An important part of the Christian message is that we need to change. But God doesn't expect us to do it alone. He promises us the guidance we need to lead lives according to His will.
On the night before His death Jesus Christ promised His disciples the help they would need to live transformed lives, "…the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you" (John 14:26).
When Christ was arrested by the Roman authorities, Peter acted in a very cowardly manner. His action, at the most critical moment of Christ's earthly life, highlighted the underperforming life Peter had been living, and is a powerful lesson for us. Christ had predicted Peter would betray Him, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this [night] before you will deny three times that you know me" (Luke 22:34).
At the moment of Peter’s betrayal, Christ heard the crowing of the rooster, and turned and looked at Peter. For more than three years Peter had sought the approval and the friendship of Christ, but he had never seen his own weakness. It took this experience for him to realise this and he wept bitterly --- but in a few weeks the power of the Holy Spirit would change his life.
During the dramatic events on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2, when tongues of fire descended and those present received God’s Holy Spirit, Peter was empowered to deliver an inspired message to thousands, fulfilling Christ’s instructions to him, "when you have returned to Me, strengthen the brethren” (Luke 22:32) and also "feed My sheep" (John 21:15-19).
Peter’s audience finally realised how seriously flawed their lives really were and asked, "‘...what shall we do?'" (Acts 2:37). Peter responded, "Repent… let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).
This scene in Acts 2 was also foretold by the prophet Joel, who wrote God would "pour out His Spirit on mankind" (Joel 2:28), giving us the opportunity to call on God's Spirit of love, peace and a sound mind to help us live our lives as God intended.
On that Holy Day of Pentecost, the Church began, and God fulfilled the prophecy to give His Holy Spirit to those willing to change and admit they were sinners. To receive this Spirit we must repent, which means to change and turn to a life based on God's law and the example of Jesus.
The Day of Pentecost in 2021 is observed beginning at sundown on the evening of May 15 and ending at sundown on May 16.
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