“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:5).
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matt 5:48)
I didn’t realize I was going to reach the be-attitude of “perfect” on the Day of Pentecost. It seems perfect! They say “practice makes perfect,” but the Pentecost experience is not something you can practice to perfect. It is a gift of God, just as to be made “perfect” as our Heavenly Father is nothing we can perfect. It is only by the grace of God.
Many people do not believe in the gift of the Holy Spirit of speaking in tongues. I received that gift when I was a child. I am forever thankful to God for the gift! I feel sad for people who reject this wonderful gift. To speak in tongues is to have a prayer language to access God, not with our understanding but with what the Spirit knows are needed prayer topics. And you can be praying while working, traveling, reading your Bible, and even in your sleep. I know Mom would say that Dad prayed in tongues while sleeping. When he traveled he would speak in tongues for hours!
Praying in tongues is only one of the gifts of the Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 12 we have this account of the “manifestation of the Spirit… given for the common good.”
- to one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom
- to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit
- to another faith by the same Spirit
- to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit
- to another miraculous powers
- to another prophecy
- to another distinguishing between spirits
- to another speaking in different kinds of tongues
- to still another the interpretation of tongues
“All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”
I often ask myself why so many preachers teach that the gifts of the Spirit and the miracle workings were just for the times of the apostles. Why would God stop working his miracles? Why would he just give gifts to those in the first church? When Peter answered the crowds on Pentecost, who were cut to the heart and asked what to do, he said,
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 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 2:38,39).
The promise of the Holy Spirit is for all. We are part of those who are “far off.” I cannot praise God enough for the wonder of having this Gift all my life. The presence and fellowship with the Holy Spirit is always precious but in the times of most sorrow and confusion in my life, when my heart has been crying so hard I didn’t have words, my Helper and Comforter the Holy Spirit prayed through me to the Father. My heavenly language was such comfort to my soul I don’t have words to express it.
Jesus himself told us to be perfect, as our Heavenly Father. In what context did he say it? He was talking about loving our enemies. Read Matthew 5:43-48. I don’t believe he was thinking of “perfect” as we generally use the word. I think he was saying that we should love with a heart full of compassion as our Father loves. The Holy Spirit can help us.
Jesus said he was going to send the Holy Spirit us our Helper and Comforter, as our Counselor. His promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. I’ve spent this day reading the Book of Acts. I didn’t realize until this afternoon that it was Pentecost Sunday. What a “perfect” day to be reading the “acts of the apostles” through the power of the Holy Spirit.
If someone has preached to you that the gifts of the Spirit, the wonderful gift of speaking in tongues, was only for “those” days, I hope you can see beyond that and receive Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit and his power. First and foremost Jesus promised that we would receive power to be witnesses, even to the ends of the earth (see Acts 1:8).
The be-attitude for this day, to be perfect as our Father is perfect, can be fulfilled through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the One who can help us to love as our Father loves, even to love our enemies, to love those that mistreat us.
I praise God for Pentecost.
I praise God for the wonderful gift of speaking in tongues, a gift that you also can receive and experience. You just have to ask.
Jesus said,“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13).
Ask Him for the Gift!
Ask Him to be perfect in love!
Our Father in heaven gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
The Day of Pentecost is a “perfect” day to ask for the Gift of Pentecost! Every day is “perfect” for asking! Do it, in Jesus’ name!
Practice cannot make you perfect, but the Holy Spirit can make you perfect in love, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.
Praise God for his perfect love!
Praise God for his perfect gift of the Holy Spirit!
Praise God for Pentecost!