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Acts 2

A Violent Wind

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A Violent Wind
 Acts 2 : 1-13   

today is pentecostal sunday and that’s the reason the scripture we have for today is an old and tried old…   we have all heard stories of the mighty rushing wind and the flames of tongues.

 

it reminds me of a powerful tornado that swept through parts of Texas in may of 1997, where it flattened buildings and overturned cars.

 

Shoppers at the Albertson’s supermarket in Cedar Park, Texas, were in a state of panic. Then a commanding voice come over the intercom, the voice of Larry Fore, the manager of Albertson’s. This is what he said:

“Don’t leave the store or you will die . . . Your only chance of survival is to do exactly what I tell you.” Fore then directed the shoppers to enter the nearest meat locker. They did just as he said, and all the shoppers survived the tornado without incident.

Why did Larry Fore speak to the shoppers with such authority? Because 18 years before, Fore had survived a more devastating tornado. He had been through the danger before, and he knew how to bring others through safely.

I suppose that there is nothing scarier than a tornado bearing down on you. That’s what I think of when I read today’s scripture about “a violent wind.”

In Oklahoma we have some very violent winds as you all know. It is astounding how powerful the wind can be at times, Especially when they cause a tornado or heavy straight line winds. Amen?

Speaking of winds It reminds me of the story of the two farmers who were boasting about the strongest kind of wind they’d seen. We have some boastful farmers around here, you know.

These two met on the Arkansas river, where one was from Arizona and the other Oklahoma. The last wind storm we had, said one, “I saw the fiercest wind in my life. You know these giant red cedar trees? Well, the wind got so strong, it bent them right down to the ground.”

“That’s nothing,” said the other. “Back on my farm in oklahoma, we had a terrible wind one day that blew a hundred miles an hour. It was so bad one of my hens had her back turned to the wind and she laid the same egg six times.” Now that’s a strong wind.

In our message from the God today it begins this way in the New International Version of the Bible: “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

This wind that came down on the Day of Pentecost was the most significant wind that has ever blown. if you do research you’ll find that the word for wind in both the Greek and the Hebrew is also the word for the “Spirit.”

so what about this holy spirit or holy ghost as the king james bible calls him… I believe that we will understand the work of the Holy Spirit better if we think for a few moments about the nature of wind.

Wind is necessary for life. “Wind is the movement of air, and fresh air is needed continually for life itself. Even seeds often require wind for their dispersal and subsequent growth. likewise, the Holy Spirit is the presence of God, who is the source for all life . . .”

The word for wind and Spirit is also the same word for breath. So, in the creation story, God not only breathed air into Adam but also His own Spirit and Adam became a living being.

remember we are taking a look at what air is…It is not air that makes us unique among all living creatures. It is the fact that we have God’s Spirit within us.

All first aid courses include instruction in CPR cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The A-B-C steps of CPR are: Airway opened, Breathing restored, and Circulation restored ABC. The first two steps are crucial because they get oxygen into the victim’s body.

Without life-giving oxygen, the person will die, no matter how effective the chest compressions in Step C. The rescuer breathes his very breath into the helpless victim’s lungs.

Jesus promised his disciples before he left them that the Holy Spirit would come upon them. In essence he was saying, “I will give you the very breath of my life.”

On Pentecost, God breathed new life into jesus’s disciples. The upper room experience described in Acts 2 is, so to speak, God’s CPR for downhearted or despirited followers.

When you and I were born, the doctor slapped us on the behind as i had to tell my boy james the other day when they made linda and i grandparents again, and we started breathing. That was physical air.

But Jesus promised us a gift far greater than physical air. He promised those who seek it, that the Holy Spirit would come upon us and give us new life.

Let’s face it, most people just exist day to day. Their lives have no zest, no joy, no real purpose. Few of us have what the disciples had on the Day of Pentecost.

