Repent, Receive, Reflect    

Today we celebrate Pentacost. The day that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus’ followers filling them with God’s power and authority.
A day when the early believers reflected God.

What does Pentacost mean right now? In this bloodied, deadly, burning present?

On this Pentacost Sunday we must repent of our sin, our blindness, our pride in order for the power of the Holy Spirit to be manifest in our lives.

It’s been a week of soul searching: asking God to reveal to me my own short-comings and prejudices.
A week of mourning and seeking God’s face.

I am horrified by the violence, the destruction, the selfish pride.
I stunned by the senseless, appalling death of George Floyd.
I’m deeply saddened that we who identify as followers of Jesus haven’t figured out how to root out prejudice and deep-seated animosity towards those who we perceive as “different”.
I grieve that we haven’t shown the world what it means to love other humans created in God’s image.
I’m dismayed that my sweet, Jesus-loving, ten year old nephew has to always be mindful of how he acts, of what he says when he’s out and about in his city, even playing at the park. That boy knows how to love and let Jesus shine through him but he’s judged by bigoted people who automatically hate him for the color of his skin.

How can we, as followers of Jesus, be the peacemakers that Jesus calls us to be?

Jesus’ message was one of repentance – turning from sin and believing in Him. Luke 13:3 and 5 Jesus proclaimed, “unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Before He ascended back to to His throne, Jesus said in Luke 24:47 “that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations….”

Repentance is at the core of Christianity. It is only after repentance, that renewal and restoration comes. Then we will be able to reflect the Love of God to the world.
I can repent only when I’m confronted with my wretched state as a sinner.
Acknowledge that I am a sinful, stubborn person who wants to put selfish pride first, above all else.

With repentance comes salvation! The gift of salvation given by Jesus bleeding and dying for my sins, saving me from this wretched sinful condition.
Repentance leads to relationship and restoration with God!

We need to repent and open ourselves to receive the Holy Spirit who longs to guide us and fill us with God’s power and love.

Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to you areas that you need to release in repentance to Jesus. Allow Him to have His way in your heart and soul.

Allow the Holy Spirit to restore you to relationship with God and to plant His fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control!

We must spread the message of repentance, love and hope in Jesus. Not by might, not by human power but by the love, salvation and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ!

God’s disciples are made new creations, new people with the love of the Holy Spirit coursing through us, informing us of what to say, where to go and how to live.

Do our lives reflect the love, mercy, justice and power of the Holy Spirit?

Lately I’ve been thinking of Ravi Zacharias, of how when he looked at a person he saw a person made in the image of God. No matter how hotly a skeptic may have challenged him, Ravi responded with the compassion and love for the person created in God’s image.

How does Jesus call us to live?
In repentance
Receptive of the Holy Spirit’s guidance
Love God, love each other.

God’s Word also admonishes us to:
Do justice
Love mercy
Walk humbly with God

Set aside prejudices and generalizations.
Let the Holy Spirit fill us with God’s love.
Understand that every single person is created in God’s image.

Reflect the Holy Spirit, Let Him restore you, let His power be manifest in your life so that you reflect into the world:
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Galatians 5:22