Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pentecost 5/1/2013

Waiting, waiting, waiting, all the time waiting. Who wants to wait anyway? Well, to be honest, none of us ever are happy waiting. But we must get used to waiting for life is full of waiting. All our lives we wait, we wait for our birthday celebration and the gifts that come with it, we wait for the first day of school, we wait to get out of grade school or middle school, we wait for Sunday School/Confirmation, we wait to get our driver's license, we wait for our first date, we wait to graduate from high school, we wait to get our first deer, our first job,to get our first car, to get married, to have a child, to get the job we really want, to buy a home, our first child to get married, our first grandchild, our retirement, and so on. It is hard to wait, but after living a while we begin to learn that the best things in life are worth waiting for. As we age and as we learn through experience that all things are in God's time, we are able to look at life with an eternal perspective as we walk by faith. As we grow in this knowledge and experience, we look more and more towards heaven and it promises which are attained only through faith in Christ.

Throughout the history of the world, people have waited for God's Promise to be fulfilled. We do not really know that it was like for Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden while they lived in fellowship and communion with God, but we do know that after the fall God made a promise in Genesis 3:15 that a day was coming when He would make all things new again as He Promised that a Redeemer would one day come. People waited for years for this Promise to be fulfilled, often getting impatient with waiting and at times finding it too difficult to wait for God's time, resorting to their own human efforts to speed up God's timetable. Of course, all they did was bring grief upon themselves and on those around them as we well know happens when we do the same things.

When the fulness of time came, God sent His Son to become the Saviour for all mankind, coming down from heaven as the God Man in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. He was born not of the natural way, but through the Holy Spirit Mary was impregnated so that she became the mother of Jesus Christ, the God Man.
Jesus grew up just like any other boy of that time, and at 30 years old He began His public ministry, using signs and wonders to reveal to people ;that He was the Messiah.

As we said earlier, people had been waiting for the Messiah ever since the Promise was given, but the problem was is that their expectations of who the Messiah would be and what He would do were different from God's plan. For the most part, their waiting turned out to be in vain, for their expectations were great, but they were waiting for someone according to who they thought should come and did not understand what God had in mind for them. So, they were disappointed, just like we would be if we had a certain thing in mind that we were waiting for and when we got it, it was not what we expected. Wrong Expecatations will disappoint us everytime.

Toward the end of His life, as recorded in the Gospel of John explained to the disciples of the Promise of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-27). The Work of the Spirit (John 16:4-15) and after His resurrection and before His ascension instructed them to go wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:1-5) This they did, for we read that they were waiting and praying together for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14)

And then 50 days after Jesus' resurrection, the Day of Pentecost came, as they were all in one place united to gether in desire and purpose: They had one mind: They were waiting for what Jesus had promised them would come: The Holy Spirit!

KJV Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Three things happened at the coming of this promise: A sound like a wind, the appearance of fire and the believers began to speak with other tongues by this same Holy Spirit.

5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

It was not just one culture gathered there, but the gathering was representative of the entire world at that time. When those outside heard of what had happened, the huge crowd came together being confounded, they marvelled, they were amazed and they were perplexed. They could not grasp as to how they all heard the wonderful works of God spoken in their mother tongue of the wonderful works of God. Note that they did not wonder about the sound of the wind or the sight of the fire, but they marvelled that they heard of the wonderful works of God and in this in their mother tongues.

6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. {was...: Gr. voice was made confounded: or, troubled in mind}
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

The fifteen areas of the world are designated for us here, which is followed by the repeated statement "we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God." To this they asked a question, a practice which it do well for all of us to copy: "What does this mean?" Again, note that even those who accused the speakers of being drunk with their Holy Spirit empowered speech did not say anything about the sound of the wind or the sight of the fire, but they concentrated on the speech which they clearly did not receive or understand.

What was the response to this accusation? Was there a response? Or did the speakers just let it pass by?
No, they did not, and now Peter, who later wrote these words in his epistle, " 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:14-15, was the one to respond which he did by bringing forth an explanation by first refuting the ridiculous accusation, and then using the Old Testament prophecies gave explanation to the meaning of the amazing signs that happened on that day. In the remaining part of the chapter, he explains the meaning and gives application to his sermon and the people respond in a favorable manner toward their God....

I would like to bring forth a couple of other passages which explain the office of the Holy Spirit, who we learned as youngsters in Sunday School: "that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. This is most certainly true."

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. {affections: or, passions}
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, {of the Lord: or, in the Lord}
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

They were waiting for Him, for the Holy Spirit whose fruits are listed in the book of Galatians and which are contasted with the works of our flesh. In the book of Ephesians, we are called to keep the unity of this Spirit in the bond of peace, for there is only one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. who is above all, and through all and in you all.

The Day of Pentecost was a one time historical happening which will never be repeated in its significance, but nevertheless we individually may experience "the giving of the Holy Spirit" into our lives and congregations from time to time. We long for those Holy Spirit visitations from on high which will renew and refresh us in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ so that we will be rejuvenated in our love for Him, for one another and for the world.

May I ask the question, which relates to our original emphasis of waiting: At our stage in life, what is the main focus of my waiting, of your waiting, of our collecting waiting? My mother, who through the years waited for many things in life, now waits on her deathbed for only thing: For the Lord to receive her into heaven. For her it is very simple....But how about us, What are we waiting for? Is there something that hinders us from living in the righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Let us think on these things today as we consider the great gift of the Holy Spirit which was poured out upon all on Pentecost.

Please allow me to close this meditation with a story that I heard a few years back and which always comes to mind when I read the first verse of this chapter. Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

A young man was riding on a train and as he began his journey, an older man sat down by him. As they traveled, the young man discovered that the older man was a retired minister.. After a while the young man asked the older one: "Could I share something with you?" "Sure" said the older man. The young man said, "I am a young minister and I have a problem. I cannot preach without crying. And I do not know what to do about it." The older man replied quietly, "Please tell me about it." The young man then related his story. "A couple of years ago I had barely begun to teach at a pastor's seminar when it seemed that the Holy Spirit descended upon our gathering and moved those sitting in the audience to go to their brothers to confess their sins against one another. Before long, many were doing the same thing and we ended up having a wonderful conference being renewed in our love for one another and had wonderful fellowship in Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.It was wonderful and I will never forget that occasion."

The retired minister replied, "Wonderful, then what is the problem with that?" To this the younger said, "Well, ever since that occasion, when I stand up to preach, I cannot stop my crying and my tears."

The seasoned minister hesitated a moment and then replied, "I only wish there were more of us who were like you." .........................................................

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.....

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 19 May 2013 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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The Temptation of Jesus
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