Day 5: Pentecost

Today we read about the day of Pentecost. It was called this because the day fell on the fiftieth day from the first Sunday after the Passover (pentēkostos being the Greek word for “fiftieth”). Just as other festivals were associated with important events in Israel’s history (e.g. Passover with the exodus from Egypt), this festival was associated with the renewal of the covenant made with Moses. It was regarded as the day when the law was given at Sinai.

Yesterday we read how the disciples devoted themselves to prayer in the upper room, waiting for the promised Holy Spirit. In Acts 2:1 and following we read that on this morning of Pentecost, all of the sudden the place where the disciples sat together was filled with a noise from heaven like that of a violent rushing wind. Then came a flame that divided itself into several tongues and rested upon each person present, and “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (verse 4). The long awaited Holy Spirit had finally come, evidenced by supernatural wind and fire, and filled not only the room but each person!

The coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost marked not just a renewal of the old covenant but the radical establishment of a new one. A covenant no longer defined by the law and man’s effort but one defined by grace and Christ’s work on the cross. Not only was the timing incredibly meaningful, but it was perfect. It was truly the perfect time to tell the world about this good news.

“Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven.” Acts 2:5

There were devout Jews (converts to Judaism) from EVERY nation there in Jerusalem, and the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples (this likely included all of the 120 followers of Jesus who were there; see Acts 1:15) to bring testimony and loud praises of God in every language represented there.

Not only was the timing perfect but so was what the disciples were enabled to do in that wonderfully unique moment. The empowerment perfectly matched the context to fulfill God’s purpose in telling the whole world (literally) about this new covenant.

This is why we so eagerly wait on God’s timing because He is coordinating things perfectly – way beyond what we can think or imagine. And at the right time, He enables His people with His gifts that also perfectly match the purpose. The purpose for God’s timing and the enabling of His gifts is always to reveal Jesus and usher the new covenant of grace in the lives of people. This is worth being eager about!

Not only is God’s timing always perfect, He is also the God of time. No matter how good or bad you think you are at time management, remember He is the God of time. When our eternal God envelops even just a finite moment, the unthinkable is accomplished. What would take us an unbelievable amount of labor and time to prepare, plan, and organize in hopes to accomplish much for Him, God can do in a moment.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6

This is precisely why must spend more time in prayer the busier we get. An increase in responsibility must be always met with an increase in prayer. Even if this means having less time to do the actual tasks, we must spend more time prayerfully depending on the God of time to accomplish His work. That’s exactly what the disciples did. They were not busy planning and organizing this great event, which would have been impossible anyway. Instead, they were busy praying and waiting on God’s timing and His enabling to accomplish the unthinkable, and He did. To Him be glory.

What do the notes today spur you to pray for in your own life and for the church?

Is there a responsibility that God has given to you that requires less of you and more of God? Start a conversation with God about this. Ask Him to awaken in you an intense hunger to pray and depend on Him for every responsibility He’s given you.

What does it mean for you to trust in God’s perfect timing? In prayer, engage with your spirit’s eager anticipation for what God wants to accomplish. Then ask God what it means for you to “walk by faith, not by sight” (1 Corinthians 5:7) with these things you are waiting on Him for.

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