Thursday, January 26, 2017

Why tongues?

Why tongues?

Thursday 1-26-17, Modesto, California
Today we read Exod 14 – 16 and Acts 2
S = Scripture  O = Observation  A = Application  P = Prayer  SOAP for the soul.

S. Acts 2:4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. NLT

O. It was the day of Jewish feast called Pentecost, exactly 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Near the close of Peter’s sermons that day, he added: “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call." (Acts 2:39 NIV) That is why we, who take Peter’s words literally, are called “Pentecostals.”

A. So, of what benefit is this strange miracle of “speaking in tongues”?
1. It confirmed the Holy Spirit’s falling upon the first non-Jews. Some of the Christian Jews (the Judaizers) were fervently insisting that every non-Jew had to be circumcised and basically become Jews to be saved as a Christian. But Peter’s experience at Cornelius’ Gentile home confirmed the opposite to be true. Peter and the Jews that accompanied him were “astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.” (Acts 10:45-46) The Judaizers were officially silenced by Pentecostals.
2. What were these new Gentile Christians doing? They were speaking in tongues and praising God. The only time I heard a “non-English-speaking” youth speaking in English, although she had never heard anyone speak in English, she was repeating, “Praise Your Name! Praise Your Name!” (with no Latin accent) as she was receiving her Holy Spirit Baptism. She was not only speaking in tongues, but she was, like the people in Cornelius’ house, praising God!
3. Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. (1 Cor 14:39-40 NIV)
Often, when I am praising God, I slip into praise in another tongue. Charles Wesley wrote. “O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise!

P. Oh Lord God of heaven above. I worship You this morning. And my finite brain runs out of English or Spanish words. It is then my tongue is released to praise You in words I do not fully understand. I am set free from my limited knowledge of language, free to let my tongue praise You! Amen.**

** Although I may not know the exact meaning when I am speaking in tongues, I almost always understand the general meaning; whether it is intercession, praise or prophecy.  When it is intercession I usually understand for whom or what I am interceding. I feel like my knowledge of the situation is limited and now… the Holy Spirit within me, Who knows all that needs to be known, is completing my plea in His unlimited vocabulary. To God be the glory!
**Why tongues? I haven’t even scratched the surface of this subject.

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