Carole Crossley is the author of a daily devotional book entitled ‘Are you Listening.’ Carole has kindly agreed to share on our website; exploretoinspire.uk a number of her devotions for your encouragement (2019 Jesus Joy Publishing used by permission) and if you would like to order a copy of Carole’s book, go to ‘Are you Listening’
This devotional is about PENTECOST one of many Bible Stories that she has shared over the months and we hope you enjoy it.
Imagine being transported back through the dark, dusty envelope of time, when God sent ‘His Spirit’ to be our comforter and guide. Would you have said yes in that instant?
Are you ready to say YES now? Do you want the Holy Spirit to come into your life? God’s Spirit is just as alive for this generation, as it was in the past.
Following the horrendous cruelty of the cross, the group of sad, lonely men, were now emotionally distraught. Their spirits were in torment, as they consistently focussed on the death of Jesus. Their expectations for the future had been destroyed, with the devastation of seeing Christ crucified. They were now despondent. Their heartache hung heavy, like a dark veil pressing down on them. The future looked bleak, had it all been completely meaningless? What about the promise of a kingdom with Jesus, they didn’t understand. Their grief clouded everything that Jesus had told them.
Their lives had been plummeted into a pit of extreme despair. Imagine the pain in their tormented souls, anguished into silence, with the memory of Jesus being nailed to a cross, flogged, spat upon. His flesh made bloody and torn when they forced a crown of thorns, upon His innocent head. Their eyes were pools of desolate sadness as they gathered together, each one deep in their own tragic thoughts. The disciples did have some comfort though, in their silent fellowship; each holding their grief inside, with a shared understanding of each other’s pain.
They were continuing to meet secretly and pray together, in the way that Jesus had taught them to. Each man was struggling with their own indirection, it was weighing them down. They felt hopeless in the aftermath, of having their beloved leader taken from them. The disciples had still got their individual faith and the recollection of their ‘Masters’ words, each holding protectively onto their personal interpretation. They all acknowledged a need for Jesus, for his constant presence in their lives. Support had come from each other, but their ‘rock’ had been removed. Jesus had been crucified.
Some of them were now wavering. Indecision in what to do with their lives, with grief and uncertainty. Still there was an aura of anticipation, which flowed back and forth between them. It radiated from their hearts. None of them knew why, or understood where this feeling came from. It had begun when their Lord had appeared to them three days after His death. His presence had strongly resonated with each of them, they had waited, none daring to voice their thoughts. Could they be quite sure, that their recollection of his words, weren’t fanciful? Had they really heard Jesus say, “Wait, a helper will come.” It didn’t make any sense, surely their grief was responsible for their imagination.
It was at this time, whilst they were together in the shabby upper room; with the doors and windows locked (because of their fear of discovery), when their sad deflated lives changed forever!
Suddenly, there was the sound of a violent wind blowing, despite the previous calm of the day. At first it was almost imperceptible, then, building in volume, it couldn’t be ignored. They looked at each other, their eyes wild in uncertainty. The disturbance was all around them and seemed to originate from above!
The room shook as if with thunder, but no, it was more than that. More like the throws of an earthquake. Shock and fear of the unknown, gripped and stilled each of the Apostles. They clung onto each other, dumb with fear. Something amazing was present, something incredibly powerful, and something that they had never experienced before. They trembled, holding their breath, too afraid to move, let alone run. Tensely their eyes wild in terror, they felt the power of God. Their fear dissipated, each of the Apostles submitted, without reservation, they allowed Jesus access into their hearts.
In fiery tongues of flame, the Holy Spirit separated and came to rest on each of them.
The flaming tongues of the Holy Spirit burned into their very souls and branded their hearts, with the love of The Lord Jesus! Never before had they felt such an injection of power, a source of undeniable authority, strengthened and penetrated their souls.
Instantly, each of them began to speak ‘in Tongues,’ in many languages, which they had previously not known, suddenly the Apostles became fluent in them. A crowd gathered in bewilderment at viewing the scene. Many accused the disciples of being drunk – yet, despite the people originating from many different regions, all understood their native tongue when the disciples began speaking to them.
Peter, overflowing with the Holy Spirit, his presence strangely influenced, thundered an address at the crowd. He quoted from the prophet Joel. Peter’s voice was earnest commanding, he spoke with immense authority. The people listened, the Spirit moved and the prophecy was fulfilled!
JOEL 2: 28-29
The Lord’s Promise of His Spirit.
The same Spirit is open to us today, just as the disciples received and accepted the Spirit with joy and welcome – God wants each of us to invite His Spirit into our lives now!
Lord Jesus Christ my heart is empty and I have a God shaped hole just waiting for you to fill it. Bring Your Spirit into my life and change me forever. I am sorry for the things that I do wrong and I want to follow You.