First and Best Gift

At Pentecost Jesus followed through on his promise: “If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” (John 7:37-39). After Jesus is taken up into heaven, “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2: 4). This was to fulfill what the prophet Joel spoke of long before, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people…” (Joel 2:28).

Jesus’ fulfilled promise to his disciples not to leave them as orphans (John 14) was his first and best gift after leaving them in fleshly attire…he satisfied his pledge by sending the Spirit. In one accord, they rang out praise, rejoicing in various tongues, and through the sound of a mighty wind the Spirit enveloped their presence. Amazed and perplexed, they were astonished by the power of God and united by the Spirit. The first century Church is born and as a result of this great gift God “makes known the path of life, filling his people with joy in his presence” (Acts2:28 taken from Psalm 16:8). They were now fully prepared to make the invisible Christ visible to the world around them.

So often we go through the motions on holy days like Pentecost Sunday and we forget the significance of the promise fulfilled and the gift granted by God himself. Through the spoken words and fulfilled promises of Jesus, the people of God are given the Spirit to guide, sustain, empower, and renew them from the inside out. We have been given the best gift of all – the Holy Spirit. His role in our lives is what transforms us into new creatures in Christ Jesus. The Spirit longs to be acknowledged by his children, invited to reign supreme in our hearts, and released to bear fruit through the gifts he has entrusted to our care.

What is your response to the first and best gift by the glorified Christ? May you receive the Holy Spirit with joy, bow in humble adoration, rejoice with thanksgiving, and live victoriously and abundantly in the Spirit – today and forever! Alleluia!

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Steve Macchia

Steve Macchia

Founder & President

Steve is a graduate of Northwestern College (IA) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). His prior ministry includes serving on the pastoral staff at Grace Chapel (Lexington, MA) and as president of Vision New England. Since July 1, 2003 Steve has served as founder and president of Leadership Transformations, director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, and adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Ministry department at Gordon-Conwell. He is the author of fifteen books, including the Baker bestseller Becoming a Healthy Church, and Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP). He lives in the Boston area with his wife Ruth and is the proud father of two grown children, Rebekah and Nathan, daughter in-love Ashley, and papa to his beloved granddaughter, Brenna Lynn. “My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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