Sermon at Kinmundy United Methodist Church on June 9, 2019 … Pentecost
Title: Waiting for the Spirit
Text: Matthew 28:18-19, Luke 24:44-53
Audio link – Right click, open in new tab to play: [Kinmundy]
Right click, open in new tab to view slides as a PDF: [Slides]
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?
What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?
we just got back from annual conference. The theme that was mentioned time and time and time again by the various preachers is, “I want to be a part of a church that is caught up in the move of God’s Holy Spirit to change our world.” And there was a little bit of holy impatience that this would begin to happen. Today is the day of Pentecost, and we remember the day that the Holy Spirit fell upon 120 people in the upper room. They were praying, they were together, they were in agreement, they were in submission to God, they were ready to act. But they were told by Jesus to wait until the Spirit came because what we do is cooperate with God because, on our own, we have no power to do anything. But if we allow God to flow through us, if we allow the Holy Spirit to flow through us, then God does the heavy lifting, and we bring the presence of God into all the various situations.
Can we have the first slide? There’s magic that needs to happen to move from [the music?] [inaudible]. You see, when Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you,” what he meant was not that you were supposed to go out and do things on your own, but that you were supposed to go out and cooperate with the Holy Spirit. So what are we waiting for? We’re waiting for the Holy Spirit. It’s good to wait until the Spirit says it’s time to act. 8:59 in the morning. 8:59. What time is it? You’ve seen this lightbulb before. You’ve heard me say this sort of light, a fluorescent light– there’s a gas inside the tube and when power starts flowing through it, it begins to light up and glow. There’s not anything wrong with that lightbulb except that it’s supposed to be giving off light. Why is it not giving off light? Well, at your house, at my house, if something’s supposed to be doing something– if the toaster’s supposed to be toasting and it’s not, what’s the first thing we do? We check to make sure it’s plugged in.
At 8:59 on Pentecost Sunday, they were waiting until God told them that it was time to do something, and then at 9 o’clock on Sunday morning, the Holy Spirit fell and they began to light up. You see, there were 120 people in the upper room praying. 120 people were the disciples that Jesus made. His three years of work was so that those 120 people would be there. By the end of that day, 12 hours later, 3,000 people had been baptized. 3,000 had come to Christ as Lord and Savior. Here’s I believe if we today do what Jesus did– remember, it took him three years. Might take us longer. But if we do what Jesus did, then we will get what Jesus got, which is the Church of Acts. So here’s what that means, friends. Next week, when you arrive for church, there could be 3,000 people here. Now let that sink in for just a minute. “Well, Pastor Dave, that’s fine with me, as long as they’re not sitting in my seat.” “Now, Pastor Dave, that’s fine with me, but I’m going to put my name on a parking space in chalk. They’d better not park in my spot.” Can you just imagine, though, 3,000 people? What would we do? What would we do?
Same thing we do every day?
Good answer. I can tell you what I think we could do, but that would make the sermon longer, so I’m not gonna do that. But what if it was 300? I still might want to tell people to get out of my seat with 300, but how about this? What if it was 30? That wouldn’t really cause a problem for us, would it? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have 30 people here who had just found the grace and love and truth of Christ? Even if it was just 3, for the Holy Spirit to act, would be a beautiful thing. But as the Father sends us to do Jesus’s work, Jesus’s work was to make disciples, and we would be doing that same thing. Maybe not on this scale, but we’d want to be ready. Here’s what Jesus said to them. Luke 24. “Then he said to them, These are my words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me, that the Law–” I’m sorry. “While I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
Verse 45. Please note those words in red. “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” Prior to this, he had explained the Scriptures, but now he opened up a way to hear so that they could hear from the Holy Spirit what Jesus had heard and explained. Because now there is a green light, you can open up the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth of God to you, and things will make sense in a way they never have before. And I think he wanted them to ponder the Scriptures, but there’s something else that they needed to do first. Verse 46. “Thus it is written that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached and is made to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” They’re going to learn what they’re to say through the open Bible that God speaks into their heart. But first– Verse 49. First– “Behold, I sent the promise of my Father upon you, but stay in the city stay in the city until you are clothed with power from all, wait for the spirit. And so they are wait, we are also wait.
Verse 50: Let me led out as far as Bethany and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. And while he blessed them, he parted from them, was carried up into heaven, and that you turn to Jerusalem with great joy and began to wait. Notice where they were waiting, they were continually in the temple, blessing God. Just as we continually, week by week, come to this place to bless God and worship. And at home, as he said, we are praying every day. We’re waiting until it’s time and we’ll know it’s time when the Holy Spirit comes to us.
Now, these are the last words in the book of Matthew, different gospel, same intention. Jesus came and said to them, “all authority in heaven and on earth, has been given to me.” Please read verse 19 with me. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” Now what’s interesting, is that they all knew what they were supposed to do, it did not need explanation. That’s because Jesus had taught them this for three years. He said he would teach them how to fish for people, and he did, for three years. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” And verse 20, once you have this new disciple, whether there’s three, 300, or 3,000, here’s what we’re supposed to do.
