Speaker: Haley Kesterson
Scripture Passage: Acts 1:1-11
Acts 1; 1 through 11. I wrote this first narrative, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day here he was taken up. After he had given instructions through the Holy Spirit, to the Apostles He had chosen. After he had suffered, He also presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of 40 days and speaking about the Kingdom of God. While He was with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise, which he said: “You have heard me speak about for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days.” So, when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, are you restoring the Kingdom to Israel at this time?”
He said to them, “It’s not for you to know times of periods that the Father has set by his own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come to you. And you will be with my witness in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria and the ends of the Earth.” After He had said this, he was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took him out of the sight. while he was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. They said “Men of Galilee. Why do you stand looking up into heaven? The same Jesus who has been taking from you into heaven will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.”
all right, you guys. So, thank you, Lucas. There’s a few things this passage talks about today as you’ve been joining along with our E-100 readings. Then all of the readings this week have to do with part of this scripture, which is the ascension, Jesus riding up on the clouds and to heaven and the Scripture does tell us that he will one day return in that same manner. And the next thing this passage talks about is the Holy Spirit. So, I was praying and thinking over what should I preach on today? What life wisdom can I give these graduating seniors? And how can I love our mothers today? Right? And one thing kept playing over and over in my head as I was reading about this promised gift of the Holy Spirit.
Now, if you have TikTok, you probably know what I’m talking about or any form of social media. There was this video that went viral a while back. OK, and if you don’t have social media, good job. You probably have a way better quality of life than the rest of us. But there is this video when it talks about the Holy Spirit that kind of plays in your head because of this viral video. So, we’re actually going to watch a little clip. And it is called Holy Spirit Activate. All right. And you will see this woman on Family Feud and all the pressure to get that question right. She had to have the Holy Spirit activate in that moment. Let’s watch:
– Video clip plays
All right. So, you can see why it was stuck in my head. Holy Spirit activate. Right? It just kind of like plays. So, when you go home tonight and you’re laying in bed, I hope the last thing that you think of before you fall asleep is Holy Spirit activate, right? OK, it’s very catchy. So, this passage talks about the Holy Spirit, and that kept playing in my head. And I saw all of these videos about these people coming across situations in their life. Maybe they were married and their significant other, ate their leftovers, and they got on their nerves, and they said, Holy Spirit activate, right? And they call the Holy Spirit. or they face some tough situation and they ask the Holy Spirit to activate. So, I want to see what the Book of Acts tells us about the Holy Spirit.
Luke is the author of Acts as a continuation of His Gospel, and he starts off the book telling about the narrative of the Gospel. He says, There was this guy, his name was Jesus. He went around doing ministry. He suffered, he died, rose, and then he convinced and appeared to all these people and that he was alive. And they believed him because it was him. And then the very next thing, he just gives a little recap of the whole story of Jesus. And the very next thing He talks about is this promised gift that Jesus left with his followers. And that’s the gift of the Holy Spirit. We’re going to start in verse four says, While He was with them, while Jesus was with His disciples, he commanded them. Do not leave Jerusalem. But wait for the father’s promise, which he said, you have heard me speak about. John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. so what does that mean to be baptized with the Holy Spirit? Well, you can think about it like being baptized with water. Different denominations have different traditions for baptism. You may remember your baptism, you might represent it through sprinkling or whatever that is, but for this particular purpose, I want you to think about baptiso, which is the Greek word for baptism, and it means to immerse and submerge. to be fully engulfed with something. So, a few weeks ago actually we had some of our confirmations baptized, right?
And they are dry, and then they get immersed fully under that water, totally surrounded by that water. And when they come up, something’s different. Right? Their hair is dripping wet. They’re walking around, leaving puddles everywhere, maybe mascara’s running everywhere. When you go completely under the water, you’re immersed you come up and something has changed about you. That’s what I want us to think of when we think of baptiso, OK?
