:19 am

      In light of the miracle at Pentecost in Acts 2, I’m really thankful that you put the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer in the context of today, Heidi. We constantly need to be reminded that the same power that was available then is still available to us in the same capacity. This line stood out:

      The Holy Spirit is a gift. The Holy Spirit gives each believer spiritual gifts, they are for building up others, teaching others about Jesus.

      Truly, the Holy Spirit is a gift; an underserved, beautiful, grace-filled gift from God through a relationship with Jesus Christ. One of my mentors used to say, “The Gift gives gifts,” in regards to the gift of the Holy Spirit endowing and bestowing upon us the spiritual gifts to serve God and others. These are the purposes of our gifts and I appreciate you highlighting that from this passage.

  3. Jeri Centers on October 11, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    God gave me a poem from Acts 2 Verse 19:

    God’s wonders are all around, so many blessings for you to see
    Just use your imagination, come now, take a look with me.

    You’ll see one in the sunset
    You’ll hear one in a bird song,
    Listen close as he sings melodies that fly high on golden wings.

    You’ll smell one in the sweet breeze
    Blowing across our garden’s path
    Blossoms budding and spilling forth.

    You will taste one on a Sunday night when Mom has something in the oven
    And the family has gathered all around.

    What that means to me is that it’s not hard to find the blessings that come each day from God. His wonders and miracles are all around, just look past what is expected and you’ll find them beyond the struggles and battles.

    • Jason on October 13, 2020 at 9:12 am

      I love your artistic expressions to God and His blessings, Jeri. The first part touched me:

      God’s wonders are all around, so many blessings for you to see
      Just use your imagination, come now, take a look with me.

      It reminded me of a quote by G.K. Chesterton, “To be thankful is the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. Thanklessness, then, must be the lowest form of thought, and ingratitude is discontentment, bankrupted of wonder.”

      I appreciate how you encouraged us to be in awe and wonder of God especially the big and little things all around us in creation and in the experiences we are privileged to have. That wonder always leads us to worship God and be thankful for who He is.

  4. Kathy on October 12, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    In Acts 2, this was what God was saying to me: “You are all in the seasons of the last days. My outpouring of the Holy Spirit is for all who call upon the Lord’s name. I offer salvation in a way previously unknown. The Christian life is meant to be full of fellowship-sharing one with another. You share the same guide for life, the same love for Me, and the same desire to worship Me. You also share some of the same struggles, the same victories, and the same joy of communicating My gospel.

    It is important you never forget what Jesus did on the cross for you. I want Jesus to become more important to you than any possessions. It should be an honor for you, to be a part of My plan. Whenever My work is done, My people should gather for prayer and worship. I want you to share your life with one another. I want to change your heart.”

    What this said to me was we are more alike than not, as brothers and sisters in Christ. I need to continue reaching out to others and spreading God’s word as long as I am breathing on earth.

    • Jason on October 13, 2020 at 10:13 am

      I love this, Kathy. I especially like your use of fellowship-sharing. The Biblical definition of fellowship is “being together” and I think that parlays well into your usage of sharing what we have together. It is one thing to be together, it is an entirely different thing to share in these things while being together. One can be passive but the other requires intentional activity. Your distinction here is very important for us in the Christian community. This section articulated this point well:

      The Christian life is meant to be full of fellowship-sharing one with another. You share the same guide for life, the same love for Me, and the same desire to worship Me. You also share some of the same struggles, the same victories, and the same joy of communicating My gospel.

      We have these same powerful things in our lives when we become followers of Jesus that we share communally and should hold, celebrate, and express with one another. This is the beauty and power of the Body of Christ.

      Fellowship-sharing is the wonderful relational distinction that we have as Christians and I pray we will recognize and practice it more because it is edifying to us and an incredible example to a world that is becoming increasingly divided and polarized.

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