Read: Acts 2
The Bible has several grand moments—these giant pinnacle events from which the world will never be the same. When God created mankind, when God told Abram “Go” and he went, when Moses shouted, “Let my people go!,” when a young shepherd boy stood before a giant warrior, when a baby was born in Bethlehem as the son of a virgin—each of these moments changed the world.
One such moment was the day when a reluctant prophet, a faithful man in a sea of wickedness, declared on behalf of the Lord, “Behold, days are coming when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah…I will put My law within them and write it on their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (Jeremiah 31:31–34).
As the Holy Spirit rushed upon the apostles, they busted out into the crowded streets during the Jewish celebration of Pentecost. They were speaking the various languages of the people from all over, declaring the risen Christ. The visitors were amazed that these untrained, uneducated, backwater Galileans were speaking in an understandable way. “Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty deeds of God.”
To put this in perspective (and I mean no offense), this would be like hopping out of your car in small town eastern Kentucky and seeing a shirtless boy in overalls wearing a wicker hat speaking Egyptian with a country accent. His shoeless friend next to him responds in fluent French, etc. (I can say that because I did not wear shoes volitionally until I was about 8).
This is the beginning of the Church Age. But, based on this passage, how should we do church?
One thing to see is the “devotion” in verse 42. This was a church on fire. We must be a spiritual church—learning from the apostles through their recorded Word, community, and prayer.
I love the phrase in verse 43, “And awe came upon every soul” (ESV). The word “Awe” is the same word for “fear.” It’s used here in the Old Testament sense of coming into the knowledge of God causing a reverential awe—so basically, salvation. I think that the practices of verse 42 was primarily what inspired such “awe” and produced the result in verse 47 of seeing people added daily. The priority of devotion is required for a church to grow deep as it grows wide.
Can the word “devotion” be used of your relationship to your church and its people? For many of you reading this the answer is overwhelmingly, “Yes!” Your dedicated service and generous spirit are what fuels the Church. However, this passage should make all of us take a hard look in the mirror and ask the question, “Do I love the Church the way God loves the Church?” As we just celebrated, Christ died to make this thing happen. Is your devotion to the Church and the things of the Church on par with the sacrifice it took to create it?
By: Tyler Short
Jesus of Nazarene. This is a humble name that was often used to identify Him. This is where the preaching begins. But by the ending, verse 34, Jesus is declared exalted, resurrected, and seated at the right hand of God. What a stark contrast! No wonder the listeners were pierced to the heart.
My devotion has grown and will continually grow in this lifetime in terms of service to God and His Church. I often forget, however, how vital true love and care for other believers around me is in my walk with Jesus. Jesus loved the Church enough to die for its members. Therefore, there should be no areas of my life in which I should begrudgingly sacrifice for the betterment of those around me.
Good word Jordan. It's not about us.
While reading the chapter I was struck by Peter’s response to the disapproval of the “spiritual” Jews that day. He didn’t take their disapproval as an automatic sign that he & the other disciples were doing something wrong; instead, he was so confident in Christ that he used their disapproving comments as his springboard (on-ramp) to preach to them lovingly & powerfully. Peter’s devotion to serving Jesus and helping multiply His Church was greater than Peter’s worries about behaving correctly. Perhaps at times we can disregard the approval or disapproval of human authorities, when necessary to pursue what God wants.
Verse 26b says it all-just like we heard on Sunday...”My body rests in HOPE!” I cannot imagine going through one day without the hope of being in heaven with our Lord for eternity!!!
“Do I love the church the way God loves the church?” Is probably the best question ever...
Thank you Tyler for your words . I have tried devote to the church as much as I can .It pains me to know I can’t as much as I have in the past . It was great to be able to do what I normally do Easter weekend . That is filling up the babtistery and heating it Sat night and draining it Monday . I appreciate the leadership allowing and supporting me to do this . I still enjoy handing out the point at my door each week that I can be there . This COVID took away my music ministry to several assisted living places in Lexington , but hopefully that will change soon . My brother takes good care of me after my complete hip surgery, but I live with him in Simpsonville . I still love my church to the fullest and am so grateful for my brothers and sisters . Pray for me as I for you .