I'm reading through the book of Acts at the moment, if you want to be excited about being a Christian, this is a good book of the Bible to read!
It has some fabulous recollections of what happened and can happen. It will probably challenge you too.
The last couple of weeks I have been pondering on when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples at Pentecost. There were about 120 followers of Jesus at this point, and they were all in one place.
In Acts 2 it says it was Pentecost. Pentecost was a celebration already in the Jewish calendar. It's a bit like our harvest festival celebrations. It's a holiday where there was no work, and Jews would go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem to give thanks to God for the harvest and celebrate. So, for the disciples they were probably gathering together on the special day to do just that. To remember God's provision, goodness and to celebrate who God is and Jesus is. They were all in one place. Then all of a sudden there's this weird loud noise like wind, then tongues of fire appear and rested on them and before they know it they are all speaking in different languages!
Now, for anyone who's been a Christian for any length of time will probably know about speaking in tongues, but if you've never encountered it before - this is WEIRD! The disciplines knew Jesus told them to wait for the Holy Spirit, but I don't think they'd ever of imagined this!
They all speak in different languages having seen and heard some weird wind and fire. Now that is not an everyday occurrence, this event would be noticed - Imagine if that happened in your house during someone's birthday celebration - that would be odd right? People would notice and gather around to figure out what is going on. This is exactly what happened, those who'd come to Jerusalem to celebrate the harvest heard this commotion and gathered round. People like a mystery, they want to discover and unravel it if possible. These people who had gathered in Jerusalem came from all over the place, different towns and cities, they had different ways of life and even spoke different languages. So, these people gather round to see what is happening and they hear these regular guys all from the same town, speaking in their own language! They hear several different languages being spoken do that they all have the chance to ear about who Jesus is. Isn't that incredible?! Common, everyday men being obedient to God, not understanding themselves what's going on, but doing what Jesus said, then suddenly they are impacted by the Holy Spirit and end up telling a massive crowd about Jesus in people's original language!
The whole city of Jerusalem heard about this event, and now the whole world knows about it because it's in the Bible. What an impact waiting for the Holy Spirit makes! If you've never encountered the Holy Spirit, do what the disciples did - be obedient and wait. Once the Spirit comes, there's no denying it! People will see a change and be intrigued by it.
The next part of the story is even more incredible - are you ready for this??
The number of Christians increased from 120 to over 3,000 in just one day - talk about exponential growth!
Can you imagine what your town would look like if the Holy Spirit impacted your life or church in the same way?