Scripture reading for November 9th: Acts 1-4
Key Scriptures: Acts 2:24-28 “But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him. David said about Him, “I saw the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because You will not abandon me to the grave nor will you let Your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.””
Peter, in his sermon on the day of Pentecost, quoted from Psalm 16 to illustrate God’s foreknowledge of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. It was impossible for death to hold Him because He was walking in the path of Life–total obedience to His Father! David had written of this over 1000 years earlier and it now had come to pass! David held the hope of resurrection for his body as well and all Christians now share this same blessed Hope!
Rejoicing in God’s Promised Presence: “You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your Presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11)
Scripture reading for June 4th: Acts 2:1-47
The apostles and a total of 120 believers were waiting on the promise of the Father. They were gathered together in one place on the day of Pentecost. This was one of the three times that Jewish men were required by the Law of God to come to the temple and worship. It was at this feast a year earlier that Jesus had stood up and and invited anyone who was thirsty to come to Him and drink, promising the release of ‘rivers of living water’ from within them. (John 7:37-39) Luke recorded this prayer meeting and the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise!
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the 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) Those gathered for the Feast that day were curious as they heard these 120 praising God, many in their own languages. Some thought that these were drunk and others questioned what this meant.
Peter stood up, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and explained prophetically what was happening. He quoted from the prophet Joel, stating that this was a fulfillment of Joel’s word from God about the last days outpouring of the Spirit of God. (Acts 2:14-21) Peter then spoke to them about Jesus of Nazareth and who He was. He explained God’s plan to put Him to death and then raise Him from the dead. “Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36)
When these people, many who participated in the crucifixion, heard the message they cried out for help, asking Peter and the other what they should do. “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) Peter’s instructions opened the door for 3000 to become believers and is still doing that today!
Greetings in the Wonderful Name of Jesus Christ! Today is Pentecost Sunday and a time to celebrate the precious gift of the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and is the personal gift of the Father who was sent to dwell in followers of Jesus Christ. (Luke 24:49) Jesus told His followers to wait for this promise and that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. (Acts1:8) This power would be a divine enablement to be witnesses for the Lord. God’s command was for these believers to go into all the world and preach the Gospel message with signs that would follow! (Mark 16:15-20)
On the day of Pentecost, 120 believers were gathered in a room of the temple praying and waiting on the Lord when suddenly the room was filled with the sound of a rushing wind. Visible tongues of fire descended on this company and they all began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4) These believers went out into the temple area and caused quite a stir among those Jews gathered from around the world for the Feast of Pentecost. Each one heard them glorifying God in their own language! (Acts 2:8-10) What a miracle! Peter preached that day and many came under conviction through the power of the Holy Spirit! (Acts 2:37) They were told to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit! (Acts 2:38-41) Three thousand were baptized and added to the church that day!
Today, nearly 2000 years later, God is still empowering believers to be witnesses for Him. He is still pouring out His Spirit on all flesh. He is still sending His Church to be witnesses to the nations. He is still baptizing people in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues! He is still confirming His Word with supernatural signs! God shows no partiality and wants all to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth! (1st Timothy 2:3-4) If you are not filled with the Holy Spirit, why not pray and ask the Jesus to baptize you with power to be His witness? You can become even more effective as a witness with power! God bless you this Pentecost Sunday! May you be filled with power again and again. (Ephesians 5:18-21)