#426 - TOGETHER IN EXPECTATION - (30/8/21)
During this LEARNING TO HEAR series I’m taking a different approach to these devotionals. I want to us work harder at searching the scriptures for ourselves. We will use the ‘Come to Jesus Daily’ method below to help us with this. It’s well worth the hard work involved!
‘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)
I’ve included my reflections on today’s text below. However, I encourage you to pray and spend time reflecting (writing can be helpful) using the 5 questions below before reading my thoughts.
i. †GOSPEL - 'Gaze on the cross'- What does this text reveal about salvation through Jesus?
ii. UP – What does this text say about God – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
iii. IN – What does this say about me, the church and how we are to relate? Is there a promise to believe, command to do, attitude to have, something to avoid, is there forgiveness to seek or give?
iv. OUT – What does this say about my community and mission?
v. DO - This has two components. Firstly, list as many possible ways that you can think of that one might apply the text (actions or attitudes). Secondly, hear - Pray about how the Holy Spirit is leading you, specifically, to respond.
MY REFLECTIONS (BASED ON NEV'S MESSAGE)
These 120 disciples in the upper room were together because Jesus had called them to be His disciples. Every one of their lives had been transformed by Jesus in different ways. We can come now together with our brothers and sisters with an expectation of the Spirit’s presence because we have been forgiven and accepted in Christ. Do we have a deep overwhelming appreciation that now the Holy God can come and dwell in us? In fact, He is delighted to do so!
God is generous to us. He wants to give us His presence and power by the Spirit. It’s His will that you are filled with His presence and enjoy His love. God had taken the initiative to call them and fill them, we read of Jesus promise in the previous chapter,
‘On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.”’ (Acts 1:4-5)
This text has an emphasis on the ‘in’ aspects of the Christian life.
They were ‘all together’. They were devoted to meeting for fellowship and prayer. This had been modelled by Christ and they had learned this habit from Him.
We are to meet together with great expectations of what God will do in and through us. ‘Tongues of fire separated and came to rest on them’. This is a vision of the coming of the Holy Spirit. When we meet, we are to expect to meet with the Holy Spirit.
We read that ‘they spoke in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.’ This was a supernatural ability to speak in other languages. When we meet, we are to expect the Holy Spirit to give gifts to encourage and build us.
This meeting with God in the Spirit-led to great evangelistic power. This gift of languages was used to speak of Jesus to the many different nations that were in the city. Any true meeting with God will lead to compassion, courage and the ability to share our faith.
On Sunday, Nev shared a prophetic picture he’d had a number of years ago; it speaks to us of the need to keep meeting together with an exception of the Spirit’s fresh-filling,
‘ I had a Picture of a circle of people. Fire came down on them as they prayed together. Then they dispersed taking the fire with them. However, We they needed to keep coming together to be reignited.’