Pentecost Sunday, this year 2018 falls on May 20th. I was led to share this devotion from my theology college assessment, which I wrote almost 7 years back. The document might be outdated but the TRUTH in it stands still
THE BOOK OF ACTS
Acts is a unique New Testament books that provides us with the historical record of the early church.It is also a theological book that contains lessons and living examples of the work of the Holy Spirit, church relationships and organisation, the implications of grace and the laws of love
Let’s read Acts chapter 2 , verses 1 – 13
2 1-4 When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.
5-11 There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were thunderstruck. They couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, “Aren’t these all Galileans? How come we’re hearing them talk in our various mother tongues?
Parthians, Medes, and Elamites;
Visitors from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene;
Immigrants from Rome, both Jews and proselytes;
Even Cretans and Arabs!
“They’re speaking our languages, describing God’s mighty works!”
12 Their heads were spinning; they couldn’t make head or tail of any of it. They talked back and forth, confused: “What’s going on here?”
13 Others joked, “They’re drunk on cheap wine.”
Q: What is the day of Pentecost and why were ‘they ‘ (Acts 2:1) assembled in one place?
Pentecost is also called the ‘feast of the weeks ‘. It’s a festival of thanksgiving for the harvested crops.It’s held 50 days after the Passover.Jesus was crucified at the Passover time and He ascended 40 days after his resurrection.The Holy Spirit came 10 days after His ascension.Jews of many nations had gathered in Jerusalem for this festival
So Peter’s speech was delivered to an International audience and it resulted in a world-wide harvest of new believers – 1st converts to Christianity
Peter’s message is quite interesting because, although he explains about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the primary focus of his message was about Jesus Christ and the people’s need to respond to Him.
Acts 2:9-12 The list demonstrates that the Christians were starting their worldwide witness
Let’s read further on Acts chapter 2, verses 31 to 32
31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that He was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did His body see decay.
32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it
Acts 2:31-32 : Peter’s Message
Among the crowd who witnessed this miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit, many believed and received the Holy Spirit and few made fun of Him. Some of the Jews actually took the gospel of the Lord’s salvation to their homelands and thus God prepared the way for the spread of the gospel.All we need to do like the some here is to listen and respond’s to God’s call
What I found interesting is that God can use anyone to proclaim His Work and extend His kingdom. Peter had his own flaws and weaknesses that he even denied Jesus 3 times , but still God forgave him and used him.All that we need to have is a heart for God and the boldness and courage to stand for Him like Peter who amidst the crowd
Peter humbly but boldly proclaimed the good news of salvation. No matter what our race, color God still speaks to us. The question here is ‘Are we listening to Him? ‘
Q: What is the impact upon the Church?
Let’s have a look at Acts chapter 2, verses 38 to 47
38 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. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
The Fellowship of the Believers
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved
The impact on the church was their dedication to fellowship, prayer and teaching.Early Christians devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship, prayer meetings and the breaking of bread, prayer.
In these day’s churches , new believers need to be in a fellowship in order to be nurtured in the word of God
All believers were together ,recognizing themselves as brothers and sisters of Christ, sharing and caring and working in unity as one family.They were glad, sincere in their hearts, praised God and enjoyed the favor of all people
When God’s favor is upon us, we will have the favor of our fellowmen
Let’s be encouraged today that when we put ourselves in the place of the 1st century Christians, they are spirit filled, bold and thrilled to see many coming into God’s kingdom.They are committed to the Gospel and use every of their God-given talent for the Lord.They tend to use every opportunity in their lives to spread the gospel
We should decide to be the 21st century version of them, men and women passionate for God.As mentioned earlier, when we look at Peter in this passage and throughout the Bible, God didn’t choose the perfect people all the time.Peter was an unstable leader during Jesus ministry and he even denied Jesus 3 times. But the Lord forgave him and used him.
So when we reflect this in our lives, no matter how bad our mistakes are, we still have a second chance with our forgiving God.He still loves us and chooses to forgive and use us for His kingdom
All we need to do is repent and seek His forgiveness (Acts 2:37 ‘What shall we do?)
May this devotion speak to your heart as you allow God to speak to you
Dear Lord Jesus,
I thank you that you are a God of forgiveness and you always give me a second chance.Today I choose to come to you with an open heart and confess all my mistakes to You. I believe with all my heart that my life has a purpose and I choose to live with all the boldness and courage you have already given me. Lead me and guide me along the way Lord.
In Jesus Name I ask and Pray
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Meyer, Joyce. The Everyday Life Study Bible. New York: Faith Words, 2006
Bawden, Andrew. Biblical Turning Points, The Bible: The Big Picture