May 25-Aug. 6, 2017
This is a Pentecost day, and we have power.
What it means
On the Jewish feast of Pentecost, ten days after Jesus ascended to be installed on the throne of heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit down onto his followers to give them power to be his witnesses. His healing power continued to work through them, showing that they were not making this up. His Spirit was making his followers united, bold, and persuasive. They were not discouraged by his departure but empowered by his presence through the Spirit.
How it brings security and significance
Because of the Holy Spirit in us and among us, we can do this—we can actually become more like Christ and represent him and his power to people.
The sneaky cultural assumption it exposes
Religion is about trying to become a better person.
Truth and plausibility in the assumption
People who honor God should be better people than people who don’t.
God’s corrections to the assumption
Religion is not about us trying harder. It is about Jesus’ power at work in us, changing us from the inside out so we can testify and demonstrate that he is alive and working.
The philosophical lie this declaration exposes
Religion is a matter of trying to be a better person and make a better world. All religions are the same in this sense.
The insecurity and suffering the lie brings if not exposed
A permanent guilt trip, knowing we always fell a little short. Pride about what we did right, and judgementalism of those who didn’t do as well as we did.
Response in our character if we understand the above
Confidence. What we understand, strategize, work at, and achieve is not the key to changing the world. This is not a human project. It is God's project, and the key is the spiritual power we have because the Holy Spirit is among us and in us. Our confidence is that God can be trusted to get his work done. We trust him to plug us in wherever he chooses.