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Visiting Churches

Church #60: A Missed Opportunity 

I meet a woman at a writers conference. In addition to being an author, she is also a pastor. She’s launching a new church in an underserved downtown urban area.

The Vision

Her dream is a church for people of all ages, races, and backgrounds—a colorful mosaic of folks who seek to grow together in Jesus under the power of the Holy Spirit. She shares more. Her passion draws me in. Her vision inspires me. I want to be part of this great adventure. 

I occasionally see her online, reminding me of this church. Being part of this church is not inconceivable, even though the downtown area is about thirty minutes away. I share my excitement over the possibility with Candy.

She doesn’t see the opportunity I see. Urban church experiences in a rundown area aren’t what she wants, but she does agree to visit once. 

I go online to find the details. Their website casts a vision for a downtown church, but it also talks about their meetings in a suburb. Details appear for a suburban church service, but not for a downtown one. 

In frustration, I fill out the contact form on their website to seek clarity. A couple of weeks later I receive a response, not from my friend, but from her associate. They have not yet started meeting downtown and are presently only gathering in the suburban location.

We are welcome to join them.

The problem is the suburb is northeast of downtown, while we are southwest. It would take an additional fifteen or so minutes to get there. Forty-five minutes is too far of a drive, even to visit a church one time. For us, it’s a missed opportunity to experience their gathering.

The Result

Several months later, I think about this church again. I wonder if their downtown meetings have started. I revisit their website. A picture of the downtown remains, but they have no mention of their downtown vision or meeting there.

I’m disappointed. It’s a missed opportunity.

I understand that dreams can change, and vision can shift. I assume they’ve given up on reaching the downtown urban area, just like many other well-intentioned folks. They are now content in the suburbs. Most people are.

[Read about Church 59 or start at the beginning of our journey.]

Get your copy of More Than 52 Churches and The More Than 52 Churches Workbook today, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Christian Living

Father, Son, or Holy Spirit?

Which Part of the Trinity Do You Focus On?

The Bible talks about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We intellectually know that these three parts of the Trinity exist, but what is the reality of our spiritual practice? Most Christians prefer one part of the godhead over the other. They make that facet of God their primary focus, while diminishing or even forgetting the other two.

Churches, too, tend to emphasize one part—Father, Son, or Holy Spirit—in their religious practices. I’ve gone to all three types of churches, have friends in all three, and understand all three.

In what follows, I’ll speak in generalities; that means there are exceptions. If one part of my summary offends you, ask yourself if I may have hit too close to home.

In our discussion of Father, Son, or Holy Spirit, I outline three considerations:

Father God

The first group of Christians focus their faith on Father God. They worship him and serve him. He is the reason for their existence—intellectually so—and the center of their worship—albeit more stoic in nature. Though he is their Heavenly Father, they are more apt to refer to him as God than as Father. He also tends to be a more distant deity in their faith practice and daily living.

Jesus is a secondary part of their faith. They revere him as a good man, a wise teacher, and a worthy example. Mentally they acknowledge him as Savior, but it doesn’t often go beyond that. And they give the Holy Spirit minimal attention, treating him like an eccentric relative that they know exists but try to ignore.

Jesus, the Son

Another group of Christians celebrate Jesus as the center of their faith. Having a personal relationship with him—according to their specific theological constructs—is the only thing that matters. Once they’ve done that, their card is punched, and they’re going to heaven, where they’ll spend eternity with him. Oh, and Father God will be there too.

The Heavenly Father is part of their faith, But in practice and in thought, he’s often secondary to Jesus. They forget that Jesus is the way, not the destination. They acknowledge the work of the Holy Spirit but have scaled back their acceptance of his work from what the Bible proclaims to what better aligns with their own practices and experiences today.

Holy Spirit

The third group of Christians put the work and power of the Holy Spirit in the center of their faith and daily practices. It starts with a relationship with Jesus and culminates with the infilling power of the Holy Spirit in their lives—often proved by speaking in tongues. Once a rigid expectation, speaking in tongues is now more a preferred—but not required—outcome for most practices.

Though Jesus and the Father are part of their faith, the extreme emphasis on the Holy Spirit tends to diminish them in the process.

Our perspective should be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. May we move forward to embrace all three. Click To Tweet

A Holistic Perspective

Though you might insist on some exceptions, you likely identify with one of these three camps over the other two. But before you affirm your perspective as right and the other two as wrong, let me suggest that despite the good aspects of each group, none are correct. It is not an issue of Father, Son, or Holy Spirit, but a holistic call to equally embrace all three in our theology, worship, and service.

