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The Holy Spirit and the Mundane

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This week we will be celebrating the Day of Pentecost at Redeemer. This is the moment in Redemptive History where God poured out His Spirit more fully and universally on His people. This was a moment that changed history forever.

We read this in Peter's sermon as he quotes the prophet Joel:

17 "'And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18)

Here we see that the sons, daughters, young men and old men – really people of all stripes – are given the Holy Spirit. This is a marked difference in the story of redemption.

And again, this universality extends over people and place. The work of the Spirit will go from Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:6-8). Everywhere the gospel is proclaimed people will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Whoever believes receives.

And this leads us to consider an important point. A point made by Francis Shaeffer – that there are no little people. Isn't this part of what Pentecost means? God has come to dwell with His people – and He doesn't just empower apostles, leaders, and preachers. God has come to pour out His Spirit on all flesh – men and women, young and old, rich and poor, from every corner of this earth.

This means that the preacher and the mechanic, the realtor and the stay-at-home mom all have something profound in common. They are all empowered by the Holy Spirit to live for the Lord Jesus. And to live for Him in those respective vocations. Everything matters, and everything can and should be done for the glory of God. This idea is summed up best by Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho as "All of Christ for All of Life". And it is eminently scriptural:

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)

This is what some would call a Kuyperian view of Christ and culture. Named after the late great Abraham Kuyper: pastor, theologian, journalist, and former prime-minister of the Netherlands. Kuyper is famous for saying, "There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!"

I don't know about you, but when I first heard that quote I couldn't contain a hearty "Amen!". This is true. Christ is Lord. And all of life matters to him. The Spirit of God has been poured out on all of God's people that we might glorify Him in all things.

So be encouraged – whether you are doing glorious work or menial work, it matters to God. Everything you do for Christ in this life will last forever. Your work will never be in vain.

"Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:58)

Even small works of ministry will last forever. They will be part of your reward forever. "And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward." (Matt. 10:42)

Even the smallest work of ministry is an eternal work. We tend to think that missionaries and pastors are really doing the work of ministry – but this is the wrong idea. Every member of Christ's body is part of his kingdom on earth and we are all responsible for advancing his cause. Every little act of grace is a miracle. Everything matters. There are no little people – we all work for the King of Kings in the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Monday, 04 March 2024