“The believers who had come with Peter were astonished…” Those outside the faith are astonished at believers, but it goes the other way as well; believers are astonished when God does something with those outside. God salvation and gifts are for everyone. Why would the believers be astonished? Who would you be astonished to see come to Christian faith and be given gifts for God’s service? Why are we apt to think God’s salvation and gifts are only for us and our group? Open our eyes to your wonderful salvation offered to everyone through Jesus Christ. Amen.
“Amazed and perplexed, the asked one another, ‘What does this mean?” The reaction of those outside the church is no different in the first century than now; they don’t understand the life and practice of Christians. What happens between the “making fun” of Chapter 2:13 and outsiders being added to the the faith in Chapter 2:47. Is it possible that seeing the power of loving community/boldness of Christian witness is a door for those outside to understand and embrace Christ? Let our witness be bold and our loving community in Christ be real to your glory O Lord.
“It is written…therefore it is necessary for us…” Jesus’ first followers were committed to obeying the word of God. They waited, as Jesus commanded them to do and as they wait they are reading and reflecting upon the scriptures and how they call them to follow God faithfully. When they discern God’s will, they do it. Are you inclined to follow and obey? How is the Word of God guiding your life and actions these days? May we be doers of Your Word Lord Jesus, not just those who hear. Amen.
“It is not for you to know the times or periods…But you will receive power…” Even after Jesus’ resurrection the disciples still are concerned with things that Jesus sees more as distraction. “Is this when you will restore your kingdom?” Jesus refocuses them on the coming Spirit and the power to be witnesses to Christ in the world. What questions occupy your thoughts? What distracts you from the main purposes of God for your life?” Distracting thoughts and busyness are plentiful for us Lord; deliver us from distraction so we may be a powerful witness to Christ.
“Jesus ordered them to wait there for the promise of the Father.” The book of Acts begins where the Gospel of Luke ends. After staying with and teaching his disciples, before his ascension, Jesus orders, that is commands them, to “wait.” No strategic planning committees, no fund raising campaigns, no busy weekends at church, no dynamic worship music sets or concerts. Only “wait for the promise of the Father.” What does waiting on God imply? What does “not waiting” imply? Are you inclined to do something or wait on God these days? Help us discover you in the waiting Lord.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…The writers of the New Testament see the resurrection as a central truth of Christian faith. Is the resurrection seen by modern Christians as the center of our faith? Why or why not? Is there a new birth or a living hope without the resurrection of Jesus Christ? How important is resurrection to the faith? May your church Lord, give testimony to the risen Christ!
“Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” Kings of Jesus’ day would celebrate their conquests with big pompous parades. Jesus enters his kingship on a donkey, as a humble servant of those who came to save. What might this suggest about the way Jesus enters the life of a sinner who needs him? What might it suggest about our approaches to ministry in our day? Let your church O Christ, live humbly, preach humbly, and be like Jesus in announcing his Lordship over all. Amen.
“They came to Philip…and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.'” Seminars and classes teach many things about going out to share the Gospel with others. Many of these have valuable information and skills we can learn from, but often the simplicity of “people are looking for Jesus” gets lost. We don’t need to market Jesus a little better, people already wish to see Jesus. Am I ready to pay attention to those around me? Am I ready to point the way or share a word of my encounter with Jesus? Lord, let it be true of me!
“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Often the Good News of the Gospel is shared through the amazing word of John 3:16 – “he who believes…shall not perish but having eternal life.” No less of a wonder however is the God displayed in John 3:17 who did not send his Son to condemn, but to save the world. Do I present God as one who is more interested in saving than condemning? Why or why not? Give us your heart O God.
“After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this… they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.” Being a disciple is a process. We don’t always catch things the first time. Some of what Jesus taught his first disciples had to simmer until after his death and resurrection. What parts of God’s word do I need to remember and believe so that it can be fruitful in my life? What have I been forgetting these days? Speak Jesus so that I might hear, understand, and live in congruence with your word. Amen.