TONGUES OF FIRE

God wants to light your fire!

We use the term “on fire” to describe someone who’s doing amazingly well, so well they are unable to be stopped. The Urban Dictionary lists a definition for “on fire” that describes it as, “A state of mind in which people believe that they are unstoppable and can do anything they want–and they do.” THAT is our topic for today, my friends!

But first, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert,” thanks for joining me. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today lights your heart on fire, please like, subscribe and share it with a friend !

Today the church celebrates PENTECOST, and it’s known as the birthday of the Church. Like most birthdays, it comes with gifts. Let me tell you a bit about Pentecost, and why it’s important to you.

God loves to give, and the three major celebrations of the church — Christmas, Easter and Pentecost — are each focused around a specific gift of God. Christmas focuses on the gift the Father gives and celebrates the birth of Christ. Easter focuses on the gift the Son gives and celebrates the forgiveness delivered by Christ’s resurrection. Pentecost focuses on the gift the Holy Spirit gives and celebrates the power to win the world.

Today’s verse describes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and says TONGUES LIKE FLAMES OF FIRE CAME TO REST ON EACH OF THEM.

Let me set the stage for this, you’re going to love it! Pentecost was one of the three feasts of the year where all the male Jews returned to Jerusalem. It was the celebration of the wheat harvest and also came to be a commemoration of the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai. Jesus and His disciples had been up in the Galilee after His resurrection, but came back to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast. But ten days before the feast, Jesus ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father. He said, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses.” Then, as if to put an exclamation point on His promise of power, Jesus ascended into heaven right in front of their eyes.

They went back across the valley to the house where they were staying … and waited. While they waited, they prayed. When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in the house. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind. It was LOUD. So loud, in fact, that it attracted people from all over the city. Maybe it was the sound of hundreds of angels’ wings, who knows. If so, I’ll bet that would sound like a massive hurricane or tornado. Maybe even hundreds of helicopters. Whatever it sounded like, it filled the entire house where they were sitting and definitely had everyone’s attention!

And that’s when it happened. From nowhere tongues as of fire appeared, then split up and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And they began to speak in other tongues as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. God had LIT THEIR FIRE !!!

Thousands of people from across the city had been gathered by the sound of the wind. They came from at least fifteen different countries, all with their own languages; we know that because the bible actually lists them for us. The reason that’s important is because – brace yourselves for this – they were astonished and bewildered because each one was hearing them speak in their own native language. I wish I had the time to tell you the whole story, but most of you only hang in on these talks for about five minutes, so I’ve got to move quickly.

The crowd is asking what’s going on, and Peter stands up to tell them about the promise of Jesus and the Holy Spirit and how God wants to light THEIR fire, too. When Peter is finished, many of those in the crowd were cut to the heart and asked what they should do. Peter said to them, “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.” About three thousand people responded, and the Church was born.

During one of His teachings, Jesus had said, “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!” Well, now it was! His baptism of fire had been poured out, and He was making His ministers a flaming fire. TONGUES LIKE FLAMES OF FIRE CAME TO REST ON EACH OF THEM, and they used them!! They continued to be HIs witnesses.

Those who heard, repented, were baptized and filled with the Spirit devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to celebrating communion together and to prayer. God had LIT THEIR FIRE, and the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Do you want to know why you’re here on earth, why you’re still inhaling and exhaling? It’s because God has a PURPOSE for you and your life. He wants to LIGHT YOUR FIRE and equip you to be one of His witnesses. And let me tell you, you don’t want to miss it. His love is amazing. His gifts and power are incredible. Being who He created you to be is the most fulfilling thing you’ll ever do.

So let me invite you just as Peter invited the crowd. Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

And God will LIGHT YOUR FIRE.

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