Greetings in the glorious, gracious and great name of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.
Listen, can you hear it? Hear what you ask? The winds! What winds, you ask? These are the winds of change! And it is change for the better.
The wind is blowing at The Greater First Baptist Church!
Immediately it brings to mind the historical biblical account of what happened when The Church was born. The account is found in the Book of Acts, Chapter two, verses one through four. Between the promise of the Holy Spirit and His coming there were but a few days; and during these days the apostles, though they had received orders to preach the gospel to every creature and to begin at Jerusalem, yet they lay perfectly wind-bound, incognito-concealed, and not offering to preach. But in this chapter the north and south wind awake and they awake and we have them in the pulpit presently. Here is the descent of the Spirit upon the apostles and all who were with them on the Day of Pentecost. In these verses are the elements necessary for Greater First to experience the winds of change as brought about by the Holy Spirit. This change causes the empowerment of the Church to be and to do what God wills. The elements are: Sacred Unity, Sudden Sound and Spirit-filled Speaking.
First, Sacred Unity is an essential preparatory element that is spoken of in verse one: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” They had agreement and harmony among themselves because they spent time together in the love of God and each other as they prepared for the change through persevering prayer and the pursuit of peace. They wouldn’t allow anything to divide them or disrupt their unity. "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (Psalm 133:1)
After unity is attained, then the Sudden Sound is heard in verse two: "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting." This sudden sound is the signal of the coming of the Holy Spirit. The “rushing mighty wind” was the sound of God’s promised powerful presence moving among them. His presence filled the whole house.
Finally, the Spirit-Filled Speech in verse four: "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Their communication was empowered and influenced by the Holy Spirit! Not only could they talk to each other, but also they could be real, relevant and able to relate to the work around them. They were now equipped to go and be used as God’s instruments of change in the world. Lord, let you Wind blow among us that we will be transforming into the church you are calling us to be! And let your Wind blow that this Nation will be transformed to your glory!
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Winston C. Ridley, Jr.