Yesterday, my home state of Georgia lifted the “Stay-at-Home” order for almost everyone except medically fragile and elderly. I am sure this will lead to a big jump in COVID-19 cases. I just hope that the fatality rate slows. The virus is going to spread, but I keep praying it’s lethality lessens. I also continue to pray that the changes created from this global outbreak last. I hope we continue to realize how fragile our lives are; and how important living righteous, loving, and serving lives that mirror that of Jesus are needed to ensure we know where we’ll be spending eternity. I pray we’ve realized how precious our planet is as we’ve witnessed nature come to life in the month that humans have stopped traveling and polluting as much as we were. I pray all those that spent the last month and a half locked down at their home took advantage of that extra time and read their Bibles and made a new commitment to Christ. And I hope y’all have found a new favorite worship experience listening to the powerful new album from Elevation Worship (EW).
But before I start flooding this Devotional with EW’s new tracks, I want to share another great single released yesterday from for King & Country. This is another COVID inspired track. I was able to preview almost all the big names in Christian music that came out yesterday during my drive to and from work. Housefires‘ EP is another powerful, worship anthem filled set. For my hip-hop fans, Ty Brasel‘s new album is a great work with catchy beats and quick, clean lyrics. But EW definitely holds the crown with Graves into Gardens. This is their best album yet. Go ahead and give all these works a listen and let me know what you think! Stay healthy!
1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4)
These verses show the birth of the Pentecostal Church, a church that many of the members still speak in different tongues. Now, I have never witnessed a person speaking in tongues, but I no longer refuse to believe such things are impossible. There was a time in my life I thought such things were just spontaneous nonsense. I can not as a Christian deny such miracles. As bizarre as the occurrence may be, as much as it may seem like it is just a person sputtering nonsense, I do believe the Holy Spirit still moves in true believers. I have to believe that as a Christian. Just as I use my personal experience, which is just feeling a stirring in my soul at certain moments of my life, I know the Holy Spirit is still moving in this world, still making His presence and power known. I wish I had the power to speak in tongues. I took Russian for two semesters in college and that was the hardest thing I ever tried to learn. If only I could get the Holy Spirit to come into my body and allow me to speak Russian, that would be much easier than having to learn that myself. But the Holy Spirit does not give people the power to speak tongues for selfish reasons. This miracle is present in our day and age to bridge a language barrier to carry the message of Jesus forward. If you think the Holy Spirit is using people to simply speak babble in closed door church services, that’s not the Holy Spirit at work. As you will read in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit spoke through the Apostles so all the Jews that had gathered for the Festival of Pentecost could understand in their native language exactly what the Apostles were saying. Look at the list of countries the Jewish came from: Parthia, Medes, Elam, Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphlia, Egypt, Libya, Rome, Crete, and the Arabs. Fifteen different areas, fifteen different native languages. The Holy Spirit used the Apostles to speak to all of them.
You do not have to speak in tongues to have the power to reach those around you. You came from a specific town, city, family, and people. You speak their native tongue. You speak to your generation and generations above and below you. Don’t wait for the Holy Spirit to come to take advantage of the language you speak to reach others. You know the truth of the Gospel, the freedom of grace and the importance of love. Get out and spread your wisdom to the land you came from.
Reading plan: Acts 2
Deeper reading plan: Ezra 3, 4
Prayer and meditation: Pray for the sick, pray for the lost and their loved ones. Pray for redemption for this lost world. Pray for a reviving rattle to shake COVID off this planet. And continue to pray for all those in medical professions, grocery stores, supply chain operators, first responders, and the amazing teachers still doing all they can to teach the students they love so much.
Fitness challenge: We are up to running 2.5 miles every Saturday. Give it your best today and try to beat your time every week after. We are almost to our goal: running a 5k!
Serve Day Challenge: Get out and get involved! COVID gave us some setbacks, but most organizations, especially food distributions are doing even more for the community than ever before. They need your help, whatever you can give.