A Promise Kept
‘Wait here to receive the promise from the Father which I told you about. John baptised people with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ (Acts 1:4-5, NCV)
No matter how well-intentioned we might be, we all fail to keep our promises at times. Perhaps circumstances were against us; perhaps resources ran dry; perhaps hopes were greater than abilities; but for whatever reason, we failed to do what we promised we’d do. But this was never true of Jesus! Every promise he made, he kept – though sometimes his followers had to wait a little while!
Pentecost was a wonderful example of this. After Jesus’ return to the Father on Ascension Day, the way was open for the promised baptism with the Holy Spirit to happen, for Jesus had told them that, ‘Unless I go away, the Counsellor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you’ (John 16:7). And so they waited …and waited…and waited. Ten days passed by; ten days of praying and waiting; ten days of wondering what exactly it was that Jesus was going to give them. And then, suddenly – it happened! On the Day of Pentecost itself, a day associated with God’s provision for his people, the promised Holy Spirit came – and with external signs so amazing that there could be no doubting his arrival – ‘a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm in the skies above them’ (Acts 2:2, NLT), ‘what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them’ (verse 3), and ‘all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them’ (verse 4). There was absolutely no doubt that the promise had been kept!
But Pentecost was just the start! For this experience was not meant to be a ‘one-off’ for the church, something to ‘get it going’. Rather, it is a promise to every believer who will ask Jesus to keep his promise to them too. Ask him – he will not ignore you!
‘The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.’ (Acts 2:39)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont