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I Stand Amazed in His Presence, Again

I am in the process of preparing a five-part teaching series on the Holy Spirit that I will be presenting in the month of February. And today, God did it again! He opened my eyes to see something that I have not seen nor pondered before, even though I have read and re-read these Bible passages many times over the past fifty-one years. This is not the first time something like this has happened and it surely won’t be the last, but when it does happen, I stand before my Lord with a renewed sense of awe filling my heart and mind.

Today, from Acts 2, I was reading about the Day of Pentecost outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon those gathered in a Jerusalem upper room. This outpouring was accompanied by cloven tongues of fire, which rested upon the heads of those in the room, as well as individuals speaking in languages they had never spoken before, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Since Pentecost was number two of the three great Jewish feasts, the city of Jerusalem was filled with pilgrims from many parts of the known world. In fact, the text goes onto identify at least fifteen separate language groups that were present. It seems, that on the heels of this outpouring, those from the upper room poured out into the streets proclaiming wonderful things about the mighty works of God that were performed by Jesus of Nazareth.

The testimony of those in the streets of Jerusalem was that they were hearing these proclamations in their native tongues. So spectacular was this demonstration, that it was said of the crowds, “And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others mocking said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’”

Then, at a moment of God’s choosing, the Apostle Peter stepped forward and began to speak to the crowd. The next twenty-four verses give us a synopsis of the apostle’s sermon. Now, bear with me for a moment, because what we have going on now, is the speaking of just one man, not the 120 people who spilled out of the upper room. There are still people in the audience from at least fifteen language groups but there is only one man speaking, speaking in such a Holy Spirit anointed way that everyone one in the crowd heard Peter’s message in their own language. And so clear was his message, so powerful was the anointing of the Holy Spirit, that over 3,000 individuals came to faith in Christ and were baptized at the conclusion of the Acts 2 sermon.

So, what was the Pentecostal miracle? Was it a miracle of supernatural ability to speak in languages which one had never learned? Or was it a gift of supernatural hearing so that everyone listening to Peter’s words, no matter the language in which he was speaking, was understood by everyone present? You know what I believe? It was both!

Some may be saying, “Who cares?” or “What does it matter?” Perhaps in the long run, it does not matter. But for me, it simply adds a fresh dimension to the miracles of Pentecost. And that, causes my faith in Jesus to soar in ways that it has never soared before this morning. Like a finely cut diamond, the facets of our Lord and His workings are many. Every time I think I have Him figured out, every time I consciously or unconsciously, put Him in a box of my understanding, He breaks free again and fills me with wonder and amazement. I then find myself breaking out in praise and thanksgiving, along with the Apostle Paul, who wrote, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (II Corinthians 9:15).

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