Thank God for Pentecost: Toward a Deeper Appreciation of the Holy Spirit (Audio available)

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 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. -Acts 2:1-2

You don’t have to be a Pentecostal to appreciate the power of the Holy Spirit. Truth is, whether you’re a Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or non-denominational, the Holy Spirit has been a vital part of your relationship with God, from your conversion to your everyday walk.

The problem is, since He’s not visible and impossible to get our arms (and heads) around, the one known as the Holy Ghost sometimes gets overlooked. Maybe even ignored?

Like oxygen, we totally take Him for granted.

The One who empowers us, unites us, teaches us about Jesus, helps us when we don’t know what to pray, seals us securely in our relationship with God – and so much more – gets very little of our attention.

Let’s change it up.

Since Pentecost Sunday is today, perhaps it would be good to give some time to reflect on who the Holy Spirit is, what He does, and to re-commit ourselves to being Spirit-filled Christians. Surely God the Father and God the Son would be equally pleased and honored by our efforts to become more tightly aligned with the 3rd Person of the Trinity?

By the way, it may come as a surprise to know that the word Pentecost actually has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. It has more to do with the number 50. The day of Pentecost, like the one described in Acts 2, always fell 50 days after the Jewish Passover as a celebration of the spring harvest. It was a holiday of sorts.

So why is Pentecost significant for Christians? Because it was on the day of Pentecost that the Holy Spirit arrived and the church was officially formed. And Pentecost was 7 Sundays after the resurrection of Jesus. It was on that day, when Jerusalem was bustling with celebration, that Jesus made good on His promise to send the Helper, the Holy Spirit. And boy did it happen in dramatic fashion.

The world hasn’t been the same since.

But where is Jesus now? He is at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, but His presence in the world and in our lives continues every single day by way of the Holy Spirit. And that’s the plan until Jesus eventually returns as promised.

By the way, there are different perspectives on this, but when you hear the phrase “Spirit-filled” don’t feel pressure to somehow get more of the Holy Spirit. Why? Because you got all of Him the moment you trusted Christ as Savior (Romans 8:9-11). He does not come in degrees or portions. No, the challenge isn’t in getting more of Him, but in giving him more of you.

Bottom line: you and I are Spirit-filled when the Holy Spirit is the controlling influence of our lives.

I can only speak for myself here, but some days are better than others. When it comes to my awareness of and dependence upon the Holy Spirit, there’s plenty of room for growth. I’m still working on it, asking God to help me.

This Pentecost Sunday, would you care to join me?

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

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