It should be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. May we move forward to evenly embrace all three.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Christian Living

Does Your Faith Depend on Signs and Wonders?

Believe in Jesus and Receive the Holy Spirit

Jesus said, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe” (John 4:48, NIV). It’s a warning we should all consider with care. Some people have an experience-driven faith. They need a continual dose of signs and wonders to sustain their trust in God.

What Are Signs and Wonders?

Signs and wonders refer to supernatural manifestations of Holy Spirit power. These miraculous events escape tangible explanation.

They can include healing people, receiving a prophetic word, having supernatural insight, even raising people from the dead, and so on—just as we read in the Bible and as Jesus promised we would do.

The Error of Excess

There’s nothing wrong with signs and wonders, but to expect them to occur on a regular basis in ordinary life is not reality for most people (though for some it’s normal).

These individuals continually seek out signs and wonders by traveling from conference to conference and jumping from event to event.

They need a supernatural experience to give them a spiritual boost. Yet eventually the effects of the mystical elixir fades. Dismayed over the void that is left, the spiritual adventurer goes out in a desperate search for more.

And they are often distraught until they find it, crying out for God to provide.

So continues a never-satiated cycle to sustain their experience-driven faith.

The Error of Absence

The opposite of those who need to see signs and wonders to maintain their belief in God, are those who deny the very existence of the supernatural.

They explain away Holy Spirit power in the church today because it’s not something they have personally encountered—or are willing to accept as possible.

To justify their position, they go through theological gyrations to rationalize what they want to believe—or what they aren’t willing to accept. Their explanation is weak at best.

We need a sustainable faith that doesn’t depend on experiencing signs and wonders and at the same time have a biblical faith that accepts the work of the Holy Spirit. Click To Tweet

A Balanced Perspective of Signs and Wonders

I know people—and love people—in both camps. They are on a spiritual journey with Jesus, just like me. On our walk with our Savior, we all need to avoid the error of both extremes when it comes to signs and wonders.

We must have a sustainable faith that doesn’t depend on experiencing signs and wonders and at the same time have a biblical faith that accepts the work of the Holy Spirit.

Just as chasing an experience-driven faith is bad, so is denying it.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Christian Living

Help One Another

We Must Be Willing to Share Our Concerns If We Hope to Receive Help

One of my newsletter subscribers emailed me with a question. He wants to do what the Bible says about loving one another (such as in 1 John 3:11).

He’s willing to sacrifice to meet the needs of his brothers and sisters in Jesus, but how can he do that when he doesn’t know what their needs are? How can he hope to help one another?

Even praying for them—something everyone can do—is hard when they won’t share what their needs are.

When his church takes prayer requests, “the tendency is to request prayer for someone else who is sick” he says, and not themselves. “It seems that the lack of openness and transparency prevents Christians from fulfilling the command to love one another.”

I get this. I’ve experienced it.

I too often hear people complain about their spiritual community for not being there to help one another—of helping them during their time of crisis.

Yet they guard their struggle as if it’s a huge secret and won’t let anyone know what they’re dealing with. How can Jesus’s church love one another, help one another, and pray for one another, when we keep them in the dark?

A Friend in Need

Once God brought to my mind a friend who had moved away. The Holy Spirit prompted me to reach out to him because he was struggling. Beyond that I had no clarification.

Did God want me to pray for him? Was I to encourage him? Perhaps I was supposed to visit him to help with something or just to be present. Or was the need financial?

It had been a couple of years since we had any direct contact, but through others I knew the general trajectory his life had taken. So, I wasn’t surprised when the Holy Spirit told me to reach out to him.

I emailed him and told him that God brought him to my mind that morning. “How are things going for you and your family? Do you need anything? How can I pray for you?”

He responded later that day, giving me a glowing report of his life, his work, and God’s provisions.

I felt a failure for thinking his life was in crisis. According to his report, he was doing better than me. I assumed I hadn’t heard correctly from God. It sometimes happens. But I wondered how I’d gotten things so wrong when the instruction seemed so clear.

Discouraged, I pushed aside my desire to help one another and my failure to correctly hear the Holy Spirit’s nudging.

A year later he and his family were in town. He invited me and some other long-ago friends to visit them at a vacation condo someone had gifted them with for two weeks.

We had a marvelous time catching up and renewing our friendship. During a quieter moment in their visit, it was just my friend and me.

He gulped hard and told me about the struggle he had the year before, how he lost about everything and the difficulty he and his family went through. I asked him when, and he told me August. That was when he was at his lowest. It was in August when I had emailed him.

