Acts: Day 2

The Coming of the Holy Spirit

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Today's Text: Acts 2:1-47, Joel 2:28-32, Psalm 16:8-11

Text: Acts 2:1-47, Joel 2:28-32, Psalm 16:8-11

Big grew from small.

True to form, God chose a small house, in a small city, in a small country, to be fertile ground for a new gospel Kingdom—the one Jesus had been preaching about, training His disciples to understand, and preparing the Jews to anticipate.

On the day of Pentecost, the promised Holy Spirit burst forth into this Kingdom, rolling outward and across the city, the nation, and beyond. If the book of Acts is the birth story of the Church, then the coming of the Holy Spirit was the initiating event—the dramatic impetus powering every account we read about in the rest of the book.

So let’s take a closer look and mull this over a bit. Let’s take the time to appreciate the magnitude of what happened on that very first Pentecost.

He knew they were distraught, but Jesus assured His disciples that it was necessary for Him to leave the earth. It was for their benefit that He go so that Someone else—the Counselor and Advocate—could come “convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment” (John 16:5-8).

Jesus taught,
and the Holy Spirit would illuminate and convict.

Jesus held all knowledge,
and the Holy Spirit would come and declare those truths to the world. 

Jesus had authority over the future,
and the Spirit would “declare what is to come” (John 16:13).

The Counselor is not a consolation prize. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to the Church.

While Jesus’ coming was as quiet as a Holy Night, the Holy Spirit’s arrival was radical (Acts 2:2-4), and rightly so. It had to be. The impressive signs—the thunderous sound of wind, tongues of fire, and speaking in foreign languages—were intentionally bold, giving credence to the equally audacious claims the disciples were about to make. But their words would not be their own. When Jesus commissioned His uneducated, ragtag crew, He promised they would “be given what to say at that hour” (Matthew 10:19). The Spirit of God Himself would speak through them.

Peter’s first sermon showcased the power and authority of the Spirit (Acts 2:14-40). He delivered a rousing message, but not because of his religious pedigree or even his training under Jesus. Peter’s soul-splitting message was the Holy Spirit’s glory on display. Without such extravagant signs, the crowd most likely would have dismissed Peter’s outrageous claim that Jesus, the Messiah promised of old, was very much alive.

From that first sermon on, the Holy Spirit’s influence spread like holy concentric circles, empowering each new believer to live in a revolutionary way—selling personal possessions to meet the needs of others, sharing meals together, and living in harmony with other sinners (Acts 2:41-47). By the power of the Spirit, the early Church learned to do life together in gracious, generous, and intentional ways.

God’s new Kingdom was worthy of its epic announcement. As Jesus said new wine must be poured into new wineskins or both will be lost (Mark 2:22), this new Kingdom needed a new paradigm to be effective in spreading the gospel to the nations. God got their attention on that very first Pentecost. He allowed them to see the Holy Spirit on the move, rolling out like a wave across the city of Jerusalem and beyond, filling new believers with a power no one saw coming.

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Jessie Minassian is an author, blogger, and speaker, who prefers to be known for her ability to laugh at herself, a weird obsession with nature-ish stuff, and a penchant for making up words. Learn more about Jessie and her ministry at LifeLoveandGod.com.

 

  • Lindsay LaRoux

    Just started this study and so excited to get started, dig deeper into the Word, and see how through the power of the Holy Spirit, the early church started!

  • Jocelyn Sweetnam

    We are in the midst of planning for next year and revamping women’s ministry in our church. In our weekend services we are looking at Acts and it struck me that this book and the study of it would be of help to me as I put the pieces of our ministry framework together. I’m already learning so much even just from digging deeper and looking closer at what Paul wrote. I loved the power of story and this is one awesome one!

  • Brandie Bolton

    I am loving this!

  • Heather Montz

    This is my first study with SRT. So far I’m really enjoying it. I’ve had a lot happen the past few years and have been out of sync with studying God’s word and picked this app after seeing it suggested in a blog post. I picked this study because we are about to start Acts in Sunday School. I’m really enjoying the format.

  • Without question the Holy Spirit spoke through Peter. Wasn’t it amazing, as you read today’s scriptures, how peter spoke God’s word? We need to know Gods Word so that we can discern whether words and ideas coming at us are the Holy Spirit’s or the worlds. Also notice in this chapter that the work of the Holy Spirit results in the unity of the church. So we can know that any voices coming our way that are negative toward the body are not Gods Spirit.