Because what you were you were surrounded by, what those students were surrounded by when they got dunked under; it changed them. right. And seniors, you already know where I’m going with this because I’ve told you this a million times, right? That whatever you’re surrounded by, whatever you’re engulfed in, it changes you. Y’all know that. So, as you get ready to enter into this next season of your life, some of your circumstances are going to change. your surroundings, the things you’re immersed in are going to change. whether it’s school or working far off from home or staying here and doing any of those things, your circumstances are going to change. Now, this is not only for seniors but it’s for all of us that what we choose to immerse ourselves in changes us. and so that is why I encourage you to choose the activities and the things that change you into the person you want to become. Right. So, another way to think about this is when you’re immersed in the Holy Spirit, what does that mean to be immersed in a spirit? you can kind of think of it like maybe artist or people that are musically talented. Sometimes when an artist has a vision for a piece, they pull out that canvas and they just start painting and it’s almost like takes over them, right? If you know any artist, maybe you’ve seen this and it’s like they can’t stop until they finish. or when you’re playing music and you get immersed in Engulfed in the Music and you just kind of go off and play. I noticed some of the musicians over here, they’re just like in their own world, right? So, they’re immersed in that spirit. A fun fact about myself. I actually love Elvis Presley, OK? I’m a huge Elvis Presley fan. So, on your way home, everyone should listen to Elvis Presley. OK, mamas, I would normally let you choose the music because Mother’s Day your day, But I think that the Holy Spirit tell me, Elvis, is what you should listen to today. So. Elvis Presley fan. And one summer growing up, my family took a vacation to Nashville, and we saw this lady and we knew she was somebody, you know, because she kind of like looked fancy. And there were people around her, some people getting her autograph. So, we tried to figure out who this lady was, and we ended up getting to talk with her. And I sat in her lap and got a picture and everything. And she was the one who wrote the song Heartbreak Hotel. All right. Very famous Elvis’s song. If you’re young and here and you don’t know it, heartbreak, literally. My heart is breaking because you don’t know the song so go and listen to Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley.
So, she wrote this song and she told us her story. And she was actually out at a restaurant when she got the idea for the song, and she had to grab a napkin and get a pen as fast as she could because the lyrics just started rolling. She sat there and she wrote that song from beginning to end. Right there at that table and only a few minutes because she was engulfed, she was surrounded by that artistic spirit that kind of just took over her. pretty profitable few minutes of her life right there that she wrote. And if you maybe can’t connect with that, lot of us can connect to this thing called the competitive spirit. Right. And something when you’re playing that game or watching your team engulfs you, it takes you over and you get very competitive and anxious and excited for the game, whatever is going to happen. And maybe if you are at a sporting event, you wouldn’t normally just walk down the street and high five random strangers. But if you’re at a sporting event and you’re immersed in that culture, and you’re excited, something happens for your team and you stand up and you give strangers high fives because that, but we’re engulfed in that culture it changes us, right? It adds a little bit to our spirit.
So, there are certain moments like that where we feel the Holy Spirit directly, and we know that we can feel that presence. You may or may not have experienced this. There are certain times, say, with the youth when you come to camp in the summer, or maybe you’ve attended a weekend of the cross, which, by the way, both of those things, you should sign up all your kids for all your kids, the neighborhood kids, bring them. Just sign them up. OK, go online. Trinityristopn.org/sign-ups. sign up for the camp. That’s a great way to choose your time to be immersed in a culture that allows you to experience the Holy Spirit. If you’ve never participated in Weekend of the Cross with us, please do. It’s going to be so great this year. Have your kids participate and you as an adult volunteer with us, participate in the weekend. You can do anything from coming and staying overnight with hundreds of kiddos. I know you all want to do that, right? Or you can just help bring food. but volunteer and participate because we in those moments, we can sometimes feel and experience the work of the Holy Spirit.
but it also doesn’t always work like that. I tell the youth this all the time. It’s not like you’re going to walk in the small group and you’re going to leave and you’re going to be the best Christian ever. That’s not how it works, right? Sometimes it’s what we choose to surround ourself with a little bits at a time, Over a long period. So as your circumstances change, seniors and adults; choose to participate in the activities that make you aware of the Holy Spirit working in and through you. whether it’s attending that one-time-a-year camp or retreat or choosing to commit to weekly Bible study or that daily devotion or going out and hunting and praying during that time walking in the nature, praying whatever you do to be engulfed with the Holy Spirit, make a commitment to do those things. in verse six, it then says, so when they had come together, this is all the disciples. They asked him, Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time? Now, I gave my senior advice and I do have to give the mothers the advice next. That’s the next group that we want to honor today. And parents, really, it’s parents in general, but mothers. I know that there is a lot that you do that maybe goes unrecognized and a lot of sacrifices that you make, And I want you to know that God has ordained you and placed you in that role with your family because He’s gifted you with the ability to do that role well. So, thank you, mamas, for all that you do for us. And if I had to guess mommies and daddies and grandparents and everyone else in the room, you might have a busy day tomorrow. So, let’s just all do that. I need everyone to think about your day tomorrow. Just kind of reflect on your day. What are the things you have to do? You got to this reflect on your day. You got to get to practice or get here, maybe have a meeting. You have to clean the house. Just think about, reflect on that. What do you have tomorrow?