I wanted to scream. “I would have helped you! I was ready to do whatever I could. But you didn’t give me a chance.”

We must learn how to properly share the difficulties of our lives with others and avoid being stoic when we should be honest. Click To Tweet

Yet I kept my frustration to myself, because letting him know now of my readiness to help then would do nothing to alleviate the pain he went through.

I’d heard right from the Holy Spirit after all. Should I have pressed into my friend’s assurance that everything was okay? Should I have tried harder to help him even though he said everything was fine?

Basically, he lied to me. As a result, he missed the blessings God was preparing to give him through me—and perhaps others.

If we are to help one another, our community must be appropriately transparent and honest.

We Must Seek Balance

We all know people in a perpetual crisis. Their life seems to bounce from one disaster to another, and they’re always pulling everyone around them into it. It’s a quick way to lose friends and alienate others, especially when their own bad decisions are the continual cause of their problems.

Yet to avoid being that person, we often overreact to this concern, shielding others from our struggles. When we do this, we miss God’s blessings through them, and they miss the opportunity to serve us in Jesus’s name.

We must learn how to properly share the difficulties of our lives with others and avoid being stoic when we should be honest.

This is the only way we can hope to help one another.

Two Questions to Help One Another

If we are to truly help one another, we must ask ourselves two questions:

1. Who should I share my concerns with?

2. Who needs my help, even if they insist that they don’t?

And if we don’t know the answer to the second question, we can pray for them (James 5:16). Though I did pray for my friend, despite his insistence that everything was fine, I could have been more diligent about it.

In the future, when the Holy Spirit’s direction doesn’t align with what people tell me, I’m going to defer to God.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Christian Living

How to Meditate on God’s Word

Discover How to Get More from Your Time Spent with Scripture

Reading and studying the Bible is a great start to better understanding Scripture and the truth in holds. I highly recommend daily Bible reading and encourage everyone to do so—both those who follow Jesus and those who are curious about him. But to get even more from a passage, the key is to meditate on God’s Word.

Though I read the Bible every day and study Scripture most every day, I don’t meditate on it as often as I should or as often as I’d like to. But when I do, the insights I get are profound.

That’s why I wish I’d spend more time to meditate on God’s Word. Emphasize the word time. It takes time to meditate on Scripture.

Though I schedule time to read the Bible—and relish my investment in learning more about God and myself, meditating on the passage requires more time and—though the reward is sweeter—the results aren’t as vast, just deeper.

Here are my tips to achieve the best outcomes when we meditate on God’s word:

Read Slowly

The first key is to slow down. I learned this when studying the gospel of John while researching and writing my book Living Water. To grasp meaning from John’s poetic writing required that I slowed down from my regular reading pace to allow the words to sink in.

Decreasing our speed is even more important when we meditate on God’s Word. We must slow down and be deliberate. Focus on each phrase of each sentence, even each word.

Consider its significance and what its presence may teach. This is how we get insight we’d normally miss reading at our normal pace.

Read Over and Over

The second key is repetition. This is not a rote reading to log a certain number of reps but an intentional rereading to get more from the text.

Though when reading slowly, I sometimes reread a sentence to make sure I haven’t missed something, this rereading is different. It’s examining the same passage on multiple days, with each pass revealing more insight into the text.

Some people recommend rereading the same text seven times, one day each week. Yet seven isn’t a magic number when we meditate on God’s Word. It’s more of a guideline.

Sometimes new truths emerge on my fourth or fifth read, while other times I gain a deeper understanding on my tenth pass.

This requires patience, which may be the reason few people invest the time to meditate on God’s Word.

Pause to Reflect

Next, don’t rush from one phrase or sentence to the next. Instead, pause to consider the words. Yes, we may have already determined our primary understanding of the text, but consider a fresh perspective, a secondary meaning, or a deeper truth.

The Bible is multilayered with significance buried within, but it takes digging to find it. This is why we must be willing to pause from our reading and consider carefully what we’ve just read.

Write Observations

Record the insights we uncover as we meditate on God’s Word. This may be in a journal or computer file. Having spent several decades immersing myself into Scripture, I have a computer document for each book of the Bible and have notes for each chapter of each book.

Don’t let my lifetime of results, however, intimidate you from beginning. Remember, I once started with nothing.

Instead, let my outcome encourage you to envision what you can achieve if you commit yourself to meditating on a regular basis.

When we seek direction from the Holy Spirit, our insights become much greater. Click To Tweet

Seek Holy Spirit Guidance

My parting tip is not the final one but instead an overarching principle. Each step for meditating on God’s Word requires seeking Holy Spirit guidance if we are to achieve the best results.