  • LesleySarita

    I love when the Lord so clearly speaks to me through His word!

  • Christ, not Chris. :). Haha

  • Aloha Anna… When I read your question I felt like I had struggled with that as well. But I realized that if we truly walk with Chris, maybe there isn’t a difference from what we say and what God says through us. Of course there will be times when our mouth is louder or more controlling than God’s, but there will be wonderful times when you say something and you have no idea where that came from ( possibly above). Good luck with your journey!

  • Lindsay B.

    It’s important for us to of course be in a church and have a preacher. We need to hear the word. Faith comets by hearing and hearing the word of God, and how can we hear unless we have a preacher and we need a preacher who is sent from God.

  • Question: so the Holy Spirit can come to us on earth and speak gods will and give us a purpose and advice for our life, right? So, as Christians, how do we differentiate the Holy Spirits words from the world’s words? How can we be sure what’s right? Does my question make sense?

    • Lindsay B.

      Hi Anna c. To sort of answer your question or try to anyway here is what I say, according to what the bible says. We need the in filling of the Holy Ghost, yes they Holy Ghost comes down to us on earth. In Acts 2:38 it tells us how ear can receive this gift: repent, be baptized then receive it. When we receive this gift we shall speak in tongues as did the apostles…. This gift is also meant for us. As Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever( Heb. 13:8). John 3:3 states that who ever does not have the Holy Ghost (aka born again), they will not see the kingdom of God. So with that being said, this Holy Ghost is essential to our walk with God. Also since all scripture is given under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, this H.G will also be what helps us and teaches us how to differentiate between what God says and what the H.G. Says. (John 14:26 ) The H.G. Is what makes the difference.(Acts 1:8) Seek the Lord( Matthew 6:33) when we pray and read the word with the H.G. And also listen to preaching, we will learn what’s right, of course, according to the word. Anything we hear in the world we want to see if It lines up with the word of God. Matthew 7:7 Just ask God sincerely having a desire for all these things and He will answer. It is His will for you obtain this all. It is His will for you to have the H.G. And understanding. I hope that all makes sense to you Anna. The fear of the Lord is also the beginning of wisdom Prov. 9:10.

    • Lindsay B.

      I meant the Holy Ghost helps us differentiate between what the world says and what the Lord says.

    • Nikravesous

      Hi Anna! That is a really great question and one that is a little difficult to answer. Throughout my walk with God, I have slowly learned to distinguish the promptings of the Spirit. It is often referred to as a “still small voice,” and I think that is accurate. Many times I will get the urge to do something out of the ordinary, like engage a stranger in conversation or bring up the Gospel in a potentially uncomfortable/hostel environment, and if I ignore it I often fret about it for days, wondering if I had missed a God appointment. When I do need the voice, God always opens doors to share His word and His love with others in ways that are definitely not of my doing. I hope that makes sense. So that is my experience. Biblically speaking, the Spirit only does the work of God and His works always will glorify Christ and promote the Gospel. So one way to differentiate the voice of the Spirit from that of the world is to ask yourself if what you are thinking promotes Jesus and the Gospel. If it does, then it is of the Spirit and if it doesn’t, it isn’t. It’s that easy. As believers, the longer we are in Christ, the more the Spirit will work in us to sanctify us and mold us into image-bearers of Christ. So hopefully over time your thoughts and the voice of the Spirit will coincide, as Katie says. But sometimes God likes to take you out of your comfort zone and you’ll know something is of the Spirit because it would not be your top choice of things to do! I hope this helps! Shalom!

    • Roberta Lopez

      Why were they given the Spirit in the story we just read? They were given the Spirit so that Gods glory would be multiplied. They were given the Spirit so that the gospel would be shared. The Holy Spirit will never conflict with Gods word, because the Spirit is a part of God. The Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit are one. They will never conflict. We are given the Holy Spirit to help us understand the word of God, to be able to proclaim the gospel, and as a guide in our life. The Spirit tells us to go & tells us to share the good news, tells us to pray for people, those are all to multiply the glory of God. Anytime you are confused whether the Spirit is speaking, ask yourself, “would this advance the Kingdom of God? Will this bring God glory?” If the answer is no, it’s probably not from God. I hope this helps. Praying for you! Feel free to text me at 361-542-9906 I love helping ladies grow in their faith and understanding!

