The day of Pentecost is marked on May 28th this year. This is one of three “let’s go up to Jerusalem” festivals the Lord gave to Israel in Leviticus 23. This initial purpose was to bring up the portion of the wheat harvest to replenish the storehouses for the Priests who ministered on behalf of the rest of Israel. Initially, it was an agricultural festival. Over time, Pentecost (Shavuot – which means weeks) became associated with the giving of the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai fifty days after the Exodus. The day is traditionally celebrated by studying Torah all night (or late into the night), eating dairy products, attending synagogue, reading the Book of Ruth, and abstaining from work.
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. (Acts 1:8, ESV)
In the book of Acts, the disciples were gathered in an upper room in Jerusalem. The pouring out of the Holy Spirit as promised brought the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:31-34 (ESV):
Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Thousands of people from all over the region were in Jerusalem for the festival. Jewish people encountered the power of God as the Holy Spirit was given enabling bold Gospel proclamation in their midst, even hearing in their own language.
We are the recipients of the same Holy Spirit today. We are fully authorized and empowered to go to the lost world and declare the Good News of salvation through Jesus. What is holding us back?
I lead a Zoom Bible class on Wednesday mornings. We have been going through Matthew since December 2020. During a recent session, we focused on presenting the Gospel to Jewish people. One of the participants said, “I was taught as I grew up that we respect people from other faiths and not bring up Jesus to them. They have their own religion.”
Yes, it is true that there are many religions in the world today. But God did not send Jesus to start a new religion. He came to restore a severed relationship. I believe that the Bible is literally true, and when Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.” Either this is absolutely true, or we can disregard Jesus’s a liar.
I believe it is most disrespectful of others to keep silent and avoid talk of sin and salvation. We must speak out and speak up because eternity really does hang in the balance. There are no do-overs for those who have perished.
We are empowered. We are commissioned. We are sent. Let’s get up and boldly go to the lost. Now!
Pray for Micha, our son battling Huntington’s Disease, recently taken off hospice care and put into palliative care as his weight has been maintained. Pray for him and his family for peace and joy in the Lord in the midst of this long-term debilitating disease.
Pray for Arnold, a Jewish man who we recently met with to share the Gospel, that he will seek the Lord and find truth in Jesus the Messiah.
Pray for Steve Cohen to continue healing from three eye surgeries.
Pray for peace in the Middle East. We know that there is only one hope, and that is that the Prince of Peace, Jesus, would rule in the hearts of all there, Jews and gentiles alike.
Pray for our upcoming travels:
- June - driving to South Carolina for the wedding of our grandson, Jackson.
- June - driving to Milwaukee to display at the National LWML convention.
- July - driving again to Milwaukee to display at the National LCMS Convention.
- August - Jordan, Nancy and I traveling to Poland to attend the quadrennial International Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism.
- August - Nancy and I continuing travel by train to a few European cities for a brief vacation before our return to Georgetown, Texas.
Pray for our volunteer Ken Ebright as he faithfully goes out each week in the St. Louis area bringing the Gospel to people he meets on the streets.
Pray for our Board Members as they serve with us:
- Rev. Randy Duncan – chairman
- Rev. Al Schade
- Rev. Dr. Robert Roegner
- Mr. Bill Lapp
- Mr. Kevin Voges
- Mrs. Kathy Graham
- Mr. Richard Powell – Adjunct member
- Mrs. Toileen Powell – Adjunct Member
- Mrs. Nancy Cohen – ministry adjutant
Pray for an end to the rising tide of Anti-Semitism both here and abroad. Psalm 122
We are praying for you!
Steve Cohen is the founder of Apple of His Eye