Visiting again that upper room
Traveling between Jerusalem to Jericho with its total desolation, brought new insights to the story of the Good Samaritan who gave help to the wounded man that had fallen among thieves.
But among all the places we visited, one of the most meaningful places was going to the upper room. Here, remembering that in this place on the day of Pentecost all of the 120 that had gathered “were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” Their lives were transformed. It was here that the church was born!
I’m sure that many of you at your churches, as mine, were reminded that this was Pentecost Sunday, and you heard messages of what this not only meant to those present, but what this “upper room” experience means to us when we too meet the Christ, and are filled with the Holy Spirit.
I’ll never forget that time when I was but a lad of 15 years of age, kneeling beside my bed saying my prayers, I was overwhelmed with the presence of God. A love and a joy that was “unspeakable and full of glory” filled my heart. I jumped to my feet, ran down the stairway shouting to all, “I’ve just found the Lord!”
No, I didn’t know the correct language to describe the experience, but it was real and it’s been real to me ever since. Having Christ come into your life is more than “joining the church.” It’s transforming, filling your heart with love, strength, a discovery of the “abundant life” Christ offers to all who accept him as Lord and Savior.
This upper room experience was the experience of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church. He wrote in his journal that at Altersgate he “went reluctantly” to a prayer service, and there “felt his heart strangely warmed.” It was this experiencing the love of God in his heart that changed this once Church of England priest into an evangel!
This was not only his message, but that of the circuit riders who spanned across America like a wild fire putting a Methodist Church on so many corners of this nation.
This love that Wesley at Altersgate, and I at my bedside, and all can receive this transforming love of God into our hearts. Yes, you can have it too. You that have troubled marriages, He can restore it to a happiness and love you never thought possible!
Pentecost means power, power to change, to be transformed as those in that upper room. They went from fears, despondence, despair, to strength. Some of you have been in despair; you don’t know where to go for help. You’ve tried drugs, sex, only to experience their ultimate emptiness.
God can give you a new start, a new life, healing, deliver you from loneliness, restore your health. This upper room experience can be yours. You, your home, your life, can be transformed as were those in that upper room.
Believe it! Hey, it’s for real!