  • Lindsay B.

    Such as should be saved

  • Lindsay B.

    There is a lot going on in the world, but if people reject the truth and what they see then they have chosen their path. A true person who has a diligent heart to seek God will ” taste and see that the Lord is good” Ps. 34:8 We must trust the Lord

  • It’s harder today to see the effective way of bringing the Holy Spirit into being especially with everything going on. When you only hope that all of this horrible news would bring more people back into the church believing God is working and to not worry, but it’s just driving more people away. We, as prayer warriors and God’s followers, need to help bring people back and create another excitement for the church

    • Lindsay B.

      The Holy Ghost is the excitement for the church. If that’s not exciting enough then I don’t know what is. The Gospel is here in Acts 2:38… Our preachers need to teach this, people need to hear how they can receive this gift and I’m sure they will be interested.

    • Gail

      I, too, worry about the direction the world is headed in, especially since I am raising four beautiful children that will need to live in this world I leave behind. I have to continually remind myself that while I am surprised and in shock , God is not. He is not surprised or worried about what is happening. He is on the throne and is still God. I do believe, though, that we, as his body here on earth, need to be his hands and feet. We do need to be living like him so that others may see our ways and then praise our Father in heaven.

  • Carly Voinski

    In regards to big picture church it’s interesting that he people needed to see the signs of the Holy Spirit before they would be able to really grasp and believe what Peter was saying. They saw and then heard. Does that have a place in church today? Are people more receptive to hear the gospel after they have seen the love, grace, audacious faith, etc from the people of the church?– I think so.

  • JJ Smith

    The current church isn’t well known for “living in harmony with other sinners”. We are known for telling sinners they are sinners, which is not our job. Like Peter’s speech, he laid out the truth in love and GOD convicted their hearts and moved them to ask what they should do to remedy the problem they then realized

    • Gail

      Yes, J J Smith! Our preacher is always saying “Do we want to be known for what we stand against? Or what we stand for? ” We want to be known and followers of the most high God.
      “Do we want to keep it all for ourselves, or give it away?” We want to give away all of the love Jesus has shown towards us.

    • Gail

      “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” David, Psalm 16:8
      David knew from whence came his strength. Even at night, when all was quiet and he was probably trying to sleep, his heart instructed him to look upon the Lord. David, even though he was a man with many flaws, made a conscience effort to keep God first. He says that he “sets the Lord always before me.” Because of this, David knew that he could not be shaken.

      Do I always set the Lord before me, or am I more prone to just bring him along beside me? Shame on me if I am not giving God the honor and place he deserves. With God before me, I will not be shaken. That doesn’t believe my life goes according to my plan, or that everything around me stays in place, but I, my sense of who I am, my knowledge of what the Lord has done for me, will NOT be shaken.

      Paul revisits this with the early church. He encourages them to set God before them, always. The people of God gladly met to praise God, eat together, and enjoy each other’s company. They were made to do this; it was their joy and their honor.

      My heart has been convicted to night. Too many times I allow my self – my inner being- to be shaken. Too many times I do not give God the place of honor he deserves – in FRONT. Too many ties I go to church out of routine, or because it’s expected of me. God wants me to go so that I can fellowship with Him and his people and to do so because I love him and he loves me. Thank you Lord!

  • “The Holy Spirit’s influence spread like holy concentric circles, empowering each new believer to live in a revolutionary way.” This same power of influence is possible today. My prayer is for the power of the Holy Spirit to spread through us, through the church, like holy concentric circles. That we would be unbound from tradition and self-consciousness so that we might live in a revolutionary way.

  • Kristine

    “By the power of the Holy Spirit the early church learned to do life in gracious, generous and intentional ways.” I love this reminder and example for our church community!

    • Kristina Echols

      I loved this part. It totally made me question if I was living that way not only within my church community but in all areas of my life. Although, it is such a great reminder that I could not do it without the Holy Spirt.

