Pentecost in Acts: God in Us!

(I write these devotions as a daily text to my nieces. I began to share them on my blog. There is a reference to Grandma and Grandpa, my mother in law and father in law. They believed and received the gift I wrote about.)

Happy Pentecost Sunday! At Christmas we celebrated God with us. At Easter we celebrated God restoring relationship with us. Today we celebrate God in us!!

I want to encourage you today to reflect on the precious presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He is the comforter, the teacher, the intercesor, the one who empowers us. The promise of the Holy Spirit’s infilling is for today.

Your Grandma and Grandpa testified frequently to the difference they experienced when they received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that we read about in Acts. They also practiced daily praying in tongues or praying in the Spirit. This is a part of your rich heritage. This gift of a prayer language that we read about in Ephesians:

“praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication…” Ephesians 6:18 ESV

This Builds us up in our faith. I have experienced its benefits in my life as well. I pray often in the Spirit. It is a daily practice that has helped me in my walk with the Lord.

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,” Jude 1:20 ESV

I mention all of this because I know how hard it is to live victoriously in this world. This is one of the tools that God has given us to help us to overcome sin. I would encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and to desire all that He has for you.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV

The Apostle Paul spoke of the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. That is spending time with Him as a friend. I know only a small portion of what this is and I want to know it more. May we all desire to know Him as our dear and closest Friend. Love you all!

Pentecost in Acts: Acts 19:1-10 The Holy Spirit Came

Paul went to Ephesus on his missionary journey. When he arrived there he found disciples there who had believed. They had not heard of the Holy Spirit and had only been baptized with John’s baptism of repentance. Paul explained:

“John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”” Acts 19:4 ESV

They were baptized and then Paul placed his hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit. Once again the Holy Spirit filled the people as He did on Pentecost:

“And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.” Acts 19:6 ESV

God had not changed. He filled the believers in Ephesus with the same promised power and presence of the Holy Spirit. God has not changed still today! We are a part of the promise:

“For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”” Acts 2:39 ESV

Come Holy Spirit!

Pentecost in Acts: Acts 11:1-18 The Same Gift

It was a big deal to the early Jewish Christians for someone to share the good news of Jesus to a non Jew/ Gentile. So when they heard that Peter had went to spend time with Cornelius, a Gentile, they criticized him. Peter told them the account of what happened in Caesarea.

He told the Jewish believers in Jerusalem that Cornelius was instructed by an Angel to send for him. The Angel told him Peter would tell Cornelius and his household how “they would be saved.” Then Peter told the story:

“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning.” Acts 11:15 ESV

Peter also baptized them in water after they had been “baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Verse 16)

He explained:

“If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”” Acts 11:17 ESV

So the Jewish believers praised God because the Gentiles were granted repentance as well.

In our day and time we can ask the same question Peter did, “Who am I that I can stand in God’s way?” God longs to fill us with His Holy Spirit baptizing us in the Holy Spirit. He desires for us to follow Him in water baptism. He wants us to repent and “to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ…”

Do we follow Jesus as the early Christians did? Do we long for all of God that He offers for us to experience of Himself? Or do we stand in the way of what God wants to do in our lives?

He wants us to believe in Him, follow His example of being baptized in water, and to be baptized in the Holy Spirit as well. He wanted this for the Gentile believers in Caesarea over 2000 years ago. He is the same God today!