Many of you know that I have a pre-ministry history with automobile racing. At I.V.’s Tire Shop in Tampa we made racing recaps for both asphalt and dirt track racing. I spent a lot of Friday and Saturday nights at racetracks.
However, it wasn’t until retirement from pastoral ministry that I rekindled my interest in automobile racing. I rediscovered that setting up a car to best use the power under the hood is very complex.
Whether Ford, Chevy or Toyota, the engines in the NASCAR race cars have almost equal amount of horsepower. It is how this power is used that makes a difference in how the car does in the race. Adjustments are made during the race to obtain peak performance.
Every Christian and every Christian church have the same Holy Spirit power. It is how we allow the Holy Spirit to use the church that makes a difference. Continuing the race car analogy, the success of any church depends on how it is “set up” for making disciples. This “setting up” for successful ministry is not about how we use the Holy Spirit, that would be presumptuous, but how we let him use us, the church.
What does that mean? It means the church must be built on the foundation of Jesus, the Son of the living God. It means prayerfully considering every action so that God is glorified. It means putting God first in our lives. It means listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit gave birth to the Church and gave it the power to reach the world for Christ. To be clear, we are the church and the church is all about worshipping and serving God.
May 31 is Pentecost Sunday and we will celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus. Acts 2 tells of the initial response of the people to being filled with the spirit. Verse 47 says: “They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone.” Being empowered by the Holy Spirit the followers of Jesus continue to do the same thing.
I hope to “see” you in church this Sunday. - JC