  • It’s so interesting to see how the coming of Jesus differed from the coming of the Holy Spirit, one quiet and secluded, the other loud and radical. What an amazing gift we’ve been given, the very power of God living and active in us, if only we’d use it. I needed this reminder of the gift I’ve been given and how I should be using it to bring his love to people everywhere I go.

  • “I alone cannot change the World, but I can cast a stone across the waters to make many ripples.” – Mother Theresa

    • Amanda

      One of my favorite quotes. I may make a small difference that ripples out further than I can see!

  • “Concentric circles,” Oh how this resounded with me! Like dropping a stone into a lake, the initial splash is rather dramatic! However, it is the ripples that are truly magnificent, even if they appear to have faded those ripples have left no part of the lake untouched! It is amazing how the Holy Spirit moves in us and those around us. Even if someone seems to be still, they are still rippling!

  • “Jesus taught, and the Holy Spirit would illuminate and convict.” It’s like the Lord is the way and the Holy Spirit is the power. When I re-read Acts 1 I could see how the apostles asked Jesus the way and he responded with the assurance of what the Holy Spirit would do. Like he was saying that it wouldn’t be dependent on him anymore although he continues to be our path. We are now equipped to do the work ourselves.

  • He is good. (:

  • I just wanted to say I am thankful to God for this community of ladies. I have never really read a book of the Bible intentionally with anyone before; usually I read on my own and maybe share my thoughts/revelations from God with close friends. This is such an encouraging environment because everyone here is a precious child of Christ and longs to know Him more deeply through reading scripture. Thank you for being faithful, and praise be to God!

  • I have just returned home a couple day ago from a mission trip with my church in Haiti. I always struggle coming home and how different life (and language) is in both places, but the mission is the same. Peace overcame me, as God pointed out Acts 2:43-47. This described every day of the trip. Praising God through relationships and caring for and sharing with each other. Oh, how I pray I can use this as my guide here at home!

  • How wonderful that we, sisters in Christ, can be united across the cultures of our separate lives and share this Bible study. The Holy Spirit is at work in us all, drawing us together, and bringing revelations and insights and helping us grow spiritually. How tiny that first church, how brand new, and now some 2000 years later, as we find ourselves living in these “last days” and rediscovering the miracle of spirit filled, spirit led Amen.

  • Michelle Bates

    the Gospel. pure and simple. that’s what Peter us sharing. what Jesus did for us. he isn’t boggled down with big words, ie justification, sanctification. he just purely states what Jesus did and what he will continue to do. beautiful. simple. grace.

  • As I was reading this I was thinking about how well spoken Peter was and how I wished I could be so verbose when talking about Jesus and the gospel. It was so refreshing then to read the devotion and realize that this power comes through the Holy Spirit and not the self. I will try to remember this for my future when I want to talk to others about Christ but feel like I cannot, because I alone cannot! But with the Holy Spirit I know that I can.

  • I feel like the last days started the moment Jesus ascended into heaven. We would not the day or the hour of His second coming and therefore all kinds of signs and wonders have been occurring since and have kept everyone watching. Those signs have obviously intensified and we wonder how much longer!

  • HeidiAnne

    Ok – chp 2 v 17 – Is Peter using Joel 2:28 to say that they were currently in the “last days”? Just curious what everyone else’s interpretation of this is!

    • Mary Ann

      I was curious about this too. Because I think the last days in this context only pertains to what was happening in the first century. I was doing some research regarding this and there’s a term called “preterism” which says that all the prophesies that were made regarding the “last days” we’re all fulfilled during the first century, from Jesus’ first coming to AD 70 during the siege of Jerusalem when the temple was destroyed, marking the end of the sacrificial system, completely. And I think the last days also meant the end of an era, meaning the Old Covenant Age, since Jesus’ dwelling on earth marked the beginning of the New Covenant.

      And in Acts 2:17-21, we need to remember that Pentecost was prophesied in Joel 2:28-32. In Acts, Peter is saying that the prophesy made by Joel has been fulfilled in that very moment (Pentecost). I think in a positive outlook, Pentecost was the closing of an era (Old Covenant) and the beginning of the New (Birth of the Church).

      and I think there is a parallel between Mt Sinai & Mt Zion. if you go back to Exodus 32 regarding the golden calf and how Moses brought down the two tablets (Law) and 3,000 men got wiped out. This happened at Mt. Sinai. Fast forward to Pentacost, at Mt Zion, when the Holy Spirit came and Peter preached, 3,000 people were saved, by God’s grace.

