January 22 - Acts 2
VIOLENT WIND: We are pretty accustomed to wind here in SW Minnesota, but even if you have the draftiest of windows, it's hard to imagine the whole house shaking violently as it does in v2. The fact that the wind accompanies the Spirit's arrival is no surprise. Both in Hebrew (OT original language) and the in Greek (NT original language), the word for 'spirit' is closely associated with wind & breath. In a sense, the breath of God showed up in that room... the same breath that put life into Adam now puts life into the Church.
AMAZING SERMON: Peter doesn't get up, warm the crowd with a humorous anecdote, tell a heart warming personal story with a guitar quietly strumming chords in the background, and provide common sense solutions applicable to the daily life and issues of the gathered crowd. Instead, his sermon is based solidly on scripture (3+ Old Testament passages are cited), it convicts his audience of sin (killing God no less), and most importantly, he points them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Next time it seems like your minister is boring you, remember entertainment is not his job; doing what Peter did is. Meditate on v37 today: does God's Word 'cut to your heart?'
KEEP IT SIMPLE: We put lots of demands and expectations on the local church today, and the result often is the idea that a healthy church is one that keeps its people busy with all sorts of programs and ministries. But look at v42-47 (especially v42). This early church was extremely simple: teach true doctrine, maintain fellowship, practice the sacraments, and pray. Programs and ministries are not bad in and of themselves, but they are not to be a church's top priority.
WHY THIS, BUT NOT THAT?: As we read through the book of Acts, we will see lots of things that the apostles & early church did that we should emulate, and other things which we conclude was particular to that day and time. An example is that we would say v42 is a model for the church still today, but v44 (holding everything in common) was particular to that day and is no longer binding. These are not easy judgments to make, and good Christians come to different conclusions about how to apply what we read in Acts. As you read Acts, start to wrestle with it. If you see things being done then that no longer are done now, think, study, and pray about the issue. Are we being called back to that, or did God limit that activity to that time and place for certain reasons?
Pray for the continual outpouring of the Holy Spirit, especially in Southwestern Minnesota & Worthington in particular (or wherever home is for you).
Pray that our local churches remain faithful to the calling of boldly proclaiming the pure gospel, and for God's blessing on our churches.
God’s Word is your connection to salvation.If you want to be strong & courageous, obey God’s Word.
Monday - God's Word brings strength & courage to you just like it did to Joshua
Tuesday - God leads us through His Word like He physically lead Moses
Wednesday - If you want to obey God's Word, you need to first know what God's Word says
Thursday - Train yourself to benefit from God's Word by Memorizing, Meditating, & Mouthing (speaking) scripture
Friday - Keeping God's Word brings you success: possibly here on earth, and for sure in eternity