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“What Does This Mean?”
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs-we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?" Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine."
Thoughts for Today:
To this day, whenever the Holy Spirit makes His presence known, we describe our experience with words such as "utterly amazed," "bewildered," "perplexed," etc. When the crowd heard the disciples' speaking in tongues, some thought it was gibberish others were amazed they were speaking in their native language.
This reminds me of a story I read recently. There was a church conference held at the Lake Arrowhead Resort. The custom at the resort is whenever the conference room is open, the bar is too, even if it is not in use. During one of the sessions the bartender was quietly cleaning glasses in the back of the room, when a man stood up and began to speak in tongues -- words that no one understood. The moderator thanked the man and appropriately asked him to sit down as there was no one present who could interpret his words. Following the meeting the bartender who was from Iraq, came forward with tears streaming down his face and asked who the man was who had spoken of the great mysteries of God and the messiah in his native language. The man was saved that evening.
The Holy Spirit is like that -- nonsense to some ("They have had too much wine"), amazing to others. What is your response when the Holy Spirit speaks to you? Is it nonsense you ignore or do you go with it? The disciples went with it -- they gave themselves over to the power of the Spirit in faith. They didn't try to understand it first. This is the mistake we make in our dealings with the Spirit -- we try to understand and process logically first. You will never experience the full power of the Spirit unless you release control.
Questions to Ponder:
Is the Lord asking you to do something right now that seems a little illogical? Maybe it's to call someone you haven't talked to in a while; attend a gathering; help a stranded motorist; ask someone who looks lost if you can help with directions; etc. It can be and will be the most ordinary of circumstances that will yield the most amazing results -- because God is constantly at work, and when you answer His call you come to know His voice.
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About the author
Pocket Devotions are written by Mike Brooks. A retired businessman, he is Moderator of South Shores church, leads the Deacon Board, serves on the finance committee, and he teaches a Men's Bible study and the Men's Ministry. Mike has a passion for evangelical missions. He is the husband of Sherry; the father of Ryan, Natalie, Krissy, Rebecca, and Amanda; the father-in-law of Ariel; and the grandfather of Conner and Christian.