I had a breakdown 50 days into this quarantine. Emotionally and mentally I was already DONE, then I had the worst argument with one of my children. I actually said out loud to my children, “I am going to take the day off and you will have to fend for yourselves.” The next day I was doubled over with the worst pain in my life from a UTI and my children had no choice but to fend for themselves. Not exactly the day off I had imagined. 50 days in and I was ready for something to change.
50 days after Jesus Christ miraculously arose, His disciples were waiting. Exhausted and bewildered, Jesus told them to remain in Jerusalem during the festival of Shavuot (Summer Harvest Festival – Leviticus 23:15-16). Just as John the Baptist baptized with water, God would be baptizing with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ followers were familiar with water baptism, but not Spirit baptism. Needless to say, it was a long 50 days for them. There were so many unknowns. They had devoted three years of their life following their teacher, the Son of God. What now? Their lives were about to look very different and they knew it. They were ready for something to change.
Acts 2 describes the baptism of the Spirit like “tongues of fire” resting on each one of the followers of Jesus Christ. Jerusalem was packed with people because of the Jewish festival and the baptism of the Spirit was witnessed by all of the people present.
This Sunday marks 50 days after Easter. In the Christian faith this is known as Pentecost. God in His mercy, gave us His Son and in His grace He gave us the Holy Spirit. Our faith in Jesus Christ saves us, baptism in the Spirit transforms us.
Throughout the remainder of Acts, the disciples traveled the area, starting churches teaching how vital it is to have salvation WITH transformation. Many people they encountered had been baptized by John the Baptist, but did had not been baptized in the Spirit.
The Apostle Paul lived his life encouraging believers to grow in their faith, to be transformed. In 2 Corinthians 13:10, he wrote “Become mature, be encouraged, be of the same mind, be at peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
In Acts 2, Peter gives his greatest message to the onlookers present. Convinced everyone was simply drunk, Peter stands in boldness to help everyone understand the transformation taking place. In Acts 2:37, Peter and the apostles were asked, “What should we do?” Peter responded, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” That day 3000 were transformed by the Holy Spirit. 3000 left their fifty days of waiting and moved toward a lifetime experiencing a relationship with God.
I know plenty of people today, who believe in God, perhaps grew up in church, but were never baptized by the Holy Spirit. Transformation never took place. It is as if they are still in the middle of their 50 days, waiting. While I was baptized in water at age twelve, I wasn’t transformed by the Holy Spirit until 6 years later. This is why I write about my relationship with God and study His Word. I want all of us to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. I want all of us to live a life filled with the peace and love of God.
Are you in a 50 day waiting period, waiting for something to change? As the believers were waiting in Acts 1:14, the were all “continually united in prayer.” Pray. Repent and pray for the Holy Spirit to transform you. Don’t remain stuck in your 50 days. Move beyond and discover all God has for you in a transforming relationship with Him.
Want to know more? Check out “Steps to Salvation”
Have you ordered my new study 30 Days in Acts? Be sure to sent me a picture of your receipt at firstname.lastname@example.org for your free download to use with the study. Be on the lookout for an online study in the fall.