Tag: Acts 2

Repent and be baptized!

Scripture reading for May 6th:  Acts 2

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Acts 2:36-39  “”Therefore let all Israel be assured of this:  God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”    When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  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.”  

Peter, on the day of Pentecost, stood up and preached a powerful message of the gospel concerning Jesus Christ.  He preached to those who were gathered there, many who had participated in the crucifixion of Jesus and remembered the events of that day and those following.  As he preached, the Holy Spirit brought conviction on the multitude and they cried out for instruction!  Peter clearly told them how to respond!  Repentance would mean turning from their old ways of rebellion and sin to Jesus Christ and asking Him to forgive them.  Upon receiving grace and cleansing, they were to be baptized in water–immersed–as an act of public witness of their inner cleansing by faith in Christ.  They would then receive the gift of the Holy Spirit–given by the Father to all who would believe!

Observations for over-comers:  Repentance is the first step of clearing the conviction of the conscience from the weight of guilt as the Holy Spirit deals with a heart.  King David gives us a great example of what that looks like in Psalm 51.  “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions.  Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”  (Psalm 51:1-2)

Tags : , , , , , ,

The ‘Last Days’ have come!

Scripture reading for May 7th:  Acts 2

The disciples obeyed their ascended Lord Jesus and waited in Jerusalem. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like a blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”  (Acts 2:1-4)   Ten days after the ascension, on Pentecost morning, the promise was fulfilled.  The Holy Spirit came like a rushing wind with tongues of fire and touched each person of the 120 who were waiting there.  The immediate initial effect was speaking in other tongues.

When the sound came, a crowd gathered.  Many were there in Jerusalem for the celebration from around the known world.  They were perplexed when they heard these disciples speaking in their own languages and declaring the wonders of God!  They asked “What does this mean?”  (Acts 2:12)  Some thought they were drunk!

“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd:  “. . .these men are not drunk, as you suppose.  It’s only nine in the morning!  No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:  ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people.   Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.  Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days and they will prophesy.””  (Acts 2:14-18)   The ‘last days’ had arrived!  Peter boldly declared the fulfillment of Joel’s prophesy!  It was for all Jesus’ followers then and now!

Tags : , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday rest and reflection: Spirit outpouring!

Dear Friends,

Another day of rest begins to remind us of the finished work of our Savior, Jesus Christ!  We can truly rest from any effort on our part to try and save ourselves.  We can put away religion, sacrifices, penance, and extravagant offerings as  possible ways of paying God back or purchasing freedom.  The debt of sin is canceled!  Simply asking Him in faith for mercy has brought the remedy as a gift! (Romans 6:23)  Putting our trust in Jesus Christ is sufficient and it is finished! (Romans 10:9-10)  What a blessing!

As I reflect back on this week’s reading, the book of Joel comes easily to mind.  We had only one day to read this and reflect on it and it is so rich in revelation and truth.  God’s desire has been to bless His people and make them a blessing to the entire world.  He would do this by living in their midst and placing a covering of His glory over them.  He would provide for them and be their source of real food and living water.  He would clothe them in the finest of garments and they would reside in the land of milk and honey.  He would drive out all of their enemies and His presence would mark them as a chosen people, blessed beyond measure.

However, sin had so devastated mankind and even God’s people, that they lived far below their God-given potential.  His people lost His glory in their midst and fell into idolatry and under the curse brought on by their sins.  In Joel’s day it was a locust plague!  This plague was uses as a type of the coming ‘day of the Lord’.  The remedy for this plague was found in rending of hearts, not clothes.  Broken hearts make good vessels for God to pour His Spirit into!  The Holy Spirit heals and binds up wounds.  He brings the Word of God to our inner man and faith arises to live in victory! Signs and wonders begin to follow the preaching and living of God’s Word for He honors faith and obedience.  Prophesy flows from the presence of the Holy Spirit.  We see the plans and purposes of God and are able to take faith-actions that save us and those around us.

We desparately need an outpouring of God’s Spirit on our church and land!  Consider this book of Joel and let the Spirit prompt you to take the proper actions.  Ask for an outpouring into hearts prepared by brokenness!  God is faithful!  In His Love,  Pastor John

Tags : , , ,