Miraculous and supernatural events surrounded Jesus life and ministry, but Jesus promised his disciples that they would do even greater things by the power of the Holy Spirit. After Jesus’ resurrection he spent 40 days appearing to the disciples and to others. Then just before he ascended into Heaven he told them that the Holy Spirit would come soon and they should wait. On the Day of Pentecost the disciples and a group of believers were gathered together when they experienced a violent wind that filled the room, then they saw what appeared to be individual flames, like tongues of fire, that settled upon each believer. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in languages they had never learned. Many nationalities were present in Jerusalem and the Holy Spirit enabled the believers to convey the message of Jesus Christ in every language so that all could hear the Good News. God made it known that the power of the Holy Spirit was not just for a chosen few, but for all believers, regardless of race, sex, creed or culture. Many in the city were puzzled by the behavior of the believers and accused them of being drunk. Peter explained what had happened and powerfully presented the message of salvation to the crowd that gathered. Over 3000 were baptized. The body of believers began to meet together and the first church was born. The believers were devoted to God and to one another and many more accepted Jesus.
2 Ch 16:9; Jn 12:24; Acts 1:4, 6, 8-9, 2:1-4, 14, 41-42, 45; 1 Co 15:58
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him….” (2 Ch 16:9) All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:4) Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Co 15:58)
The Holy Spirit demonstrates his power in our lives by giving us confidence to share our faith with others. Peter was a fisherman by trade. Before the Day of Pentecost there is no indication that he had any skill or experience in public speaking or preaching, yet he preached a powerful sermon that resulted in the baptism of 3000 people. Peter knew Jesus and he was willing to be used by God. The Holy Spirit took over from there. The same can happen in our lives today. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us, we can be used by God to influence the hearts of those around us. We just need to be willing. The Holy Spirit also produces devotion in our lives. It’s hard to understand how someone can be a Christ-follower and have a low level of devotion to God. When sin separated us from him, he sent his son to die and pay the price for our sin. Jesus willingly died for us. God sent the Holy Spirit to empower us. God is fully devoted to us; how can we not be fully devoted to him? A devoted life is filled with power and some amazingly strange things happen when we center our lives on him. He must be in first place in our hearts, our service, our commitment, our resources. Anything less is not full devotion and does not allow his power to be fully realized in our lives. As we die to our selfish desires and continue to put Jesus first our devotion grows.
On a continuum of Low, Medium & High, how would you rate your devotion to God in these areas: time, family, worship, service, talents, and resources. How does your devotion to God correlate with the Holy Spirit’s power in your life? What area is most difficult to devote to God? Do you find it hard to share your faith? When have you felt the Holy Spirit prompt you to share? Were you obedient? How did it go?
Ask God to make you sensitive to his Spirit. The next time you sense an opportunity to share what Jesus has done for you, say a quick prayer and open your mouth. Assess your devotion to God by looking at how you are using your time, talents, resources and service. Make a move toward more devotion…full devotion.
Help me to grow in my devotion to you, Lord. Renew my priorities each day so that I don’t miss out on your power and presence in my life. Thank you for being devoted to me. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.