Pentecost Sunday May 31

Pentecost Sunday - Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church

A worship service for use at home with your family or alone with God.

Sunday May 31, 2020



The Comforter Has Come


Spirit Break Out


Spirit of the Living God


Consuming Fire


Spirit of the Living God



Acts 2:1-41         The Day of Pentecost


John 14:15-18    The Spirit of Truth

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 


Jesus also declared, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Jn 14:6

Jesus stated to Pontius Pilate, “In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Jn 18:37

To which Pilate dismissively asked, what is truth? But did not wait for an answer – he was not a believer in truth. He believed it was not truth but power that mattered.


Yesterday we saw displayed on our TV screens the belief of Elon Musk put on display and tested and found true. He believed a private company could build a rocket that could send humans into space.

It took a huge team of engineers and scientists working in tandem to accomplish a challenging task – one of the moments of human kind at its best … accomplished what some thought impossible by a unifying belief.


We also have seen this week the rioting and looting of protestors incited to violence over the belief that anger and rage are the proper response to injustice. It demonstrates some of the moments of human kind at its worst – hatred and animosity unchecked by reason and thoughtful protest.


What we belief to be the truth has important consequences. Belief leads to actions that can heal or destroy, that can unify to upbuild or tear down.


Jesus’ declarations claim that truth is not just a fact but also a person.

Furthermore, the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is known as the Spirit of truth.


Well, what do you believe?


Dr Timothy Jennings, a research doctor in brain neuroscience wondered how beliefs about God affect ones mental and emotional health. He cites many examples of people whose belief impacted their health.

  • One man thought he was under a curse and became deathly ill.  He was not healed until he was given a counter belief – a placebo.

His research has led him to study underlying causes of ill health that are located in one’s beliefs about God which affects what they believe about themselves and others, thereby impacting their mental and emotional health which affects their relationships as well.


He says there are

  • 19 major world religions
  • 270 Christian denominations
  • 34,000 different Christian groups claiming truth

Americans claim to be 5% atheistic and 75% Christian. But those who claim a belief in God have many differing views.

  • 32% believe God is an authoritarian
  • 24 % think God is distant and uninvolved
  • 23% define God as love
  • 16% believe God to be critical – a stern judge

And all claim they have truth.

In any gathering of American believers – there is a variety of different beliefs about God…. we might say people are worshipping different Gods – at least different concepts of God.


Their concept of God filters what they hear taught or preached about God. And sometimes what they hear is far different than what the teacher or preacher thought he was communicating.


He asks, “Upon what do you base your belief. Does it matter if what you believe about God is true? Does our belief about God really matter? Is it all good as long as you are sincere – HE sees the heart? Is it possible that a distorted belief about God could actually be the source of our pain, injury and suffering?”


Please consider what effect your beliefs have on your brain and therefore on your mental, emotional, psychological, physical, and relational health.


Upon what do you base your beliefs about God?

        Childhood ideas formed with the limited understanding of childhood?

o One man declared that he stopped trusting in God because when he was a child she died and the minster said, God took your mommy because he needed her. In his mind he thought that God must be cruel to take a mom from a boy who needed her.

        Opinion of others, parents, pastors, teachers, friends?

        Popular culture of music, movies, and fashion?

        Whatever feels right?

        Tradition? … because the church taught this for 500 years.

o   Would you go to a dentist who was practicing traditional dentistry of the 1800s?

o   George Washington had pneumonia and the doctors prescribed bleeding out the evil humors of disease…. doctors bled him to death.


Dr Jennings says that what you believe about God is a crucial issue in your health … Who is the God you worship?


The scriptures have a lot to say about our belief.


      Phil 2:5 Let this mind which was in Christ be in you that was in Christ Jesus.


      2 Cor 10:4-5   The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.


      Rom 1:18-19, 21-22      unbelievers suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them…For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools


Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., claims that our view of God affects the health of our brain. In his book, The God-Shaped Brain, what you believe about God actually, changes your brain. Brain research in neuroscience has found that our thoughts and beliefs affect our physical, mental and spiritual health. Mind and body are interrelated, and we are designed for healthy relationships of love and trust. When we understand God as good and loving, we flourish. If we embrace a “love-based God concept,” we will have a healthier mind. If we embrace a “fear-based God concept,” our actions become selfish, and the brain is actually damaged.


The picture you hold of God affects your mental and physical heath as well as it affects your relationships and emotional life. If you hold a distorted belief about God, it damages your brain and its ability to think truthfully about life which then causes damage to yourself and relationships.


If you believe that God made a mistake when he made you …. Or that God did not even have you in mind … you can begin to think and act like an orphan, abandoned, forgotten, uncared for, unimportant.


If you have experienced abuse or a terrible accident, or a sickness or disease, you may be tempted to think that God may be loving but powerless because he did not intervene in the evil. Or if you may think he must be unloving because he stood by and did not stop the evil from happening in your life. And so you may have a difficult time trusting God and seeking his will in your life … you may think his plan is just not so good.


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) affects the shaping and development of the brain. Kids who have a lot of trauma show smaller development in the communication and problem solving abilities of the brain and a higher survival development. 10 forms of childhood trauma dramatically increase the risk of 7 out of 10 of the leading causes of death in the United States. High doses of these traumas impact the brain system, the immune system, and the hormonal system. People exposed to very high doses have a reduced life expectancy of 20 years. The study shows us childhood trauma affects the physical, mental, social, and financial health of people who experience it.


If you have a parent, good friend or admired teachers who does not believe in God … your ideas about God are influenced by your relationship and desire to please and conform to theirs.


If you do not like yourself, you may have a hard time accepting love fromm anyone. You may actually be hindering others from loving you by your rejection of their friendship and love; not allowing another to show you love.


