(Sharing on FB live Friday June 19)
For this devotional thought I wanted us to look at a few passages
Acts 1:3-8 (reading from the NLT)
“During the forty days after he suffered and died (talking about Jesus here) he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you THE GIFT HE PROMISED, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 2: 1-4 (NLT)
“On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.”
Before I moved to the U.S. in the year 2000 I used to play in a musical band called The Celestial Sounds led by Mr. Leroy Belcon. And prior to that I played in the Roach’s band. We were the Ambassadors, we played all over Trinidad. Anyway a few years ago I was talking to Mr Leroy who now lives in Texas and he said, Vaughn I have an arrangement of a song I’d like the group to do, if ever we come together again, ‘These are the days of Elijah.’ The song by Robin Mark. You know the song,
“These are the days of Elijah, Declaring the word of the Lord….There’s no God like Jehovah.”
The Celestials were supposed to have a reunion in May this year but due to COVID it was cancelled or postponed.
Anyway, I was also reminded of another song this week, in keeping with this ‘anointing topic:’ one by Richard Smallwood. Holy Spirit. The words go:
“Holy Spirit fall fresh on me, Lord, anoint us, we yield our all to thee; For we know that yokes are broken, And the captives are set free; So let it fall down, Fall down,Fall down on me…”
Ok, so back to the book of Acts. In chapter 1:
Here it is we have after Jesus’ resurrection, the promise that His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, will be left with the disciples to empower them to tell everyone about him.
Then in Chapter 2, during Pentecost, after a mighty windstorm, everyone there is filled with the Holy Spirit and something miraculous happens. They spoke in tongues, i.e. real languages. I don’t know what those languages were but if it were today I guess it would be that they spoke in Hindi, and Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Ibo, Swahili, and of course Jamaican patois—we know that’s a language too (smile).
In any instance, my question to you is this, actually I have a few questions:
‘what has happened to this promise made by Jesus after his resurrection but before his ascension —this gift of the Holy Spirit—Was it a one time event? Is this gift still evident today? If the first 12 disciples of Jesus were to wake up now and realize that we are still here on earth in 2020, what would be their reaction? 2000 years have past and we’re still trying to tell everyone about Jesus. Don’t we have now enough technology and resources to make this happen?
Matt 24:14 says,
“And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”
What do we need to make all nations hear the good news of Jesus’ impending return? Has the gospel been preached in every country to all people? Isn’t it time we get out of here?
Luke 24:29 says,
““And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.””
This suggests that we shouldn’t try to do anything in our own strength. Is that what we’ve been doing? Who can refute that we need empowerment?
So we know the Bible talks about the ‘former and latter rain.’ What are your thoughts on this? Let’s look at a few more passages before I close this devotional thought.
“then he will send the rains in their proper seasons—the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil.”
What is Moses talking about here? I’m not a theologian per se, I’m an accountant, but the verse begs the question, when is this harvest supposed to take place?
“Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring. The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil.”
When are these rains of spring to occur? Are we still in spring? When does summer officially begin? It’s supposed to be tomorrow, right, June 20.
And then, James 5:7-8
“Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.”
A few weeks ago, a letter came in the mail. One of those hand written letters. So I thought this must be from someone I know. Although it didn’t have my name specifically on it. It just had our address. Anyway I opened it and found a hand written message which said,
Amid the COVID 19 pandemic we all need some comfort and hope….’ Followed by a few positive messages.
Then it ended, ‘For more information and more encouraging thoughts please feel free to visit www. JW.org.’
Anyone else got a letter like that? I thought that was such a nice thing to have sent.
The letter was signed by Ms. Jay, from Capital Heights. God bless her.
Can we link up with the JWs to finish this work of spreading the gospel? We need all hands on deck. The JWs aren’t letting COVID stop their witness and getting the Word in.
Last passage. The book of Revelation in Chapter 3 in talking about the 7 churches, verses 19-22. John the revelator, in vision reveals the words of Jesus:
“I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”” NLT
In summary, let’s conclude,
- We need an overwhelming outpouring of the Spirit in our lives today. We need empowerment to live an anointed life.
- Let us try to do what we can to be witnesses. We may not speak Mandarin or Hindi, but we can return a faithful tithe and offering that hopefully can go towards spreading the good news. Thank you Jesus for income during these COVID times.
May God bless us as we turn from our often indifference and apathy, as we seek God’s face daily and continually, and as we ask Him for His anointing so that we may tell others about Him until OUR days are done.