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Fire & Wind

By Rick Allison
 
Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010

Scripture Verses
Acts 2:1-13

1 The day of Pentecost came. The believers all gathered in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound came from heaven. It was like a strong wind blowing. It filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw something that looked like tongues of fire. The flames separated and settled on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to speak in languages they had not known before. The Spirit gave them the ability to do this.

 5 Godly Jews from every country in the world were staying in Jerusalem. 6 A crowd came together when they heard the sound. They were bewildered because they each heard the believers speaking in their own language. 7 The crowd was really amazed. They asked, "Aren't all these people from Galilee? 8 Why, then, do we each hear them speaking in our own native language? 9 We are Parthians, Medes and Elamites. We live in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia. We are from Pontus, Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia. Others of us are from Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene. Still others are visitors from Rome. 11 Some of the visitors are Jews. Others have accepted the Jewish faith. Also, Cretans and Arabs are here. We hear all these people speaking about God's wonders in our own languages!" 12 They were amazed and bewildered. They asked one another, "What does this mean?"

 13 But some people in the crowd made fun of the believers. "They've had too much wine!" they said.

Devotion
As many times as I have read this scripture passage, I always had trouble “really” understanding it until now. This time of “really” diving into the word has revealed many things to me. As I read it in the past, I had trouble understanding the tongues of fire falling on those gathered around in the upper room but then it made me think about the other day while I was shopping. I don’t know any foreign languages so for me I couldn’t understand anything the couple was saying next to me in the checkout line. (I’m sure it was my good looking hair that they were talking about!) It then occurred to me what it would have been like for that same fire to have come down on them. I would then understand what they were saying in “my” language as well as what they had been talking about.

So on this fiftieth day after Passover or the seventh Sunday after Easter the Holy Spirit was poured out onto those in the upper room. This outpouring of the Holy Spirit fulfilled the prophecies of Joel, John the Baptist and Jesus. This promise of it coming was the last statement that was said by Jesus to the apostles before Jesus was taken up to Heaven. This was the first day that the Spirit took hold of the followers of Christ as a group or “body.” This body became known then as “the Church,” and IT came to stay. It was the first time the Spirit’s raw power was present for anyone who follows Christ not just the original Apostles.

What we don’t want to miss out on is the same “FIRE” that came down with the Holy Spirit also put the “FIRE” into those early followers. They turned their world “upside down” for Christ. They are definitely credited for “being” or “starting” the early Church. They lived their lives daily for Christ, no matter what others thought. They gladly suffered scorn, persecution and even death for their faith in Christ. What are we doing to turn our world “upside down” for Christ?

Prayer
Dear Lord our God, Thank you so very much for giving “us” the Holy Spirit that completes the Holy Trinity. Thank you that the Holy Spirit shows us you are at work among us and that it is your gracious gift of LOVE to us. Help us turn our world “upside down” for you and your son Jesus Christ.

In Christ’s name we pray,
Amen