It seems generally true that people are always looking to improve, to change their lives for the
better. Isn’t that why people go to school, to conferences and seminars? Isn’t that why people
go to counselors and psychologists? I recently read of an increase in people, including men,
paying large sums of money to have facial injections botox that will take away wrinkles for
awhile. People who have botox are hoping that it will make them look better. But people often
do want to be changed for the better.
What is it about yourself that you would like to change? Is it the way you look? Is it your
confidence?Is it your life-style? If you could change one thing about yourself what would it
God is interested in change.
This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. It used to be called Whit Sunday and fell on a Bank Holiday
weekend, now replaced by the Spring Bank holiday on the last weekend of May. Pentecost is
a time when we meditate on and give thanks for the coming of the Holy Spirit on the disciples
and some would say marks the birthday of the church. We also reflect on the work of the Holy
Spirit though the ups and downs and changes our own lives.
Two major changes took place at Pentecost.
- The disciples themselves were changed.
Although the disciples believed in Jesus as their Saviour they were still confused about all
kinds of things. As a result they were timid and weren’t confident in sharing the Gospel with
others because they didn’t fully understand it. But then Pentecost came as they were all
together in that upper room and the Holy spirit came like a rushing wind settling on the
disciples like tongues of fire and filling them in such a way that they began to speak in foreign
languages they had not known before. They began to preach the gospel with confidence and
boldness in languages that the multinational crowd could understand. The disciples were
dramatically changed: no longer were they timid; they understood the plan of salvation
completely. Peter a rough and ready fisherman who a few weeks earlier had been running
scared now gave a beautiful sermon that God and the Holy Spirit inspired him to preach
- 3000 peoples lives were saved.
After Peter preached the sermon 3000 people came to faith and were baptised. We don’t know
much about these people. Pentecost was an agricultural festival and people from all over the
Roman empire and all walks of life were in Jerusalem at this time. 3000 of this crowd,who
were not Christians, were changed that day. Their whole way of looking at God, at themselves,
at the world, at eternal life – everything had changed. The Holy spirit was the one who
converted those 3000 people that day. Now these people knew how to get to heaven. Now they
knew that they were at peace with God. Now they knew that Jesus was their Saviour
Do you know how to get to heaven? Or even believe Heaven exists? Are you at peace with
God? Or even know God exists? Do you really know Jesus Christ as your saviour? If not God
is interested, through the Holy Spirit, in changing you.
But how? On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came directly to those disciples. Today he could do
that for you especially if you do not yet know him; but in the Bible, he tells us that he also
works in a different way. To many of us he comes through the reading and exposition of the
Word, through praise and through prayer and through our earnest desire to receive and open
our hearts to him as God’s gift to us. If you do not know him, but seek him, it is vital that you
explore God’s word in the Bible. As you spend more time with God and his word the Holy
Spirit will reveal his reality for you. If you allow him he will dwell more and more in you he
will change you; turning you more and more into the person God meant you to be. As you
surrender to God’s will for you and empowered by the Holy Spirit you become more certain
of eternity, you become more at peace with God, resting in Him, trusting in Him, in the
certain knowledge that Jesus Christ has guaranteed for you an eternal life with Him.
May the holy Spirit start or continue to work in you, and me, changing you and me and
fanning into flame the fire that is in each one of us. May the God of hope fill us with all joy
and peace as we trust in him, so we may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit
Spirit of the living God, who dwells within us; who is holy, who is good: come now, and fill the
hearts of your faithful people, and those who seek you, and kindle within them the fire of your
love: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen