Imagine those moments in life when you must stand up for truth when everyone around you is accusing you of craziness. Somehow it is easier when you are not alone. But alone or not, it becomes imperative when God calls you and gives you the words to say. You cannot sit this one out. You must stand to speak.
Peter, who failed so many times because of his impetuousness with his former “act before you think” behaviors, is now fully committed to being led by the Holy Spirit who entered into him to fill his heart, mind and soul. God’s Holy Spirit that Jesus told them would come has now filled the disciples with a miracle of speaking in the languages of all who have gathered from the surrounding countryside to Jerusalem for the Feast.
Friends, I have tried to learn French, Creole and Spanish to help me converse somewhat on mission fields in my past. Learning a new language is no easy task to accomplish. Imagine being able to suddenly speak another person’s language without all the work! Wow! There is absolutely nothing impossible with God! Mic dropped.
First God. God’s Holy Spirit provided this language miracle. People misunderstood the miracle, thinking that the disciples were drunk, so Peter is called to stand to tell his fellow Jews, from all countries and languages the Truth of what is happening. He boldly tells God’s story of Jesus who died and rose again for their sins. He tells them they were the ones who sent Jesus to die on the cross!
Our passage opens with a thought that leaps from the page for me today… “Peter stood up, backed by the other eleven”. When God asks you to do something unbelievably challenging and incredible, He will give us people to stand with us who also are called by Him. Isn’t God amazing?!
Peter has a mike drop moment when people stop what their accusing to listen. Thousands are gathered. God pours out His Spirit on Peter, the fisherman, to speak His words in His way in His timing. Yes, God is amazing. Jesus taught Peter well, forgave him perfectly and saw potential in Peter as the Rock. How Jesus must have been smiling from heaven as He watched Peter in obedience to His Holy Spirit!
ACTS—God’s Actions through His Disciples
Acts 2:14-42, The Message
Peter Speaks Up
14-21 That’s when Peter stood up and, backed by the other eleven, spoke out with bold urgency: “Fellow Jews, all of you who are visiting Jerusalem, listen carefully and get this story straight. These people aren’t drunk as some of you suspect. They haven’t had time to get drunk—it’s only nine o’clock in the morning. This is what the prophet Joel announced would happen:
“In the Last Days,” God says,
“I will pour out my Spirit
on every kind of people:
Your sons will prophesy,
also your daughters;
Your young men will see visions,
your old men dream dreams.
When the time comes,
I’ll pour out my Spirit
On those who serve me, men and women both,
and they’ll prophesy.
I’ll set wonders in the sky above
and signs on the earth below,
Blood and fire and billowing smoke,
the sun turning black and the moon blood-red,
Before the Day of the Lord arrives,
the Day tremendous and marvelous;
And whoever calls out for help
to me, God, will be saved.”
22-28 “Fellow Israelites, listen carefully to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man thoroughly accredited by God to you—the miracles and wonders and signs that God did through him are common knowledge—this Jesus, following the deliberate and well-thought-out plan of God, was betrayed by men who took the law into their own hands, and was handed over to you. And you pinned him to a cross and killed him. But God untied the death ropes and raised him up. Death was no match for him. David said it all:
I saw God before me for all time.
Nothing can shake me; he’s right by my side.
I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic;
I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope.
I know you’ll never dump me in Hades;
I’ll never even smell the stench of death.
You’ve got my feet on the life-path,
with your face shining sun-joy all around.
29-36 “Dear friends, let me be completely frank with you. Our ancestor David is dead and buried—his tomb is in plain sight today. But being also a prophet and knowing that God had solemnly sworn that a descendant of his would rule his kingdom, seeing far ahead, he talked of the resurrection of the Messiah—‘no trip to Hades, no stench of death.’ This Jesus, God raised up. And every one of us here is a witness to it. Then, raised to the heights at the right hand of God and receiving the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, he poured out the Spirit he had just received. That is what you see and hear. For David himself did not ascend to heaven, but he did say,
God said to my Master, “Sit at my right hand
Until I make your enemies a stool for resting your feet.”
“All Israel, then, know this: There’s no longer room for doubt—God made him Master and Messiah, this Jesus whom you killed on a cross.”
37 Cut to the quick, those who were there listening asked Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers! Brothers! So now what do we do?”
38-39 Peter said, “Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away—whomever, in fact, our Master God invites.”
40 He went on in this vein for a long time, urging them over and over, “Get out while you can; get out of this sick and stupid culture!”
41-42 That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers.
MIC DROPPING MOMENTS
The Truth about Jesus, even if it hurt, was boldly preached by God’s Holy Spirit through Peter—This was an Act of God. All gathered understood the message.
The Message was spoken so well that the response was, “What do you do?”
Peter, who experienced Jesus’ forgiveness first hand, responds to the question immediately. “Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven.”
Peter goes to say, “Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away—whomever, in fact, our Master God invites.” This statement fulfills Scripture, “I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people…”
Peter’s passion for Jesus is revealed as he urges everyone to “Get out while you can; get out of this sick and stupid culture!” How many times we want to say the same thing now to our lost friends and family who wander around confused. When led by the Spirit, obey. Timing is everything. Only God knows hearts.
AND MANY DID TURN TO GOD! About 3000, in fact! Bam! When God’s Spirit directs, great acts of God take place.
What happens next to the church of new believers built on Jesus Christ as their foundation? Tomorrow. Let’s talk it through tomorrow. Whew, so exciting to read about the Acts of God on common people like you and I. Mic dropped.
Friends, what mic dropping moments, led by God, have you had in your life? Who was with you, to back you? I can recall many times in my own life. It is now time to stop and praise Him for where He has brought us to this place and time today with what He will do next. Praise Him for the people who He sends to do His work with you.
You are amazing. Your Holy Spirit living in us is amazing. Come Holy Spirit and direct us today to all that you want us to be and do. Thank you. I love you with all my heart, mind and soul. There is no one like You.
In Jesus Name, For His Glory, Amen. I believe.