Preparing My Heart
God — Father, Son, Holy Spirit — loves the church. He loves the church as a single unit. And He loves the individual members that comprise the church. God wants me to love the church!
I want to love the church. Yet, though I have that desire, the actual living out of the desire has me puzzled. Could it be that I have never asked God to give me such love for the church? Perhaps He wants to use something in this Scripture to trigger such love….
Making the Bible Personal
Does God have my unconditional permission to do with me as He wills?
How can I know that God has poured out His Spirit on me?
If I crave some special gift of the Holy Spirit, why and for what purpose?
If I don’t, why not? And should I?
Does God expect me to prophesy “the wonderful works of God”?
What message do others hear from me?
Reviewing Basic Truths
Never before had God’s Spirit been poured on God’s people on this scale.
In this New Testament era, God’s Spirit filling God’s people is “routine.”
The “other tongues” they spoke at Pentecost were not incomprehensible.
The gifts of the Spirit have a divine purpose and must be used that way.
Applying God’s Word to Me
After the wondrous coming — and then departing again — of God in the flesh, what more could there be? After Emanuel among men, could anything else not be anticlimactic? After God with us, what else could God do?
God within us!
So God’s own Spirit came.
Certain things associated with the Holy Spirit’s coming reach out, seize our attention, and give it a focus-riveting shake:
- the mighty rushing sound
- the flame-like tongues of…something
- the filling with the Holy Ghost
- the speaking with other tongues
- the hearing of the message in individuals’ native languages
Rightly so. These things were neither normal nor man-induced. In reading this passage, we witness again the amazing manifestation of God at work among and within ordinary people. Of course such events will grab us!
But what about these next two?
- the telling forth of the wonderful works of God
- the offering of salvation to whoever calls on Jesus
They stand no less tall alongside all else in the Scripture. Yet, tragically, I notice them less.
The disciples had a similar lack of discernment earlier in their experience:
“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
Oh let me never grow indifferent to the wonder of my own redemption!
This concludes my comments based on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications. To read my comments on the passage for the International Bible Lesson, click here: Faith Is Assurance.