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Celebrating the Day

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Celebrating the Day

May 23, 2004

Pentecost Sunday

One little girl, Hannah, begged her grandmother, long-distance to come help her celebrate her sixth birthday. Unable to resist, grandma made her plans to join the family.

When they sat down for the birthday dinner, her Daddy asked Hannah if she would like to bless the food on her birthday. "Oh, yes, Daddy," she said.

She closed her eyes and began, "Dear Lord, thank you for Mommy and this good food she fixed. Thank you for letting Grandma come here today."

Pausing momentarily, Hannah opened her eyes to peek at Grandma before she continued. "And please Lord, let us have a good time at 'Toys R Us' this afternoon."

Celebrations – including birthdays are exciting not only for kids, parents and even grandparents but for God too.  After all God instituted many holidays and celebrations for the Israelites to follow.

Passover – when God instructed the Israelites in captivity in Egypt to sacrifice a spotless lamb so the death angel would Passover their home and not kill the firstborn.

Festival of Firstfruits – first crops of the barley harvest – to remind the people how God provided for them.  Took place on the day after the Sabbath of Passover.

Festival of Harvest or Pentecost.  Pentecost is a Greek word that means 50. 

Leviticus 23:15-16  (NLT)  “From the day after the Sabbath, the day the bundle of grain was lifted up as an offering, count off seven weeks.  Keep counting until the day after the seventh Sabbath, fifty days later, and bring an offering of new grain to the Lord.”

Passover is a picture of the death of Christ.

1 Peter 1:18-20  (NLT)  “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him for this purpose long before the world began, but now in these final days, he was sent to the earth for all to see. And he did this for you.”

Firstfruits is a picture of the resurrection of Christ.  Our Easter – Sunday, was the Festival of Firstfruits for the Jews.

1 Corinthians 15:20–23  (NASB)  But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.  For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming.”

Pentecost pictures the coming of the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:13  (NLT)  “Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ’s body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit.”

Read Acts 2:1-13  page 140

Let’s look at what this portion of scripture has to say to us today.

  1. v.1 KJV says When the Day of Pentecost had fully come.  The disciples were told to go and wait in Jerusalem for what God was going to send them.

God never does anything too soon or too late.

  1. v. 1 The believers were meeting together in one place.  I need to be with other Christians.

Hebrews 10:25  (NLT)  “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.”

  1. v. 2-3 Something important might happen if I miss church.  Everyone present.  Not those that thought about coming and didn’t make it, or…

You never know what you might miss from God if you are not there when believers gather.

What do I expect when I come to church?  Same old thing?  Is all I am doing is coming to church or do I go with an expectation of meeting God?

Psalm 5:3  (NLT)  “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.”

Do I expect God to work in only a certain way or with a certain characteristic?

1 Kings 19:11-13  (NIV)  “The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

  1.  v. 4 Filled with the Holy Spirit.

God sent the promised Comforter, Holy Spirit they were told to wait for.  This type of thing will not take place again.  Christ died once for all sin.  He does not need to die again.  He rose to new life once.  The Spirit was sent to the church once for all time and all people.

Luke 3:16  (NLT)  “John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I am not even worthy to be his slave. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

Joel 2:28-29  (NLT)  “Then after I have poured out my rains again, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions. 29 In those days, I will pour out my Spirit even on servants, men and women alike.”

  1. v.4  And they began speaking in other languages as the Spirit gave them the ability.

The Greek word here for languages is dialektō – or dialects.  This is not some unintelligible speech but other languages that those who were there from other nations could understand as their own.

The ability came from God, not something they could do on their own.

  1. v. 5-13 Others came running to see what was happening.

Are there those in the community that are intrigued by what goes on in church?

Some will be amazed at what God is doing.

Some will put down what takes place.

Both groups could be what other translations call devout men, God fearing – in other word – Christians.

Am I ready to look foolish before men to be called a good and faithful servant by God?

When the breath of God and His Spirit came that day it was not to blowout the flames and just wish for something.  He gave His Holy Spirit to the church to touch each one of us and empower us to live for God.

Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ tells in his book, “How to Be Filled With the Spirit” this story of a famous oil field called Yates Pool:

During the depression this field was a sheep ranch owned by a man named Yates. Mr. Yates wasn't able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage, so he was in danger of losing his ranch. With little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on government subsidy.

Day after day, as he grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills. Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.

At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large. In fact, 30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day.

And Mr. Yates owned it all. The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he'd been living on relief. A multimillionaire living in poverty. The problem? He didn't know the oil was there even though he owned it.

Many Christians live in spiritual poverty. They are entitled to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and his energizing power, but they are not aware of their birthright.

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