What Does Pentecost Mean?

What Does Pentecost Mean?

The Holy Spirit, the fire of Pentecost
Ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit was poured out to the disciples gathered together in Jerusalem.

Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak. (Acts 2: 2-4, CEB)

This outpouring of the Spirit was promised by the prophet Joel in the Old testament:

After that I will pour out my spirit upon everyone;
        your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
        your old men will dream dreams,
        and your young men will see visions.
In those days, I will also pour out my
    spirit on the male and female slaves.
(Joel 2:28-29, CEB)

The Holy Spirit changed everything. Life was not “business as usual” any more. The Holy Spirit was poured out just like Jesus promised. But like E.P. Hovey points out “this promise is no lullaby for the faint-hearted. It is a blood transfusion for courageous living.” The Holy Spirit did not just come to comfort us but to give us courage to…

…surrender everything to God.
…follow Christ wherever he leads us.
…embrace the Holy Spirit.
…witness boldly.
…love abundantly.
…serve humbly.
…give extravagantly.
…die daily.

The people who were listening to the disciples witnessing boldly on the first Christian Pentecost were asking “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:12, CEB) The very same question should be on our lips this Pentecost. What could this mean?

What if this Pentecost….
…we opened our hearts wide for the fire of Holy Spirit?
…we did not limit the work of the Holy Spirit?
…we let the Holy Spirit truly change us, no holding back?

Because the Holy Spirit comes also to us personally and, if we let him, changes everything.
Are you ready?


Let us pray with the words of Betty Scott Stam and mean it:

I give up all my own plans and purposes,
all my own desires and hopes,
and accept Thy will for my life.
I give myself, my life, my all
utterly to Thee to be Thine forever.
Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit.
Use me as Thou wilt.
Send me where Thou wilt.
Work out Thy whole will in my life
at any cost,
now and forever.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: What does Pentecost mean to you?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let the Holy Spirit empower you to do God’s will in your life!

Image courtesy of Gary Buchanan. Linking up today with Faith Filled Friday.

4 thoughts on “What Does Pentecost Mean?

  1. To me, the full meaning of Pentecost helps answer some of the deepest mysteries of religion and life.  As explained in the article, The Secret Meaning of Pentecost, it represents much more than the gift of the Holy Spirit.  By connecting the New Testament Pentecost with the Old Testament Feast of Weeks, which is based on the first fruits early harvest, Pentecost helps us understand why so few people in the history of mankind have had a chance to hear gospel and be saved and why God allows so much suffering and injustice in this life.

  2. You’ve done a great job of setting the Holy Spirits work before me in a fresh way. I think we sometimes forget to be in awe that the Spirit has been given to us!

    1. Glad to hear that, Amy. Thank you. It’s true, we do too easily forget to be in awe of the Holy Spirit. And when we do take something granted, it loses its special meaning in our lives. Spirit-filled Blessings to you!

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