(Part 38)




Pentecost Sunday

June 12, 2011


Today’s readings:

Acts 2:1-11

Psalm 104:1-34

1 Corinthians 12:3-13

John 20:19-23



Our God is the awesome God of power and strength. “If God glares at the earth, it trembles, if God touches the mountains, they smoke!” (Ps 104:32). Our God created the whole universe, in its immense and majestic diversity (Ps 104:2b-26). We are totally dependent upon God (Ps 104:29). It is the breath of God that makes beings live (Ps 104:30a). And God, continually looking upon His creation, desiring His creation to reflect His awesome majesty and glory, continues to “renew the face of the earth.” (Ps 104:30b).

God continues to breathe upon His people to bring about renewal. After Jesus resurrected from the dead, he appeared to his disciples and gave them the commission to continue his work of bring salvation to people. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (Jn 20:21). Since they were being given divine work, they needed a power beyond themselves. So Jesus “breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the holy Spirit.’” (Jn 20:22).

Then it was the turn of the larger group of disciples. The apostles had been instructed to wait for the promise of the Father, to wait to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. In the upper room in Jerusalem, on the day of Pentecost, it happened. The breath of God came “like a strong driving wind” (Acts 2:2). Then “tongues as of fire …. came to rest on each of them.” (Acts 2:3). “And they were filled with the holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4a).

Gathered in Jerusalem at that time “were devout Jews from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5). As the disciples spoke in tongues, they heard them speaking in their own languages (Acts 2:6). They heard “them speaking in (their) own tongues of the mighty acts of God.” (Acts 2:11b).

The worldwide mission of the Church was launched. The disciples went on to proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus to the whole world. God had breathed upon His people, fired them up with passion, and empowered them for mission. God triggered the process of evangelization for the renewal of the face of the earth.


For this worldwide mission, God equipped His people. He gave them spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:4-11). These charismatic gifts are gifts for service. They are intended to build up the body, so that it might be united (1 Cor 12:12-13) and equipped for the work of evangelization and mission.

God’s purpose and ways today are still the same, for His work is until the end of the age, until the Lord Jesus comes again in glory. God’s purpose is the same, “that (His) salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Is 49:6c). Thus He raises His people as His servant through whom He will show His glory (Is 49:3). He makes His light shine forth through His people (Is 49:6b).

God raised us in 1981, restored us in 2007, and now, 30 years later, reiterates our call and mission, intended by God from all eternity. As we do our work, equipped and fired up by the Holy Spirit, as this is God’s own work, done in His own power, then we will be “made glorious in the sight of the Lord, and (our) God is now (our) strength!” (Is 49:5c).


*     *     *


Assignment: read and study the book “Renewing the Face of the Earth.” It is about our work of worldwide evangelization. It explains the Great Commission, taken from the four gospels and the book of Acts. It expounds on the baptism in the Spirit, including the spiritual gifts and the gift of tongues. We need to understand how God intends to renew the face of the earth, so that we can act accordingly.


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