Posted by: TLC Fellowship | June 6, 2014

Poured and Received

by Shelby Nelms, member of TLC Fellowship

1When 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. 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.

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.  ~ Acts 2:1-4, 15-18 (NIV)

No matter how many times I heard or read about Pentecost and its significance in both the Jewish and Christian faiths, I was always drawn to the details of that event 50 days after Passover. I could see the 120 believers behind closed doors during the Festival of Weeks, wondering what they were to do with Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and a city of detractors and persecutors looking for them. I could see this group of men and women starting to feel low and alone once more, and the appearance of the Holy Spirit when they needed it the most: the sound of a wind that shook the building, the tongues of fire that appeared above their heads, and the sudden speaking of languages from across the known world. I could even see Peter—the resident fighter, doubter and curser (because we know he did)—step up and speak with the boldness Jesus knew he had inside him.

Yet, while reading, hearing, and imagining that amazing moment in the history of Christianity, I had never really focused on the cause of the specifics, until now. Peter’s rebuttal to the accusation of drunkenness was to quote Joel 2:28-32:

“‘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….’”

It was God saying, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people” that struck a chord with me. He didn’t say “I will sprinkle my Spirit”, like flicking drops of water that evaporate upon contact. God poured the Holy Spirit into those early believers—a group as diverse as the body of Christ is today—knowing it would soak past their carnal surface. He knew that wondering what they were to do with Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and a city of detractors and persecutors looking for them would settle into their souls and transform them into witnesses, preachers, teachers, healers, etc.—all their world needed.

The amazing and humbling thing is how much love and care God showed by pouring the Holy Spirit into you and me, people with more than their fair share of issues. Knowing who we were, and who we would become by choosing to accept Him, He did this. There may not have been visual tongues of fire over our heads, but we were transformed, right when we needed it most.

To quote an old family friend, “God is a smart fella.” Yes, He is.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your soul-saving, transforming, absolutely amazing love and power. Thank you for your Holy Spirit, for pouring it into our lives. Let us not take it for granted, nor be stingy and hide it from this world. Instead, embolden us to declare without fear that you are God alone, reigning high, looking low, and ready to save all who would call on your holy name. Amen.

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