As we read yesterday one of the first things that Luke says in Acts is that the disciples were told to wait for the gift that the Father promised in Jerusalem (the Holy Spirit). This first thing is, I believe, as important as anything else in this passage. As followers of Jesus we are called to obey him and live lives worthy of the Gospel that we have been called to (Philippians 1:27). The Disciples obeyed Jesus’ command and they were in Jerusalem in that upper room when the Spirit fell. Could it have happened in a different place at a different time? Probably, however part of our worship to God is to submit to his will for our lives and to obey what he commands us to do.
When the risen Jesus was going about his business on earth surprising disciples and cooking breakfast he ordered his disciples to wait to be baptised by the Holy Spirit “…not many days from now.” Leaving aside passages such as 2 Peter 3:8 (With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day) the disciples had to wait for the Holy Spirit. Even if they did only have to wait a few days I don’t imagine it was easy, especially after seeing their risen Lord ascend to heaven and realising that the next time they would see him would be at the end of time. Obedience and patience go hand in hand and often there is a purpose for patience. In the Old Testament one of the uses of the word “Fire” is to indicate the presence of God especially his holiness and purity which consumes all impurities (the Hot Coal and Isaiah, Isaiah 6:7). Patience can sometimes be God preparing us for what is to come, other times it’s just a practical step of faith and submission to His will.
Ultimately we are fallible useless human beings if God doesn’t show up. I’m not suggesting that everyone is useless or irrelevant but the skills, talents and desires that God gave us are wasted unless we use them to serve him. Fortunately, PRAISE GOD, he sent his Spirit to us to help us. Not only can we communicate with God as a result of His Spirit living in us, but SO much more. David Platt puts it this way: “So you go to God in prayer, and you ask him to comfort you. Do you realize what God does? He doesn’t give you comfort. Instead he gives you the Holy Spirit, who is called the Comforter.” God knew and gave the Disciples what they needed on the day of Pentecost, they spoke in many different languages – Peter preached a fantastic sermon which lead to 3000 people being saved. But God also gave them on that day everything they could ever possibly need for the future and then some.
In the last chunk of today’s passage we read about some of the practical outworkings of the Fellowship of Believers. I’d invite you to spend some time being challenged about those things, for instance how does Selling Property and Possessions to give to anyone who had need strike us? Or the fact that every day they met in the Temple Courts. We have been given all that the disciples were given on the day of Pentecost, we have the capability – in the power of the Spirit and to the glory of God – to do things greater than the things that Jesus did (John 14:12-14). What does that mean for you and I today? Do we have to give our money or possessions to the poor, or to commit to investing more time in Cell, Cluster, Student Church or Big Church? Not so that we become a
group of people who spend all their time doing ‘Christian’ things but so that we are prepared and empowered in our own relationship with God and that from that place we can reach out to the entire world. This Gospel isn’t just for us to enjoy once/twice a week at Cell or Church, it is for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord (Joel 2:32). Revival starts in our hearts.