      Isn’t that amazing?! That Jesus was the bridge to all of this. From yesterday’s reading in Romans 6:14, sin had no hold on us anymore because we are no longer under LAW, but under GRACE!

  • Kate Spitzer

    I am very intrigued by the verse “and all who believed were together and had all things in common” (1:42). These people were from all over –that is very clearly emphasized at the beginning of the chapter –with different cultures, languages, personal backgrounds. Yet, they have all things in common. The first thing that I thought of when I read this is the great, and all too frequent, divide in the church over interpretation and technicalities. What if we were a united front despite our obvious differences? We could “have all things in common” because we have he same mission. Wouldn’t that be beautiful and so much more powerful?

    • Barbara

      I believe if we all spoke the language that everyone can understand, that would be truly possible. And that is the language of love.

    • Nichole Ovington

      This also stuck out to me. We are somewhat trained to see differences in others. Or at the least we grow into it. It reminds me of why childlike faith is so essential. Kids don’t notice skin color or speech impediments. They say what they feel with complete honesty. It is a level of genuine awe and wonder that we misplace as we become adults. How can we take something that seems to have gotten so complicated back to the roots so that we may thrive?

      • Kate Spitzer

        I like that point, Nichole. Childlike faith is such a beautiful gift. It overlooks so many petty things and prevents the divide caused by the differences.

  • A verse I have never really noticed before: “they committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers.” Let me be committed to these things, God. A prayer in this new season of my life. Thank you, SRT.

    http://www.milestoeden.com

  • Just wanted to say how I’m looking forward to this study!

  • on of the best bible study I am looking forward to this summer

  • Stephanie

    I love the Feast of the Pentacost because it is such a great annual reminder of how powerful the Holy Spirit is. We are given such a gift when we turn to the third person of the Trinity for strength and guidance.

  • Is this a reversal of what happened at the tower of Babel>?

    • Brittany

      Are you asking in regards to speaking in tongues? The Tower of Babel was something completely separate. The Tower of Babel was men trying to build a tower into the Heavens, God saw this and was displeased, of course and as a result gave them each different languages so they could not communicate.
      Here in Acts 2 we see the Holy Spirit as evidence with speaking with tongues. Speaking with tongues is the Holy Spirit, it’s a language that only he can give. Whether is be a known tongue or a heavenly language, it’s something you don’t control, it’s a way to praise, to pray and to get hold of God, it’s also the sign of the Holy Spirit I dwelling a person.

      • Jodi

        Ok well I was thinking something like God was now trying to unify all people with a new divine language in reversing what happened at Babel

        • Brittany

          I understand now, yes I think there is something poetic about this. I was meaning in the literal sense. There’s so many levels of where people are spiritually in this I misunderstood, I took the literal approach. I do believe that there is a beautiful connection in that language is a way he separated us but also part of his redemption and unity.

      • Vanessa Tramm

        Hey Brittany, I totally think God is about redeeming lost things. At the tower of Babel the loss of one United humanity took place and I do believe there’s a connection in seeing that restored unity the early believers enjoyed! Beautiful insight! This passage is clear that they were given the ability to speak in other human languages that were understood by the foreigners present in the crowd. I don’t know as much about present day speaking in tongues. Blessings girl!

    • Rosemary

      That’s one of the many ways this story is traditionally read, yes. Many years ago God’s people were driven apart; now, through the redemptive work of Christ, we are being drawn back together. Obviously it is a symbolic and not literal reversal, but yes, you’re not the first reader to notice that echo or resonance from Genesis.

  • I am really enjoying this Acts series already – thanks for the thoughtful comments on the Scripture portions, that cause me to consider familiar passages in a new way. One of the details we, as Christians, often miss is that those gathered in Jerusalem came to celebrate one of the commanded feasts – Feast of Weeks/Pentecost – a Jewish holy day. That’s why many faithful from surrounding areas had gathered at the Temple (the house) – out of obedience. This feast celebrated the giving of the Covenant at Sinai – & there are many similarities to the signs & account on this momentous Pentecost (wind, fire, sounds, 3,000 saved .vs 3,000 killed, etc.). I have heard it said that the signs/sounds were evidence of God ‘moving His residence’ from the Temple into the hearts of believers, empowering them to reach the world with the Good News! Thanks for your wonderful ministry & speaking particularly to women of the Word.