OK, so oftentimes what fills up our lives and surrounds us and immerses our thoughts is our busyness, right? The things we have to do. and verse six, when the disciples ask, Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time, they’re confused. The ones who walked closest with the Lord physically walked with him in the flesh are confused about why he came to Earth and what his ministry was. You see, they asked, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel? Are you going to restore power or some military control to Israel so that we can choose how to worship and make the rules and have things our way? But we know that that they would probably mess that up anyway. And God didn’t come to restore the kingdom to Israel. They said, are you going to restore to Israel? But God didn’t come to do that. God came to bring the kingdom of heaven. He came to bring the kingdom of heaven here on Earth, on Earth as it is in heaven. And so also are his followers supposed to bring heaven here? We’re supposed to bring the kingdom of heaven. And they think that there’s going to be some worldly victory or military gain there. and we do that a lot too, because when you thought about your day tomorrow, a lot of those things are good things, right? It’s good to get all those things accomplished and take your kids here and do extracurriculars. Those are all good things. But their end result is often worldly things, right?
And so maybe we shift our thinking from what’s everything, you know, I have to do to how can I bring the kingdom of heaven today? Holy Spirit, how can you work in and through me? How can you be in my family conversations? How can you be at dinner in our homes Tonight? What people am I going to interact with? Dear God, where the Holy Spirit is going to work because that’s not worldly. That’s an eternal gain. But sometimes we kind of lose focus. I’m going to skip down to verse nine: and after he had said these things, after Jesus was done talking, he was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while he was going, they were gazing into the heavens and suddenly two men and white clothes stood before them.
So, these two heavenly beings these angels, whatever they are, these two heavenly beings stood up there with Jesus and they said they looked down and they said, Men of Galilee why do you just stand looking up into heaven? The same Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven will come in the same way when he returns. And, by the way, that same Jesus that you just experienced ministry with that loved the unlovable, that that healed the sick, that performed miracles. Oh, and that died and rose again, that same spirit that was on that Jesus is also with you here on earth. And they’re looking down. They’re like, what are you all doing? Just looking up. That spirit of Jesus is living with and in and through you. Right?
my grandfather in the last few years of his life suffered with dementia. and if you have ever walked with someone through this process It can be very heartbreaking. but I promise there is light at the end of the tunnel with this. So, we kind of can laugh now about some of the things that he did in his later years. So, we went to go visit him one time. And the first thing that we ask is, you know, Papa hey, what you what you do and how are you? What have you been doing today? And he looked at us and he just he was like, yeah, yeah. I’ve just up and I’ve been looking around. he was just looking around and we were like, OK, well, papa, you know, what are you looking at? And he goes, Yeah, just around. Just been looking, looking around. And so, we laugh about that. And maybe that wasn’t actually the dementia because he probably was just, like, looking around that day. That’s what he was doing. But I’ll call my mom and dad and they’ll maybe have the busiest day they’ve ever had. And I’m like, hey, what are you all doing? And they’re like, Oh, nothing. Just looking around today. you know. and that’s these angels are up and they’re looking down. They’re saying, hey, what are you doing? Just looking into heaven. And they’re like, we’re just looking around and that’s what we do. We just look around and go about our busy day, and then when we need the Holy Spirit, we face a challenging time, or don’t know what to do in this decision that we call on the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit activate, right? And we just go through our busy life.
And when we need the Holy Spirit, we ask Him to activate. but the Holy Spirit’s already activated. and He was inside of you that moment that you chose to follow Jesus Christ. and so, what we can do is choose to surround ourselves with things of the Holy Spirit. Maybe you incorporate a family devotion into your time at home. Maybe you recommit to that devotional time. Maybe you just set a reminder on your phone, so you pray every couple of hours and all those activities because the Holy Spirit is already active in and working through you. But we are often unaware of it.
I have a former pastor and he talks about his coach all the time from the stage. he loved His coach. looked up to his football coach growing up, and this football coach was passionate about football and every summer he’d load up that team and take them to football camp. He’s passionate about the game of football. and then he would load up that same team and take them all to church camp. Because he was passionate about winning games because that was his job, that was his task. He had to do that. but he was more passionate about winning souls and developing the character of young men. man, how far our culture has come from that. coaches and teachers and parents and accountants and retirees. If we can bring the Holy Spirit back into what we do, we get to step into the lie that Jesus has called us to. And it’s more than just going through the motions, but it’s experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit. so, Jesus calls us too more. He calls us not to just call on the Holy Spirit when we need Him. Jesus is not saying Holy Spirit activate. He calls us to more, and He’s saying, no, you activate. let’s pray.
Dear Jesus, thank you for gifting us with the Spirit the single greatest gift that we could ever be given is the power, the presence, the peace that comes along with the Holy Spirit. Dear God, and may we learn how to incorporate that presence into our daily lives. may we live and breathe and do and have our being in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. show us how to be more aware of you and give us the strength to follow through in Jesus name. Amen.