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The Promise of the Father

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God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. (Acts 2:32–33, NLT)

We have all made promises to those we care about. As a father, I often reassure my kids: “Yes, when you turn 10, you can have a bigger bike,” or “Yes, next year you can play that sport,” or “Yes, at the end of the school week, you can watch that movie.” Such promises correspond to gifts or rewards allotted at the appropriate time. I try not to make promises flippantly. No one should make a promise they cannot keep just to assuage a nagging child. The integrity of our word is worth more than temporarily pacifying our kids. Promises come with responsibility—that we be faithful to our word.

As depicted in Acts 2, an expectant crowd of believers gathered in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost to receive the greatest of gifts. The Lord had promised such a gift centuries earlier, as announced through the prophet Joel:

I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike—and they will prophesy. (Acts 2:17–18, Joel 2:28–29)

Just days before Pentecost, as He prepared to ascend into heaven, Jesus alluded to the same promise: “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4-5). The Father’s promise of old—the outpouring of the Spirit—was now at hand. God had always been with His people, but now He was making His presence known in a unique way. Pentecost marked a new advent when God would dwell within His people. The power of His presence was no longer reserved for the Temple. Indeed, from Pentecost onward, every believer’s body is considered “the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19). The fullness of God’s supernatural power, living within, is available to all who place their faith in Him.

We never have to worry whether our heavenly Father will keep a promise. His life-giving power is accessible to us today the same way it was for the gathering of believers on the day of Pentecost. Perhaps you have prayed to God for His presence. He hears you and is faithful to answer. The time has been fulfilled. Jesus now sits at the Father’s right hand, ready to pass on the precious gift of the Spirit to all who ask in His name.

Father, we come to You expectantly. Thank You for fulfilling the promise to give Your Spirit, and every promise, at the proper time. Renew us now, in Jesus’ name, according to Your promise. Fill us with Your power so that we might share the hope and joy of salvation with a world in need.


Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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About The Author

Dr. Paul Palma
Dr. Paul J.

Dr. Paul J. Palma is a Regent University professor and the author of three books, including Embracing Our Roots: Rediscovering the Value of Faith, Family, and Tradition. He’s also a worship leader, husband, and father of three who enjoys spending time with his family on walks, trips to the beach, and reading.

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