Posted on Sat, Jun 3, 2017
Pastor Bob Norton
Pentecost Sunday comes to us on June 4th as we celebrate together the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Church in Jerusalem as described in Acts 2:1-13. The risen Christ had instructed His followers to “wait for the promise of the Father until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49) before trying to go out and change the world. Today, as persevering Christians we desperately need the power of the Holy Spirit. The Christian life is a supernatural life and we cannot live it apart from God’s empowering presence. John Stott reminded the Church: “Before Christ sent the church into the world he sent the Spirit into the church. The same order must be observed today.”
Maybe you’ve heard the story of a famous oil field called Yates Pool. During the Depression this field was a sheep ranch owned by a man named Yates. Mr. Yates wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay the principle and interest on the mortgage, so he was in danger of losing his ranch. With little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on government subsidy.
Day after day, as he grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills. Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.
At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large. In fact, 30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day.
And Mr. Yates owned it all. The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he’d been living on relief. A multimillionaire living in poverty. The problem? He didn’t know the oil was there even though he owned it.
Many Christians live in spiritual poverty. They are entitled to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and his energizing power, but they are not aware of their birthright. How can we experience and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit?
To be filled with the Holy Spirit means that we allow him to occupy and control every area of our lives… How much of you does the Holy Spirit have? James Emery White challenges his seminary students regarding the Spirit: I bring two glasses of water and two packets of Alka-Seltzer to class. I drop a packet of Alka-Seltzer, with the wrapper on, into one glass. Then I plop an unsealed packet into the second glass, and watch it fill with fizz. I say to my students, “Both glasses have the Alka-Seltzer, just as all Christians have the Holy Spirit. But notice how you can have the Holy Spirit and not his filling.” Our goal is to live in such a way as to unwrap the packaging around the presence and power of the Holy Spirit within us.
At Church of the Resurrection, we are going to discover together the “fizz” of the Holy Spirit as we explore the Word of God. Our sermon series for Pentecost and the following weeks is “The Church in the Power of the Spirit.” Come together. Invite your friends. Let’s be clothed with power from on high!
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