    • Naomi

      Nancy, I love that! “…God moving his residence from the temple into the hearts of believers…” I was raised in church by a minister, and I don’t recall having ever heard that. Maybe I did and just don’t remember. I have really been looking forward to this study, and am so excited and blessed to have been a part of She Reads Truth for this past year. I thank God for this community of lovely ladies all with the same goal, to draw closer to the Lord. ❤️

    • Ruth

      Thanks for posting the additional insight

  • Thanks for the devotional today Jessie. Was really feeling small this morning, and being reminded of God’s gift to us through the Holy Spirit was just what I needed to hear! God bless!

  • Margaret

    Please pray for my son, Thomas. He has a troubled heart and mind.

  • Leonetta

    What is fascinating about this passage to me is the intentionality of the early church to live together, pool and share resources and deeply care for one another DESPITE their cultural differences. The power of the Holy Spirit is even more powerfully displayed by the reconciling of cultures that moves away from the division based on ethnicity and towards sisterhood and brotherhood in Christ. This is a powerful reminder today for our world so divided around religious, racial, socio-economic and political lines. If the Holy Spirit dwells within us then we have to constantly be willing to confront our own implicit bias that keep us from meaningful relationship with the “other”.

    • jeanne

      Lovely words. The same thoughts came to my mind, especially after the author wrote, “By the power of the Spirit, the early Church learned to do life together in gracious, generous, and intentional ways”. It’s heartbreaking that so often christians are seen as the ones persecuting, judging, and pushing everyone out. Especially during this season of presidential election in America, many are getting the wrong image of Christianity because of the words and actions of the loudest. I pray that as followers of Christ, we can truly be living love so that nonbelievers can look to us, instead of looking away from us.

    • Tami

      Wonderfully said!

    • PronetoWander

      Well said! I think that’s a good take away from this! A good reminder. Thank you!

    • CiAnne

      Yes! Such a great reminder!

  • When I’ve read/studied this in the past, the aspects of community and generosity were always highlighted of the early church. This time I’m noticing more the influence/power of the Holy Spirit. Everyone, even servants will prophesy, and signs and wonders were being done by the apostles. The Holy Spirit came with power and inspired awe.

  • Like the birth of Christ when the angels appeared to the shepherds, God made sure the outside world heard about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Does the world today hear about what God is doing from our churches? Or are we so afraid that we keep it to ourselves?

  • My journey & relationship with God was absolutely rocked to a new level when my space with the Holy Spirt became real, tangible & the utmost peaceful. I can go to this secretly place in my time alone but also during during the day, in joyful moments & in trials. The Holy Spirit is truly the enactment of the God’s hand holding mine, whispering love and guiding me. I pray we rely even more on the “secret space” that the Lord provides for us to commune with the Holy Spirit. It is Fresh, Living Water. Psalm 91:1

  • I recently read a book by Meagan Boudreaux, founder of Respire Haiti. (respirehaiti.org). Miracle on Voodoo Mountain tells her story of being a 24 year old called to Haiti. She knew nobody, had no connections but followed Jesus’ call. She also, btw, did not know the language and therefore could not communicate. The story of what the Holy Spirit does is jaw dropping, fantastic and amazing. You must read the book. And go to Respire Haiti’s website. The Holy Spirit is near to all of us and will gift what is needed to further the salvation of the Lord.

  • Keri Underwood

    I always wondered what it would have been like to be there when all this was taking place. To be there when the church first began to grow. Some people probably thought they had lost their marbles! haha I love that the Lord always uses humble approaches. He used a small house in a small city. He used all kinds of men, not men with vast power and influence. It’s such a sweet reminder that our Father can use us no matter our social class, age, or financial well bring. All we must do is obey Him and He will make a way! Love that!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • By the power of the Spirit, the early Church learned to do life together in gracious, generous, and intentional ways. – I feel like this applies to my family right now. If we could be more gracious and generous towards one another, we would have harmony in our home.

  • Sometimes when I read what happened in those early days, all I can say is wow God!

