Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Lessons from Pentecost

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

27th May 2012

The Christian church continues to commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. In most traditions, Pentecost (also called Whit Sunday) comes 50 days after Easter. The Christian festival looks back to the beginnings of the Christian church.

Based on the events of Acts 2, there are a number of valuable lessons in the festival:

1. The necessity of the Holy Spirit

We cannot preach the gospel without the Holy Spirit living in us, empowering us for the work of God. Jesus told his disciples to preach to all nations – but first they had to wait in Jerusalem until they were “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). The church needs power – we need enthusiasm (literally, God in us) for the work set before us.

2. The diversity of the church

The gospel goes into all nations, is preached to all peoples. God's work is no longer focused on one ethnic group. Since Jesus is the second Adam the promises are expanded into all humanity. The diverse languages of Pentecost are a miraculous picture of the worldwide scope of the work.

3. We live in a new age, a new era

Peter called it the last days; we might also call it an age of grace and truth, or the church age, or the age of the Holy Spirit and the new covenant. There is an important difference in the way God is now working in the world.

4. The message now focuses on Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, bringing salvation and forgiveness to those who believe

The sermons in Acts rehearse the basic truths again and again; the letters of Paul give further explanation for the theological significance of Jesus Christ, for He is the Kingdom of God and it is only through him that we can enter it as we are united with Him. This we do by faith, enabling us to enter the Kingdom even in this age. We share in the life of the age to come because the Holy Spirit lives within us.

5. The Holy Spirit unites all believers into one body, and the church grows through preaching about Jesus Christ

The church is to be characterized not only by the gospel mission, but also by discipleship, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer. We are not saved by doing these things, rather, the Spirit leads us into such expressions of our new life in Christ.

We live and work by the power of the Holy Spirit; it is God within us who brings the joy of salvation, perseverance in the face of persecution, and the love that transcends cultural differences within the church.

This day is about the church as the community of the Spirit. Babel results in disconnectedness, in a confused individualism. The church implies a re-connectedness, such as that described in Paul's metaphor of the church as a body having many parts, each different but in need of the others.

Have a good week reflecting on the value of celebrating the Pentecost of the new covenant, transformed by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Barry

Back to top