Pentecost

Read Acts 2

Why did Jesus send the Holy Spirit?

–         Well, very simply, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to connect us to himself

–         The Holy Spirit makes Jesus’ presence & power close & real

 

I need a volunteer – [choose someone]

–         Okay, can you sit here near the front

–         Put this blind fold on so you can’t see me

–         I’m going to put a small weight in your hand and I want you to hold on to it – don’t let go

–         You may feel a slight tugging but you need to hold onto your end

–         I’m going to walk away from you now and I want you to sit where you are and just hold on – [I walk back to the pulpit]

 

Even though you can’t see me and even though I’m not close enough for you to reach out and touch, we are still connected

–         And you know we’re connected because when I tug at my end of the line you can feel me – like I’m close & real

–         It’s a bit like that with the Holy Spirit – the Holy Spirit connects us to Jesus sort of like this fishing line connects you and I

–         Even though Jesus is in heaven and we can’t see him – we still feel a connection with Jesus through the Holy Spirit

–         In fact, sometimes if we feel a slight tugging in our heart it might be Jesus getting our attention through the line of his Spirit and tugging us in the direction he wants us to go

 

Well done, you can take your blind fold off now – here’s something for being such a good sport – [give a reward]

 

In Acts 2, Peter knew Jesus was with him because the Holy Spirit was in him

–         Not only that but Peter was able to tell others about Jesus because the Holy Spirit gave him power to speak – and power (in Peter’s situation) meant the ability, the words & the courage to speak

–         The Holy Spirit worked through Peter to make Jesus’ presence & power close & real to other people so they would believe in Jesus and become connected to Jesus themselves

 

In some ways, not in every way, but in some ways the Holy Spirit is a little bit like electricity in your home

–         Imagine your soul is like a house and the Spirit of God is like electricity – although we can’t see the electricity we know we are connected when the lights come on, the oven heats up & the water in the shower is warm

–         It’s similar with Jesus – although we can’t see Jesus we know Jesus is close & real because the Holy Spirit connects us

–         It’s like the Holy Spirit turns the lights on inside our mind so we understand who Jesus is – that he is God’s Son and our Saviour, that he is risen from the dead as our Lord & our friend

–         It’s like the Holy Spirit warms up the water in our soul so we know our sins are forgiven and God accepts us – and when we know we are forgiven and loved by God we are able to forgive & love others

 

Now I need to say that fishing line and electricity are not adequate for describing the Holy Spirit – there is more to the Spirit than that

–         The point is, the Holy Spirit connects people to Jesus with warmth & energy – he makes Jesus close & real

 

Given that the Holy Spirit connects us to Jesus it is reasonable to ask, how do we receive the Holy Spirit?

–         Well, receiving the Holy Spirit doesn’t happen in the same way as having electricity connected to your house – you can’t just pay for someone to come and hook you up

 

In John chapter 3 Jesus compares the Holy Spirit to the wind. Jesus says,

–         The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

–         Part of the message here is: the Holy Spirit cannot be manipulated or controlled. The Holy Spirit initiates the connection between us and Jesus

 

Although we can’t tell the Holy Spirit what to do (any more than we can tell the wind what to do) we can ask God for his Spirit and be ready to receive it

–         We know that God wants us to have a connection with Jesus – so if we ask God in good faith, trusting Jesus, it’s just a matter of time before the wind blows on us

–         The thing is, God’s Spirit doesn’t always turn up in the way or at the time we might be expecting.

–         We might expect the Holy Spirit to initiate something while we’re singing or praying in church – and he might – but he is just as likely to turn up while we are at school or work or home or on the train talking to someone

The other thing we need to remember is that the Holy Spirit isn’t all about us

–         He isn’t there just to make us feel good or powerful

–         The Holy Spirit is primarily about Jesus and that means sometimes he will involve us in connecting others with Jesus, like he involved Peter

–         So we need to be ready to respond to the Holy Spirit when he wants to use us to make Jesus’ presence & power close & real for someone else

–         The Holy Spirit is not interested in attracting attention to us or himself

–         He would rather turn people’s attention to Jesus

 

https://soundcloud.com/tawabaptist/20-may-2018-pentecost

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