They had such a party that passersby accused them of being drunk and disorderly. i been there and done that… in kentucky.

most of you remember the story…i was preaching the first kentucky camp meeting in stanton, ky. when this your adult male gave his life to jesus….

in africa when somebody gets saved you need to baptize them right away or the family may get him or  her to renonuce…

so we took this young man to the river arounf midnight it was and baptized him and we wer rejoicing so much the police stopped us as drunks….

soon they saw it was just the spirit moving on us but they didn’t know what it was.

I doubt that anyone will make that mistake about most churches today. We don’t seem to have God’s Spirit at work within us like the disciples did on that first pentecostal. And it’s sad. most of the church doesn’t don’t know what they are missing.

In 1865, a Wells Fargo stage coach was robbed of $180,000 in money and gold bullion. A posse cornered the robbers as they tried to cross Mud Lake, a lake in Idaho.

Knowing that they couldn’t escape their pursuers while weighted down with all that gold, the robbers dumped the gold into the deepest part of the lake. Then they made their escape.

In the 138 years since the robbery, few people have turned up any of that treasure. In 1901, treasure hunters recovered three bars of gold bullion, worth $25,000.

But much of the treasure is still believed to be sitting at the bottom of Mud Lake.i told you that story for you to understand that All that gold just sitting at the bottom of a lake waiting.

In the same way, we have available to us potential for new life, new purpose, new joy just waiting for us to claim. All we need is to open ourselves to God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings us life.

There is a second characteristic of wind we need to consider: wind is unseen. We know it by its results. Maple trees depend on the wind to blow their seeds to new places where they can grow into new trees.

Hot air balloons go wherever the wind takes them. Hurricanes devastate coastal areas while bringing much needed rain to drought-stricken areas.

“Wind has no material shape or form. It is invisible; we cannot see the source or the destination of wind. It is a mysterious, unseen force. Nevertheless, its presence is known by its effects.

Likewise, the unseen Holy Spirit can be experienced in a refreshing way. His presence is displayed in the work he does in human lives by transforming, sanctifying, encouraging, and teaching.” amen?

People have had their lives changed by the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit that lifts us above the mundane in life.

sometimes churches just keep going round in circles when it comes to the holy ghost….Charles Swindoll tells about a bazaar that was held in a village in northern India. Everyone brought his wares to trade and sell.

One old farmer brought in a whole covey of quail. He had tied a string around one leg of each bird. The other ends of all the strings were tied to a ring which fit loosely over a central stick. He had taught the quail to walk dolefully in a circle, around and around, like mules at a sugarcane mill.

Nobody seemed interested in buying the birds until a devout Brahman came along. He believed in the Hindu idea of respect for all life, so his heart of compassion went out to those poor little creatures walking in their monotonous circles.

“I want to buy them all,” he told the merchant, who was elated. After receiving the money, the merchant was surprised to hear the buyer say 'Now, I want you to set them all free.”

“What’s that, sir?” asked the merchant.

“You heard me. Cut the strings from their legs and turn them loose. Set them all free.”

With a shrug, the old farmer bent down and snipped the strings off the quail. They were freed at last. What happened? The birds simply continued marching around and around in a circle.

Finally, the man had to shoo them off. But even when they landed some distance away, they resumed their predictable march. Free, unfettered, released . . . yet they kept going around in circles as if still tied.

So many Christians are like those birds. They are good people. They believe in God. They accept the great doctrines of the church. But they are marching around in circles like those birds. They do not feel God’s presence in their lives. They have never heard the sound of a violent wind blowing.

We can’t see the Spirit, but we should be able to see its effect in our life.

We should have more joy, more love, more vitality if God lives within us. The church at Pentecost was a joyful, loving dynamic group of individuals when the Spirit came upon them. We need that kind of Spirit if we are going to be what God calls us to be.

Here’s the final thing to be said about wind: wind cannot be controlled; it blows where it will. the Holy Spirit is not subject to human control. The moving of the Holy Spirit is God at work.

take him today and let him work in your life…..

 

Verse of the Day

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” -Romans 12:4-5 Listen to chapter Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

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