Yes, these first four tips do produce results if we rely on our own intellect, but when we seek direction from the Holy Spirit, our insights become much greater.

Whether we’re reading, studying, or meditating on God’s Word, the Holy Spirit can amplify what we’re doing. Jesus told his disciples that the Father would send them an Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to teach them all things (John 14:26).

Just as the Holy Spirit taught Jesus’s followers 2,000 years ago, he can teach us today. All we need to do is ask him to speak to us and guide us when we meditate on God’s Word.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Christian Living

What Is Sanctification?

We Are Sanctified in Jesus and by the Holy Spirit

I don’t often use the word sanctification, but I should. It sounds too much like a theological construct that someone made up to explain God. Yet it’s in the Bible. So is sanctify. Therefore, it’s worthwhile for us to understand and embrace its meaning.

Let’s look at sanctification, the act of sanctifying. By definition, sanctify is to set apart, refine, or make holy. A related word is consecrate, which means to declare or set apart as sacred. Though they sound synonymous, and the dictionary uses one in the definition of the other, we need to make a distinction.

Consecration

The word consecration appears a few times in the Old Testament, but it’s root word, consecrate, occurs many more times throughout the Bible, though mostly in the Old Testament.

The main context for consecrate is for people to set someone or something apart for God or for religious service. This includes consecrating priests, God’s people, clothes, offerings, bread, animals, the temple, and temple furnishings.

Sanctification

The word sanctification occurs less often and is not in all translations of the Bible. Sanctification—along with sanctify—is a New Testament word. Whereas consecration is something that God commands his people to do, sanctification is something that God does in us. He sets us apart and makes us holy. We can’t sanctify ourselves; God does.

Sanctification is being made holy and set apart for God’s purpose. Click To Tweet

The Amplified Bible explains sanctification as “being made holy and set apart for God’s purpose” (Romans 6:22). This is a most helpful illumination. Therefore, it’s a process of God making us—his children—right and therefore ready to carry out his intentions.

In Jesus and by the Holy Spirit

The Bible makes it clear that we are sanctified in Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:2) and by the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:16). Both occur in 1 Corinthians 6:11. To realize that sanctification comes through Jesus and by the Holy Spirit, it makes sense that the word only appears in the New Testament.

When we follow Jesus as his disciples, we are sanctified in him and by the Holy Spirit to be set apart and made holy for our Lord’s purpose.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Visiting Churches

Discussion Questions for Church #53

As a reference, I share attending our home church on Easter Sunday. This marks the end of 52 Churches and the start of More Than 52 Churches. Though I strive to remain objective in visiting churches, our home church forms the lens I look through.

Consider these seven discussion questions about Church #53.

I see value in worshiping God with family, and for Easter we go with our children and their spouses. What can we do to attend church and celebrate Jesus with our family?

The 150-year-old building, even with many improvements, still feels dated. What can we do to make our church facility as conducive to worship and community as possible? 

Though the shortcomings of a worship space shouldn’t block us from God, they can. How can we minimize the cumbersome facility elements we can’t change so they don’t get in the way of us encountering God?

There’s no plan for the service, only a general intent. The Holy Spirit will guide the leaders in what to do and for how long. How much of a role do we let the Holy Spirit play in our church services?

Though we were gone for a year, I listened to the messages online. In what ways can we extend the church worship experience and teaching to those who can’t attend in person?

Baptism at churches varies from a reserved rite, to a public declaration of faith, to an enthusiastic celebration. What can we do to better embrace baptism as the early church did in the Bible?

As we leave the building ninety minutes later, some are already arriving for the second service. Not looking at efficiency, but focusing on the human aspect, how can we foster a better transition between services?

Overall, it was a great Easter Sunday, worshiping God with family

[Read about Church 53, Church 54, or start at the beginning of our journey.]

Get your copy of More Than 52 Churches and The More Than 52 Churches Workbook today, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Can We Have a Superhuman Spirituality?

Don’t Be Merely Human

Paul reprimands the church in Corinth for many things. One time he points out that they envy one another and argue a lot. There is jealousy and quarreling in their church. It happened then and it’s still happening now.

We want what others have. Although this often relates to money, possessions, or prestige, we can also envy the faith of others, their spiritual journey, and even their intimacy with God. Though it seems spiritual, it is just as wrong. Jealousy is jealousy, regardless of what we long for.

Next is their quarrels. We disagree and fight with words. It seems no church is immune to arguing, yet Paul decries this as wrong. Don’t do it.

Jealousy and quarreling are worldly traits. They are not godly, but worldly. By allowing these conditions to persist, we are mere humans.

