Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

 The Holy Spirit - The Gift 

Joel 2:28 
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. 
Jesus Christ, our Lord, came to the earth to fulfill God’s intention to save humanity from the clutches of sin and death. Jesus declared very clearly that He has come so that we may have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10). He accomplished God’s purpose of salvation by offering himself as a sacrifice before the whole world on the cross of Calvary.

Soon after His crucifixion, the disciples who followed Jesus were scattered. But Jesus, after His resurrection, came to them and assured them of His everlasting presence. He told them that after His ascension to His Heavenly Father, the disciples will receive the Holy Spirit. He also reminds them that before they start working on His ‘Great commission’, they must stay in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit.

Joel (meaning -Yahweh is God) lived in the Southern Kingdom of Judah from the period 835 BC to 450 BC. He preached repentance to the people of Israel. He warned that the Judgement Day was fast descending on humanity. But he also prophesied that God is compassionate and gracious and will forgive their sins and trespasses if they truly repent. “Rend your heart and not your garment …(Joel 2:13). The people of Israel have become used to the religious rituals hoping that it will please the Lord God. But God is very specific that the outward rituals will not cause Him to relent His anger against their sins and trespasses. 

Prophet Joel also presents a picture of abundance when the Lord forgives His people Israel. He talks about the bountiful harvest of grain, new wine, and olive oil. He promises ample pastures, fruitful trees, and other material blessings. To crown it all, as a finishing touch, the Lord promises to pour out His Spirit on all His people.

The promise that the Lord announced thru his prophet Joel was reiterated by Jesus Christ to His disciples (John 14:15-17). Just as salvation of the soul, Holy Spirit also is a gift from God. Jesus asked us to do two things in connection with this gift: (1) Keep His commands and (2) Ask our Father in Heaven. We understand that all Jesus’ commands are built on the framework of ‘Love for God and love for fellow humans.’

The manifestation of Joel’s prophesy took place on the first ‘Day of Pentecost’. When the disciples gathered themselves with fellow believers in one place, Holy Spirit came upon them in the form of a violent wind and tongues of fire. Peter revealed to the audience the significance of the event by reciting Joel’s prophetic words.

This verse also poses a warning to humanity that we are living in the ‘last days of this world. Joel’s clarion call for repentance is clearly ringing in the air. The Holy Spirit is rushing the believers to keep watch. Let us all genuinely prepare for the second coming of our Lord and earnestly pray that we all be found in Him.

Accept my repentance, O Lord, fill me with the Holy Spirit and use me in the work of your vineyard all the days of my life. In the name of Lord Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.
Thought of the day
All men will be like Peters in their bragging, and most will be Peters in their base denial, but few men will be Peters in their quick repentance – Owen Feltham
Abraham Mammen
Epiphany MTC, New York

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