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04/06/2017: The Holy Spirit Power

Scripture Reading

Psalm 104:31-34 (NIRV)

31 May the glory of the Lord continue forever.
    May the Lord be happy with what he has made.
32 When he looks at the earth, it trembles.
    When he touches the mountains, they pour out smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life.
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May these thoughts of mine please him.
    I find my joy in the Lord.

New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Psalm 104 is filled with images of how God can be seen in the natural world that surrounds you. If you have the time, read the whole Psalm through, let the images lead you in a prayer of praise to God for who he is as Lord and Creator. Which verse(s) speak the most to you? A useful exercise this coming week will be to make a conscious effort to “look at the beauty” of the world around you; feel the sun on your face; be aware of your breathing; pay attention to the smile of a stranger you may meet; there are also many moments in each day that God can use to encourage and help you if you are going through a painful and difficult time. The starting point needs to be, learning to become more aware of God – with you.

Scripture Reading

Acts 2:1-8,12-13 (NIRV)

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

1When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers gathered in one place. Suddenly a sound came from heaven. It was like a strong wind blowing. It filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw something that looked like fire in the shape of tongues. The flames separated and came to rest on each of them. 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. Godly Jews from every country in the world were staying in Jerusalem. A crowd came together when they heard the sound. They were bewildered because each of them heard their own language being spoken. The crowd was really amazed. They asked, “Aren’t all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then why do we each hear them speaking in our own native language? ?….12Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”. 13Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Study Questions

    1. Pentecost is an ancient Jewish celebration and is based in events such as Leviticus 23:10-12 ff. (the feast of the harvest of the first fruits) or Exodus 19: 1 ff. (the day of the giving of the Law to Moses). Pentecost is a very important Jewish cultural celebration. How many followers were together at Pentecost (see Acts 1:15) ?
    1. Do you have traditions and celebrations that are important for you in your heritage (or culture), and your faith? 
    1. When the Day of Pentecost had come, according to Luke….:
    • (vs.2) 
    • (vs.3) 
    • (vs.4) Who was affected? 
    • (vs.5, 9-12,14) Were they all from the same country? 
    • (vs.6-7) List some of the reactions to this event: 
    1. Acts 2:41-47 describes the birth of the early church. Spend some time reflecting on the almost revolutionary cultural change that Pentecost had brought to the Jewish converts. Is this expression of Church possible today?
    1. Pentecost, according to Luke, is clearly for everyone – male, female, Jew, Gentile, slave and free. The gift of the Holy Spirit cannot be trapped in culture or gender; the Holy Spirit is a gift that you and I must take to, and share with, others who have a different cultural identity – that is the work of the church. Do you agree? 
  1. Do you believe God is calling you to become more “Pentecostal”?

God bless,

Tim

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