Power for a Purpose
This Sunday, Rob Lea brings us the latest of our short video talks. Once you have watched the video, we encourage you to reflect on the bible text and join us in the prayer that follows below.
To listen to the talk click here.
Acts chapter 2, verses 1 to 4, verses 38 to 39 (NIV)
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them…
… 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
Acts chapter 4, verse 31 (NIV)
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
Prayer & Reflection
Holy Spirit, we pray for ourselves and for the whole church, that we might be open to your empowering presence, open to your gracious gifting, and open to your adventurous leading.
Holy Spirit, God with us, fill your people with power and love, vision and purpose that we might be agents of your gospel for the whole world, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
Questions to Consider
1. Pentecost is not celebrated in the same way that Christmas and Easter are by Christians. For many, this day often passes by without any thought at all. If it was (and is) so important in the life of the church, why do you think that this is the case?
2. In Acts 2:14-36 Peter addresses the crowd that had gathered and we are told that after he speaks to them they are “cut to the heart”. Yet these are the same people who just a few weeks before were calling for Jesus to be crucified. How would you explain this dramatic change - was it just Peter’s words, or was something else going on?
3. When the crowd ask Peter what they should do, he tells them to repent (stop behaving in ways that are contrary to God’s will), be baptised as a public declaration of their commitment to Jesus, and then they will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Is that still necessary today, or was that just for those in the “early church?” If you think “yes”, why do you think that? If “no”, why do you think that?
4. Assuming that you have followed the pattern that Peter outlined to the crowd in Acts 2:38-39, do you think it necessary to pray for a re-filling of the Holy Spirit? Isn’t once enough?
5. In recent months (or perhaps longer), have you found yourself becoming more anxious, or perhaps more lethargic and demotivated? Do you think that you may need to connect or reconnect with and be filled or refilled by the Holy Spirit? Did you take up the suggestion that our minister Steph gave recently, to use Psalm 51 as the basis for the refilling of the Holy Spirit?
6. In the talk I said that, "The Holy Spirit equips you with power; not for you to use in a selfish way, but to enable you to serve God and to serve others; to carry out the mission that Jesus has given you.” Do you agree with that and is that your experience? Can you give a personal example?
7. "The local church is the hope of the world when its people are filled with the power and energy of the Holy Spirit.” Do you agree with that? If not, what is the “hope of the world”? If you do agree, what part are you playing in that “hope”?