The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of TRUTH.

Truth counters false ideas and distorted perspectives of beliefs that can bring healing and wholeness. Dr Jennings advocates an integrated evidence-based approach to discovering truth. Such an approach seeks to integrate three important threads or ways of discovering what is true.

  • Scripture
  • Science and nature
  • Experience; ours and others

When we separate the 3 threads of discovery, we get into trouble

  • Science by itself leads to human pride, arrogance, folly … godlessness
    • There is no diff between male and female; allowing makes to compete as females
    • protest against killing of animals but demonstrate for abortion
  • Experience by itself leads to mysticism, irrationalism
    • Do not damn a river to control flooding and produce power because the river god
    • Cows are reinsertion of people – not to be eaten, roam freely
    • The earth is flat
  • Scripture by itself leads to confusion
    • 34,000 different groups claiming to be true


Take the claim about Gods exists.

What is the evidence of the existence of God?

  1. We have scriptures that declare God as creator, designer as well as the character of Jesus revealed and what he claimed and declared to be the true view of God the Father.
  2. There are the testable laws of science, ordered, designed, a boring sun that is quite different from other suns – not too hot or too many explosions … that the earth is rare among the galaxies … quite unique for all the exact systems to occur simultaneously for life to appear.
  3. Our experience and the experience of others …when we look at the lives of those who believe and see the quality of their lives; the relationships, their ethic and morality of love. Do they fall short? Yes of course but they are seeking better.

These 3 areas set up the foundation for faith – that belief is not just a leap of blind trust … but it is reasonable, testable, and relatable.


Is there evidence that God created me and has a plan and purpose for me?

         Psalms 139 … fearfully and wonderfully made; Jer 29:11 I know the plans I have for you

         Science: unique, different, talented, skills

         Experience of others who found meaning in spite of adversity: Nic w/o arms and legs; Bethany Hamilton one armed surfer



God has given us ways to get a grasp on truth and thereby affect our healing

  • Special revelation – scripture – truth of Jesus
  • Science – the world around us
  • Experience of the world and relationships in community


Rom 8:16           

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,


1 Corinthians 2:10 The Holy Spirit of God that reveals the mind of God to us.

“For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God”


This begins a series of messages about the Holy Spirit of TRUTH. God not only has provided for your spiritual health – salvation – but also for your mental, physical and relational health.


Healing occurs through the revelation of truth.

A man thought his wife has said she had never found happiness in their marriage. What he thought he heard was not at all what she had meant. In essence he believed a lie – and it destroyed the harmony of relationship until they were able to communicate and understand what was said. Then harmony was restored A false understanding affected the emotional as well as the physical life of the man.


On the day of Pentecost there was a revelation of truth. In the years since that day there have been many further revelations of truth – in science as well as in scripture that have propelled humankind into new levels of truth.

         God revealed to Copernicus that the earth revolved around the sun

         To Dr George Washington Carver – revelations of the properties of a peanut

         To Martin Luther – the just shall live by faith that led to Protestant faith

         In 1897 Dr Ross discovered that mosquitoes transmitted malaria

Each of these discoveries was a revelation of truth. All truth is Gods truth. Satan has no truth – he seeks to set knowledge or doubt against God. He introduces the false idea – a lie – into Adam and Eve that God was withholding some good from them which they then began to accept and believe until they acted on their false belief. Their act plunged them and their offspring into ages of darkness … false ideas.


So how do we receive a revelation of truth?

Some may ask, “Why doesn’t God reveal Himself?”

Oswald Chambers says God cannot reveal truth as long as you are in the way. It is not that He will not, but He cannot, because you are in the way as long as you won’t abandon yourself to Him in total surrender. Yet once you do, immediately God witnesses to Himself— He cannot witness to you, but He instantly witnesses to His own nature in you. If you received the witness of the Spirit before the reality and truth that comes from obedience, it would simply result in sentimental emotion. But when you act on the basis of redemption, and stop the disrespectfulness of debating with God, He immediately gives His witness. As soon as you abandon your own reasoning and arguing, God witnesses to what He has done, and you are amazed at your total disrespect in having kept Him waiting. We are in danger of getting into a bargaining spirit with God when we come to Him— we want the witness of the Spirit before we have done what God tells us to do. If you are debating as to whether or not God can deliver from sin, then either let Him do it or tell Him that He cannot. Do not quote this or that person to Him. Simply obey Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden….” Come, if you are weary, and ask, if you know you are evil (see Luke 11:9-13).

The Spirit of God witnesses to the redemption of our Lord, and to nothing else. He cannot witness to our reason. We are inclined to mistake the simplicity that comes from our natural commonsense decisions for the witness of the Spirit, but the Spirit witnesses only to His own nature, and to the work of redemption, never to our reason. If we are trying to make Him witness to our reason, it is no wonder that we are in darkness and uncertainty. Throw it all overboard, trust in Him, and He will give you the witness of the Spirit.

The Witness of the Spirit By Oswald Chambers


On the day of Pentecost

Peter replied, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39)


The revelation of truth starts when we repent of trusting in ourselves and our own version of truth and begin to follow the what Jesus stated as true.

He invites you to trust him now.


Song: Only Trust Him

Come, every soul by sin oppressed There’s mercy with the Lord
And He will surely give you rest By trusting in His Word

Only trust Him, only trust Him Only trust Him now
He will save you, He will save you He will save you now

For Jesus shed His precious blood Rich blessings to bestow
Plunge now into the crimson flood That washes white as snow

Yes, Jesus is the truth, the way That leads you into rest
Believe in Him without delay And you are fully blessed



Douglas Leslie