Scripture text for Monday, April 12th, 2010: Acts 2:1-2:47
God meant business when He descended to Mt. Sinai. He showed up as consuming fire. Billowing smoke. Clouds. Earthquakes. WOW! When His people rebelled and made an idol, three thousand died.
Fast-forward to a time fifty days after Jesus’ death. He appeared again as something that sounded like wind and looked like fiery flames – the merciful Holy Spirit. The difference this time? The cross. Three thousand were saved for eternity.
Peter also meant business on the day of Pentecost while delivering the first sermon of the Gospel age. He boldly represented Jesus not as just an exemplary man, but the Lord of Life. Empowered by the Spirit, he preached the necessity of turning from old ways, being baptized, and receiving the Holy Spirit. This rugged outdoorsman with his spontaneous tongue and aggressive personality became a “thunderbolt” in his own right, quoting David and Joel’s earlier prophecies in the context of the hope, grace, and forgiveness now available because of the cross.
Pentecost reminds us God is passionate and fierce as well as loving. He has never been casual about His involvement with humanity. As C.S. Lewis says, “He’s not safe…but He is good.”
Likewise, the Pentecost Spirit of Jesus (never wishy-washy or vague) means business by pouring transforming love into us – counseling, directing, teaching, empowering, convicting, and making us holy.* As we turn from our own self-absorption and yield to Him, He inspires us to courageously witness to those separated from Him and demonstrate outspoken generosity to each other. We mean business.
*Romans 5:5, John 16:13, Acts 13:2 and 16:7, John 14:26 and I Corinthians 2:11-13; I Corinthians 2:4; John 16:7,8; II Thessalonians 2:13 and I Peter 1:2.
Devotion prepared by Beth Muehlhausen