By saying mere humans, Paul implies there is another way, a higher ground we can take. We don’t need to be merely human; we shouldn’t be merely human.

Superhuman Spirituality

Through Jesus and the power of his Holy Spirit we can rise above being mere humans. We can become more than human, superhuman, if you will: not superhuman in physical strength but superhuman in a spiritual sense, a superhuman spirituality.

As followers of Jesus, being merely human is who we were, but our future is a superhuman spirituality.

Are we willing to pursue it?

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 1-4, and today’s post is on 1 Corinthians 3:3.]

Read more in Peter’s book, Love is Patient (book 7 in the Dear Theophilus series).

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Christian Living

The Bible Tells the Church to Meet Together, Worship, and Witness

We Can’t Witness for Jesus When We Sequester Ourselves on Sunday Mornings

Just before Jesus leaves this world to return to heaven, he instructs his followers to go into the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). In an expanded version of this incident, Jesus tells his followers to wait for Holy Spirit power and then be his witness, both near and far (Acts 1:4-9).

Witness and Make Disciples

The church of Jesus doesn’t do a good job of being witnesses and making disciples. To do so requires an outward perspective, yet most all churches have an inward focus: they care for their own to the peril of outsiders, with many churches excelling in doing so.

Yes, God values community and wants us to meet together (Hebrews 10:25). And the Bible is packed with commands and examples of worshiping God, with Jesus noting that “true worshipers” will worship God in the Spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).

Meeting Together and Worship

Most churches do the meeting together part reasonably well, albeit with varying degrees of success. Many of those churches have a time of worship as they meet together, though perhaps not always “in the Spirit” or even “in truth.”

Yet few churches look outside their walls in order to go into their community to witness and make disciples. Though Jesus said to wait for the Holy Spirit, he didn’t say to wait for people to come to us, to come to our churches so we could witness and disciple them.

No, we are supposed to leave our church buildings to take this work to them. We can’t do that at church on Sunday morning, safely snug behind closed doors.

Maybe we should forego the church service in order to be a church that serves. Click To Tweet

Go into the World as a Witness

Yes there is a time to come together and a time to worship, but there is also a time to go. And we need to give more attention to the going part.

I know of two churches that have sent their congregations out into their community on Sunday mornings, foregoing the church service in order to be a church that serves. One church did it a few times and stopped after they saw little results and received much grumbling.

The other church regularly plans this a few times each year and garners a positive influence on their community.

Shouldn’t every church make a positive impact on their community? Yet so few do. They are too busy meeting together and worshiping.

Read more about this in Peter’s new book, Jesus’s Broken Church, available in e-book, audiobook, paperback, and hardcover.

Read more about the book of Acts in Tongues of Fire: 40 Devotional Insights for Today’s Church from the Book of Acts, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. [Originally published as Dear Theophilus Acts.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Christian Living

Why is Pentecost Important?

Celebrating Holy Spirit Power

In another post we talked about the four main Christian holidays. In succession, they celebrate that Jesus came to earth (Christmas), died so we could live (Good Friday), overcame death to prove his mastery of it (Easter), and having completed his mission, he gave us a gift (Pentecost).

Pentecost is the conclusion of the Easter story.

Here’s the progression of events leading up to Pentecost:

Jesus Goes Home

Having completed his mission here on earth, Jesus returns to heaven (Mark 16:19).

Jesus Prepares a Place for Us

As followers of Jesus, we look forward to the time we will join him in heaven and spend the rest of forever with him. As we wait for that day, he is getting ready to welcome us (John 14:2-3).

Jesus Listens to Our Prayers and Intercedes for Us to God the Father

How wonderful to know Jesus is in heaven as our advocate, representing us to his Father, our Heavenly Father (Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25).

Jesus Sends Us the Holy Spirit on Pentecost

This is the climax; this is Pentecost. When Jesus returns to heaven, he does not abandon us; he sends the Holy Spirit to comfort us and guide us. The Holy Spirit is God’s presence in us, an essential aspect of putting our faith into action (John 16:7).

Pentecost reminds me of these things, foundational to my faith: that we will one day join Jesus in heaven, that we can pray to him now, and that we can live in concert with the Holy Spirit every day.

Today is Pentecost. Even though I’ll go to church, I don’t expect they’ll celebrate what this day means; they may not even mention it. This is a travesty, which is why I’m remembering it now.

Today, whether privately or with friends, I hope you’ll celebrate Pentecost and all it means.

Happy Pentecost!

Read more about this in Peter’s new book, Jesus’s Broken Church, available in e-book, audiobook, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.