“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
AWAKE, O SLEEPER! ARISE FROM THE DEAD!
Will you dig a little deeper into God’s word with me today?
Awake Biblical Usage:
- to arouse
- to cause to rise up
- to recall the dead to life
- bring before the public
- to raise up
- to stir up
- to move from obscurity, inactivity or ruins
Arise Biblical Usage:
- to cause to rise up, raise up
- to rise, stand up
- at arise, appear, stand forth
- of kings prophets, priests, leaders of insurgents
- of those about to enter into conversation or dispute with anyone, or to undertake some business, or attempt something against others
- to rise up against any one
Brothers and Sisters, it is time to Awake! It is time to Arise!
For far too long, many believers are living in obscurity. Quietly, proclaiming their faith in private and in silence. This is not much different from the early church and what caused them to RISE UP then can give us the power to RISE UP now.
Jesus Christ died on the cross for all to see. He rose from the dead for over 500 people to witness. He then ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God leaving His disciples with DIRECTION and PURPOSE. These words ringed true for the disciples then and for us now.
But YOU will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Today is Pentecost Sunday. What is Pentecost Sunday? Why does it matter?
According to Wikipedia, Pentecost Sunday is "The Christian holiday of Pentecost, which is celebrated the 49th day after Easter Sunday, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles."
The Bible reads
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.
And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them:
“Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
For David says concerning him, “‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
“Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”
So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common.”
Acts 2:1-6, 12-44
My words and experiences cannot add to what took place on that first Pentecost Sunday. It is with certainty that I say, the same power that filled Peter and the eleven on that day can fill our hearts, minds and actions today.
During that first Pentecost, the disciples were together in a room, praying and seeking God in unity. Once the Holy Spirit came, they left that room and changed the world.
It is time to leave our “rooms” It is time to AWAKE and ARISE against injustice and persecution. It is time to use the power of the Holy Spirit to bring HOPE and LIFE to what seems DONE and DEAD.
Peter did not remain silent. Peter ROSE UP and spoke truth in love. Hearts were turned and lives were changed. He did not do what the culture was doing. He did what God called Him to do.
Today, I pray, on this Pentecost Sunday, that a fire will be AWAKEN in our spirits. May the Holy Spirit RISE UP a generation for this time to bring a new revival to the hearts and the minds of the people.
I ask the “Peters” of this generation to speak up in power and truth.
Many years ago, one of my mentors, Pastor Rita Gutierrez, said something that deeply resonates with me to this day (I am paraphrasing), “I don’t want to arrive in heaven and realize that I did not walk in all of the authority and power God gave me while on earth.”
Brothers and Sisters, it is time. Time to AWAKE and time to ARISE to all that the Holy Spirit has given us authority to do here on earth!
But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!
Romans 8:9-11 MSG