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Wednesday, June 4, 2014
The Birthday of the Church
This Sunday June 8th is Pentecost. Most Christians know that the
birth of the church occurred on the day of Pentecost, but I suspect most
Christians don’t know what Pentecost meant to the Jewish people at that time.
Pentecost is a Jewish festival fifty days after Passover. Pentecost celebrats
the giving of the law to Moses and two loaves are offered to God in gratitude
for the harvest. The Jewish law requires that no work be done on the day of
Pentecost. Crowds of Jews gathered in Jerusalem from various countries to
celebrate this Jewish festival.
At the Ascension Jesus ordered
the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait. Just wait. Waiting is not easy for
most of us but they obeyed. Scripture says:
“They all joined together
constantly in prayer.” (Acts1:14)
The Disciples Waited in Prayer At the Ascension Jesus ordered the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait. Just wait. Waiting is not easy for most of us but they obeyed. Scripture says:
"They all joined together constantly in prayer." (Acts1:14)
There were 120 believers gathered together including the disciples, and other followers, both men and women and Jesus brothers. They prayed for ten days! Perhaps this is a lesson to us that we need to pray more in order for the church to be in tune with and full of Holy Spirit power.
The Day of Pentecost On the day of Pentecost the disciples were in the upper room praying. Scripture says:
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4).
Hearing the noise, a crowd gathered. Peter preached to the throng of people. He gave a powerful, convicting message explaining that Jesus was crucified, died and rose again. He ascended to the right hand of God and sent the promised Holy Spirit.
When the people heard Peter's message, "they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37)
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call."
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their numberthat day. (Acts 2:38-41)
As a result, of this small group
of Holy Spirit empowered men and women, within a century half the then-known
world came to Christ.
There is so much more in the
first two chapters of Acts. Read all of it today; learn more and be inspired by
the birthday of the Church. And vow to spend more time in prayer and in the