  • So often the Holy Spirit is an afterthought. What an amazing reminder of the value and importance — not to mention POWER — of God’s active force. Loving this study already!

  • I’ve been really convicted to listen to God more than speak when I pray. I love the reminder that the Holy Spirit was not a consolation prize, but that Jesus even said it would be better when the Holy Spirit came. I hope we can all listen for what God is telling us today!

  • churchmouse

    Thank you, Jessie, for your devotional today! I took many notes – so much to ponder. Praying today for those who serve in the pulpit – that they would speak even as Peter did at Pentecost, a “soul – splitting message” that truly is undeniably the Holy Spirit’s glory on display! No lukewarm message that tickles my ears. No feel – good message that pats me on the head. I want the good news delivered with “a power no one saw coming” – Holy Spirit dunamis power. Nothing less!

  • All this weekend, I felt the Holy Spirit’s presence and guidance all over me during a difficult time. He made me so strong to stand against the evil I saw. I learned very quickly what David said in Psalms… I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. Listen to Bethel, We Will Not Be Shaken —> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KHPIZOdrjI

  • “He promised they would ‘be given what to say at that hour’ (Matthew 10:19). The Spirit of God Himself would speak through them.”

    When I was sixteen I had a job at the local outdoor amphitheater. I was one of the program girls, who’d stand top of the seating and sell the programs and guides to the show. It was an enjoyable job, I met folks from all over AND got to enjoy the live show every time. One night in particular there was a family who only spoke Spanish, I found it intriguing because the entire show was in English and there was no translation available but they appeared excited, none the less. They approached me and seemed to be inquiring about what I was selling, to my surprise, two years of Spanish kicked in and I was able to string together enough words in order that they actually understood what I was saying AND it made sense to them. I shocked myself, never having used an ounce of Spanish outside of class, I’d been convinced I would never remember it all but I knew just enough for that moment and the funny thing was I didn’t even think about it, the words just fell off my lips naturally. When the family walked to their seats, I turned to my colleague, whose mouth was wide open and she said, “I didn’t know you were fluent in Spanish”, to which my shocked self replied, “I’m not really, it’s just from Spanish class”. We both laughed about it but it was an interaction I’d never forget. Now, Twenty-eight years later, I don’t remember much at all but it came in handy when I least expected it all those years ago and as fondly as I remember that experience and as knowledge filled as I felt, the Holy Spirit gifts us with so much more than we would ever learn in a classroom. We can have great confidence that in any situation we will be provided the words needed to reach others, wherever we are, even when we least expect it. God desires connection, both with us and between us … it doesn’t surprise me that He has provided a profound and unique way to allow for that. We needn’t feel inadequate when given an opportunity to reach others, we can have absolute confidence in the Spirit to provide precisely what we need every time, after all, it isn’t about us, it is entirely about Him and He knows no boundaries in reaching His children.

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      What a cool experience B! I have had many encounters in my work life where the Spirit has given me the words to say. One situation in particular comes to mind. I had a very distressed young lady who had been the victim of an assault. I felt overwhelmed and under skilled for helping debrief/counsel her. I went outside, cried out to God for help…sobbing in the staff parking lot…went inside and He did His thing…..not me. I truly don’t even remember the words “I ” said. Later, she came to my office thanking me….said that in the days following, “my” words were things she held onto…..definitely not for me, but from our Father….so thankful He had me there, for that moment and used me to help her….

      • churchmouse

        Your testimony gives me Holy Spirit shivers! So awesome that you were used by Him. And that you were willing. Just awesome!

      • ~ B ~

        So awesome Heather! She must have felt such relief being able to receive such comfort from you and how awesome that God used you in such a way. I can’t imagine how many times you must have to pray over the kids you work with. My default would want to be to try to “fix” everything but you and I both know that only God can do that. That school, those kids and families are so lucky to have you my friend!

    • churchmouse

      My dear friend asked me to speak at her mother’s funeral, expounding on Psalm 23. I had a few notes and my Bible open. When I got to the podium, the lights were so bright I couldn’t see what I had written. So I had to “wing it.” Indeed the Spirit took flight and gave me His words. I honestly can’t tell you what all I said. A number of people approached me afterwards about how moved they were. Believe me, it was all God in that moment. I was so humbled by it all. Yes, the Holy Spirit will give the right words at the right time of we are willing to be His vessel.

