Sunday, Missio Dei
Pentecost is therefore to be seen as the moment when the personal presence of Jesus with the disciples is translated into the personal power of Jesus in the disciples. - N.T. Wright
Today, we wrap up our 50 Days of Prayer for Houston. A special thanks to everyone who wrote one of our daily devotions. I heard from several people over the course of the past seven weeks who found the devotions helpful and encouraging. Thanks for your investment and leading our hearts in reflection and prayer. Thanks, too, for those who followed along, prayed together in one spirit, and earnestly asked God to move mightily here in Greater Houston. Whether it was for one day, all fifty days, or somewhere in between…thanks for praying!
As we wrap up our 50 days of prayer here is a brief reflection on Pentecost from Oswald Sanders.
The Day of Pentecost witnessed the coalescing of the sovereign purpose of God and the spiritual preparation of the men to whom He was entrusting its fulfillment. The exact timing of the descent of the Spirit had been indicated centuries earlier. The feast of Pentecost was to be celebrated fifty days after the feast of Passover. The Day of Pentecost must follow fifty days after “Christ our Passover" was sacrificed for us.
Two of the great revivalists of a past generation were Jonathan Edwards and Charles Finney. Edwards viewed revival as a sovereign act of God which could in no way be influenced by man’s preparations or endeavors. Finney, on the contrary, maintained that God was always ready to bestow revival and that man could have it whenever he was ready to pay the price in heart preparation. The Day of Pentecost demonstrated that both were right and both were wrong. The Holy Spirit descended only “when the day of Pentecost was fully come" (Acts 2:1). No amount of self-emptying for heart preparation on the disciples’ part would have induced His descent on any other day. But this sovereign act of God coincided with deep humbling and self-abasement on their part. The Spirit would not have come up on men and women in whose hearts there had been no prior preparation. The ten days of waiting and prayer had produced an intolerable craving for the fulfillment of "the promise of the Father” (Luke 24:49).
Lord, as we reflect on the birth of the church today we’re reminded of two things. One, that you are still on a mission. Two, that as your followers we have the opportunity to be on mission with you. May you continue to do a work in each of our hearts that makes us prepared and ready for opportunities to proclaim and demonstrate your gospel to every man, woman and child in greater Houston. Thank you for your work in, through, and around us.