Please read verse 20 with me: “Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” And if you have someone who will teach you how to obey all the commands of Jesus, you will likewise know how to make disciples because everything Jesus told them to do, he is now telling them now you go do what I told you to do. As the Bishop said, as the theme of this conference, let’s do it again. But in low, I’m with you always till they close the gate but wait until the Holy Spirit is with you. And then what? What are you going to do when you go? Well, I think you’re going to notice your neighbor. I think that God is going to work through you to redeem your neighborhood. I think that the Holy Spirit is going to draw you to people you already know because they already know you, they’re willing to listen to you.
Now I’m not suggesting you go preach a sermon, I’m very fond sermons. But one thing I’ve learned is not everybody needs a sermon. And in fact, for a lot of people, one sermon a week is plenty. It’s like asparagus, once a week is enough. But everybody needs to be loved. When you go to your neighbor, what you do is you love your neighbor because that’s what we’re commanded to do. I should be able to come up to each one of you – I won’t do this – but I should be able to come up to each one of you and ask I asked the question, how have you loved your neighbor this week? And I would hear these fascinating stories of how God bless people. If you find someone who is blessed because he preached a sermon at them, please let me know, and I’ll lay enough frequently as a piece of candy. It’s some other way that you show that you care. Taking a minute to listen. Taking a minute to pray for someone after you stopped talking with them, pray with them the next morning. That’s how the love of God [inaudible]. And I believe that as the power comes on in our lives since we become more and more aware of God living in us, we’re going to feel drawn to certain people. We’re going to feel pulled as if the Holy Spirit says, ”That friend right there, that’s the one who needs you today.” And you want to wait for was fear. Well that you feel that [power?]. Scientists tell us that a very high percentage of what we learned, we kind of just simply grasp intuitively. We’re aware of someone who’s the needs, but we’re not quite sure how we know we’re aware. And I want to suggest to you sometimes it’s the Holy Spirit. This is the person. But what I want to say to you, you will be drawn to them and as fast for the Holy Spirit by also cause you to be repelled by someone else. You know why? It’s not your job to help them someone else’s, that job, and we need to say out of God’s way. But I think that’s how the Holy Spirit acts for us. We’ll see this sort of spiritual green light, like a traffic light to tell us, ”Let’s go that way to that person.” When we feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. And so when you sit in your prayer chair, you shouldn’t have one, it’s a good thing to have one, and you pray for your neighbors around you and you open the Bible, the Holy Spirit will guide you to understand what you raid on the back of the boat. And every week there’s three questions for this particular verse. And you certainly want to do this for the verse that God highlights for you. What does it say? What does it say that I need to obey? Well, the key question that we need to not to because who needs to hear this. Because when we asked that question, sometimes the answer is us. In fact, probably most of the time, [inaudible]. But when we ask that question, ”Lord, who needs to hear this?” Sometimes we are drawn to another person. When we send them our prayer chair, we are having a conversation with God, but sometimes God says, ”You need to go up to this other person and have a conversation with them.” When I’m praying your faces and your names sometimes appear in my mind, that’s when my prayers shifts to pray for [inaudible]. I’m sure it works the same for you. But if you’re asked to have a conversation with that person, you could offer to pray for them. Sometimes he’ll tell you what’s going on. Sometimes they won’t, but you’ve already heard from God, pray for this person and you can do that. That’s how the Holy Spirit draws us towards him and as we come close, the power of God, contesting [words?]. You see, we do not possess the power of God. The power of God possesses us. We do not tell God what to do. We look to see what God is trying to do and we cooperate. That’s what it means to be in the will of God. We need to let the power of God, not only possess us but live through us and help us. And just like the disciples on the day of Pentecost, you and I, we are now free to go. The light is green for us to interact with people and for God to bless them through our prayers. The light is green, you are free to go. On the other hand, you should wait until after we sing another hymn. So don’t go just yet. We’ll [inaudible]. Let’s pray. Lord Jesus, thank you for this beautiful place. Where we come each week and we wait to be filled with the power and the presence of God. Lord, help us to understand as we go from this beautiful place having been filled up, we are going into the mission field. It’s not a very big mission field, Lord, it’s the mission field of the people that we talk to every week. Maybe a dozen people, maybe three dozen people, maybe 10 times now, but we go filled with your spirit, ready to be drawn to the people that you call us to bless. Help us, Lord, to hear your voice. Help us, Lord, to see you at work. Help us, Lord, to rejoice as you rescue people. Heal them. Make them whole. Help them begin a new life in you. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen. Here’s a song that is a prayer to saying while we’re waiting for that filling, let’s stand and sing it as a prayer. [music]
Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Raod, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.