      • ~ B ~

        What an opportunity to spread light at a funeral. So glad that God provided the words at such a time and that He used you to provide them, Churchmouse!

    • Christa

      I like what you said about having complete confidence that the Holy Spirit will give us the right words at the right moment. Being fairly young in my faith, I doubt I will have the right, or even correct, words to say in moments when I have the opportunity to witness. I need to have faith, and pray for His words to come out of my mouth, not mine. Next week I am taking a girls trip with three of my close friends, one of which is a nonbeliever. She is often hostile, least of all defensive, at the mention of God, faith, or prayer. I pray that during our three days together , the Holy Spirit comes out of my mouth, not my own fumbling words. I pray that through my actions, and reactions, to her aversion to all things Jesus, that a path can be illuminated for her to find her way to Him.

      • churchmouse

        I’ll pray right along with you from here

      • ~ B ~

        That is a tough place to be Christa! I will also be prayerful this week and next. I sincerely hope that God plants seeds of comfort for you in this time and seeds of curiosity in your friend’s heart that allow her to soften in her responses. I will also be prayerful that you have an enjoyable and memorable time!

  • God’s word reaches everywhere. All can hear his word if we are willing to listen. I’m always rushing to the next event or next step and I don’t have the patience to hear. Lord help me to slow down and hear the words you are speaking. Trust your plan in your time.

  • This is the first study I have done with SRT and so far I am loving it! I would say I am still on the “baby Christian” stage. I am so excited to learn more about the church and its journey!

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      Welcome Jess! We are so glad you have joined us here Sister!

    • PronetoWander

      I hope you don’t feel any less of a Christian when you say ‘baby Christian’ sometimes new eyes and that excitement to know more is better than when other people have been doing this their whole life and feel they’ve heard it all! I’m excited for you! You get to see everything with a new perspective! Welcome to the kingdom!

  • Wow. Lately, I’ve focused on praying for the Holy Spirit to direct my words when I am around unbelievers, but this passage reminds me how effective the Spirit is in their hearts, minds and ears. It revealed to me how important it is to pray specifically that the Holy Spirit works in my unbelieving friends.

    • Emily

      Yes! Great reminder to us that though he guides our words, ultimately it is the Holy Spirit that makes their hearts receptive to our words and actions.

    • PronetoWander

      Thanks for sharing! I’m going to write your words down and remember to pray for my unbelieving family members like that!

    • Lynn C

      Great reminder for me! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Linda K

      Thx!

  • Always the perfect plan at the perfect time. Awesome

  • candacejo

    Beautifully written! “The Counselor is not a consolation prize. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to the Church.” It is the power of God literally LIVING inside of us! The birth of THE CHURCH in the book of Acts is more than exciting when we realize it wasn’t just for then and it wasn’t just for them. The Holy Spirit is still being poured out just as it was on the Day of Pentecost. I have seen many people filled with the Spirit, just as they were then, and have heard stories down through the years of people receiving the Holy Spirit and speaking in an unknown tongue that someone STANDING BESIDE them knew but the person speaking did NOT know the language at all! How cool is that! So my question was always, “What were they saying when they received it?” And the answer was always the same, “They were giving God praise!” Just as in the book of Acts it says “…we do hear them speak the wonderful works of God.”

    It excites me beyond belief to know that God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. That we can have that same power, that the Holy Spirit is stilled being poured out today, in these last days and we are seeing miracles, signs and wonders take place just as they did then. It is the only thing that brings hope to a sinful world. ♥

  • Elisabeth

    I love that right from the start, on the very first Pentecost, there were already people from all over the world who received the message of Christ. In a commentary I read alongside today’s reading it was said that this first sermon of Peter, that reached a lot of different nationalities, eased the way for the mission and that many of those first Christians, when they returned to their home cities, spread the news so that when Paul arrived, the seed was already planted! I love how this shows that God has the perfect plan!

    • Sarah_Joy

      So awesome how God works!

      • Brittany

        Pentecost is a Jewish festival also called The Festival of Harvest (Leviticus 23:15-22). Alas, this wasn’t the first Pentecost, but is truly is wonderful that during such a happy festival bringing Jews from different countries that they heard the Good News!

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