Read Acts 2:42-47
I wish every church could look like this community of believers. I have thought over the years we should just go back to the basics, to the beginning. There is so much we can learn from these believers. Let’s take a deeper look.
First of all, they were devoted to learning, to spending time together, and to prayer. Even if they had heard the story a million times, they were still in awe over what they had witnessed and heard. They didn’t let their lives get in the way. Continue reading “Acts 2:42-47 – What a Community”
Read Acts 2:14-41
Peter takes advantage of this huge audience. Actually, you might say the Holy Spirit took over. Peter spoke with authority. People listened. We hear that 3,000 people were baptized and added to the church that day. The words and truths Peter shared would have shaken the people’s understanding of faith.
Have you ever heard something that just rocked your world? Perhaps, you’ve been in church and felt like the pastor was speaking only to you. I had an experience like that this last week. I had been working through some issues bothering me after running away from a problem. The sermon was about running away from a situation or being so caught up in a problem that you couldn’t see the answer was right in front of you. Maybe like those followers who didn’t recognize Jesus at first when he came back from the dead. Continue reading “Acts 2:14-41 – The Church is Born”
Read Acts 2:1-13
As a bit of background the Festival of Pentecost is traditionally celebrated 50 days after the Passover. It is also known as the Feast of Harvest or Feast of Weeks in Jewish tradition. We know that Jesus was crucified at the Passover and visited his friends over the next 40 days. The events of today’s reading were happening a little over a week after Jesus ascended to heaven telling his disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit.
God would make a spectacular entrance this time with a mighty wind and tongues of fire! At a time when the city of Jerusalem was bursting at the seams with visitors coming to celebrate the festival and with a diverse bunch of devout Jews living in the area, God came. The Holy Spirit descended on the believers with an unbelievable pouring of blessing. Continue reading “Acts 2:1-13 – What’s Happening?”
Read Acts 1:12-26
I just had to smile at Peter for taking charge. Somebody had to take the lead, and I don’t know about you, but I guessed it might be Peter. Peter is always portrayed as a little outspoken. Now, he was probably still dealing with his own guilt over the events in the courtyard. But Jesus had given them a job to do, and Peter was going to get the followers in line. We all know the “Peters” in our life. You know, those self starters who take charge. Personally, if left to my own choice, I would not be a Peter type leader. How about you?
I was impressed that he wanted to fulfill Scripture first and choose a replacement for their departed disciple, Judas. Here we see there are a lot of believers gathered together. Peter takes this opportunity for an impromptu election. We don’t know much about the two men they nominated, but we know the prerequisite was they had been with the others from the get go. Obviously not privy to the private wisdom Jesus shared, but a devoted follower just the same.
Did you notice something special that they did before casting their votes? Continue reading “Acts 1:12-26 – New Decisions”
Read Acts 1:1-11
I’m super excited about walking through the Book of Acts together. Think of it as Luke Part Two. Our reading today bridges the two books together as we see a review of how Luke ended. Television shows often do that as a way of reminding the viewer of what happened last, so you can pick up where the story line left off.
We also learned that Jesus spent time over a 40 day period with his apostles between his death and ascension. These special times provided great preparation for the work they were being called to do. The concept of the Holy Spirit was still new to them and hard for them to grasp. It is still a challenge for us today to truly understand the work of the Holy Spirit. As we walk through the Book of Acts, I am hopeful we will all truly be filled with a new understanding of this great power that lives within us. Continue reading “Acts 1:1-11 – And So It Continues”