Apr
29

Come, Holy Spirit!

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Ascension Day is Thursday, May 5, when Jesus ascended to heaven. Ten days later we celebrate Pentecost on Sunday, May 15, when Jesus transforms his presence on earth and gives us the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells his disciples, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” (Acts 1:8) The power we receive is the Holy Spirit himself in us. The disciples received God’s Spirit on Pentecost and their lives were completely changed! We receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism, and our lives are completely changed when we are born again. What do we do with that all that power of change in us? After telling the disciples they would receive power from the Holy Spirit, Jesus tells them, “You will be my witnesses!” What an awesome privilege and responsibility! The confidence and commission Jesus entrusts to those first followers, He also entrusts to us today.

The N.W. District Gathering was a refreshing encouragement for us to fully take advantage of this potential. Our LCMC national leaders, Steve Lien who is our Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry, and Mark Vander Tuig who is our Service Coordinator were simply outstanding in their presentations.

Let me share just a few of their ideas and quotations. To show how much we trust God, say, “Yes, Lord, Yes is our answer! What is your question going to be?” Are we willing to do whatever God asks us? “A recent Barna Research survey found that the average church attender worships 1.7 times per month.” How pathetic is that! “Most people don’t know who Jesus is.” Are we telling others? “42% of our society thinks people of faith (that’s us) are part of the problem rather than the solution.” Can you believe how far away from Scripture and God’s plan this country has turned? Even so, “Our Guide is reliable and our mission is clear!”

1 Peter 3:15-16 says, “Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” If we’re ready, God will provide opportunities. Five questions you might ask yourself to help get ready: 1) Who delivered Jesus to me? 2) How did faith continue, or did it? 3) How has faith changed me, and why?  4) What has helped my faith grow?  5) What have I learned about God, myself, and others? “People don’t care what we know until they know that we care.” “90% of people come to faith through a friend or relative.” Our faith is relational because we have a personal Lord.  “The Holy Spirit is always working out ahead of us before God puts us where He wants us.”

You will be hearing more as we here at Peace Lutheran tell the world that we are witnesses of Jesus Christ! Next year’s gathering will be in Whitefish, MT in April; plan to attend for quality inspiration and education! We will celebrate Pentecost on May 15th this year. That celebration reminds us that God has “poured out his Holy Spirit!” The Holy Spirit accomplishes his work through believers like you and me. “Holy Spirit, You are welcome in this place!”

Pastor Kurt Wandrey