Flames of Fire
Acts 1:4–11; Acts 2; The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 35–46
The Holy Spirit helps us enjoy worshiping with others.
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1, NIV).
Have you ever had to wait for something that you really wanted? Did time seem to drag, or did it fly by? Jesus promised His disciples that He would send them the Holy Spirit, but He didn’t tell them when. He just told them to wait in Jerusalem. While they waited, time passed slowly. They wanted to tell others about Jesus, but something was missing.
Peter stood in the window. The bright morning sunshine warmed his face. I wonder if it will happen today, he thought. He turned around. He looked at his friends behind him in the big room. Some of them were praying together. Some were talking quietly. All of them were waiting. Waiting for what Jesus had promised.
“Do not leave Jerusalem. Wait for the gift I told you about,” Jesus had said. “In a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
That was one of the very last things Jesus had told His disciples before He went back to heaven. Peter would never forget that day! One moment he had been listening to his beloved Jesus. The next, Jesus had been taken away! Taken away to heaven! Peter and his friends had just stood there with their mouths open. And then suddenly two angels had been there beside them. “Don’t stand staring up into the sky like that!” the angels said with smiles on their faces. “Jesus is going to come back again one day in the same way you saw Him go.”
And so Peter and the other believers were waiting. They weren’t exactly sure what would happen. “When the Holy Spirit comes, you will be filled with power,” Jesus had said. But what did that mean?
Suddenly Peter heard a sound. He wondered what it was. The whole house was filled with the sound of a strong, rushing wind! Peter’s eyes opened wide in astonishment. What looked like flames of fire appeared in the room. Little flames touched each person. Everyone there was filled with the Holy Spirit. Everyone began to speak in other languages!
There were many strangers from other countries in the city that day. They had come to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem. A huge crowd quickly gathered outside around the house. They had heard the roar of the mighty wind. And now they heard the people inside the house speaking in their very own languages! “How is it that these people can speak our languages?” they asked one another.
Peter stood in front of the crowd and began to speak to them. He told them about Jesus. He told them about Jesus’ life. He told them about Jesus’ death. He told them about Jesus’ resurrection. “Turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus!” Peter urged the crowd.
And 3,000 people did just that. And from then on, Peter became a mighty voice for God.