What is the most shocking thing which has happened to you or that you have done? Life can be shocking. But, the only way something is considered “shocking” is when it usually doesn’t happen. It is shocking to win the lottery. It is shocking when doctors give you a 0% chance to survive, and you survive.

 

Well, how shocking would it be for you if you started speaking a different language perfectly, in an instant and without any training?

This Sunday is a special Sunday. It is called Pentecost. You can read the whole story here in Acts (Acts 2:1-21). I would call that a pretty shocking day. Most of these disciples were not highly educated. Of course, Luke was a doctor so there were some who had some pretty high education. But, from what I know, none of them studied different languages. Yet, did you see what happened? The Holy Spirit came and gave them power to speak in different languages. Why? So that everyone who came to Jerusalem that day would be able to hear the message of Jesus and his love.

I would say that is pretty shocking. Personally, I love reading about the excuses some of the said as to the reason they could speak in different languages: “they have had too much wine” (Acts 2:13). Not really an expert in this, but I am pretty sure that if you have too much wine, you will not be speaking a different language…that others can actually understand! Again, pretty shocking. But, should it be that shocking to us?  Remember, the reason why the Holy Spirit came was because Jesus promised it would happen. Jesus keeps every promise. So, the Holy Spirit came. Then, to have the disciples speak in different languages, that would seem impossible. But again, remember who is giving them power. It is God the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is an incredible story, but it is just another story of proof of God’s power. God can do anything.

I suppose that point then almost begs the question – if God can do anything, then is there really anything which is shocking? Should there be anything which would shock you knowing God’s power?

I mentioned earlier that a definition of something “shocking” is when it doesn’t usually happen. That definition may only work when it doesn’t involve God. Think about Pentecost again. If you were there and saw what happened, you would probably be pretty shocked. But, ironically, did you notice who wasn’t shocked? The disciples! Think about how often they were shocked by what Jesus did. All the miracles. All the words he spoke. All the love he showed. For 3 years when the disciples had Jesus there, they were shocked. Now Jesus had ascended back to heaven. The Holy Spirit gave the disciples power to do this. Finally, they didn’t seem shocked.

Are you shocked by what God does? Has God ever done anything shocking in your life?  Even if you could not think of an answer at the beginning about something shocking which has happened to you, I will give you the answer. And, it is God doing something shocking in your life. You ready? The most shocking thing which has ever happened to you is…God loves you! Does that seem shocking to you? Maybe not because perhaps you have been hearing that for years, since you were a tiny child. God loves you!

Think again about Pentecost. Why did Jesus send the Holy Spirit that day? The simplest answer is…because he promised he would do that. And, Jesus keeps every promise. But, dig deeper. WHY did Jesus promise that? Because of his love! He told us the reason why he would send the Holy Spirit in John 15:26-27. That Holy Spirit would testify about Jesus. He would remind the disciples all that Jesus did. And, how would you sum up all Jesus did in one word? LOVE!

The power of Pentecost still happens today. God’s message of love is shared in almost every language of the world. The Holy Spirit is still working in hearts to believe. But, perhaps the most shocking part of that is…the Holy Spirit has worked in YOUR heart. He changed your heart to believe Jesus. Because of the power of the Holy Spirit, you believe in all Jesus has done. This is all done, not because you or I deserve it. It is only done because God has chosen to change your heart, chosen to love you. Truer words cannot be spoken than what Peter said at the end of his speech: Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Acts 2:21). Why is that true? Hopefully this doesn’t shock you because it happens all the time. Yet, it can be shocking because it is truly incredible…because GOD LOVES YOU!

Pentecost proves God can do anything. He showed another miracle through those disciples by letting them speak in those languages. But, Pentecost still happens today because God’s power still is working today. It is working in you. It has worked through you. All because his power has changed you. God has worked faith in your heart to believe, no matter what language the message of Jesus was spoken to you. And, through that amazing power, you have been changed by God. And why?

Because he loves you! And, here is more shocking news…he will never stop loving you!

Side note: This weekend, as I mentioned, is Pentecost. We will be celebrating that day on Sunday. This will take place in our Annual Outdoor Service. You are all invited to that service. It starts at 11:00 AM on Sunday, June 9, 2019. Immediately following that service is our Annual Church Picnic where we will have food and games and fun for the whole family.

Also, the day before that, Saturday, June 8, 2019, from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM, we have our Annual Community Carnival. There will be bounce houses, food, a concert by His Way band and more fun for the whole family. I hope to see you there!