Today’s Reading: Acts 2:37-41
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter STEPPED FORWARD and preached what might have been his first sermon. Scripture says: Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles – all who have been called by the Lord your God.” – Acts 2:37-39
We have all been called BY God TO salvation WITH the promise that we will receive the Holy Spirit. I want to have a Peter-kind-of-life! I want to BE BOLD in my actions, stepping forward and speaking God’s truths. I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that hearts can be pierced by what HE has for them to hear. But when was the last time I was Peter-bold?
Lord, help me to grow in YOU. Forgive me for my immaturity and my sinful attitudes. Forgive me for my delayed obedience, fear and complacency. Lord, empty me of all that is sinful and fill me with your Spirit. I know that you have called me. Lord, I wholeheartedly say “yes” to your call.
Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”
Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day – about 3000 in all. – Acts 2:40-41
Now that’s what I call being a fisher of men! Peter’s “catch” that day was great and here’s what I believe is the secret to his success:
– He accepted God’s call, took action and STEPPED FORWARD.
– He did not preach his own words but was filled with the Spirit…He got LOUD!
– This infilling of the Spirit was because he had confessed his sins and turned to God for the forgiveness of his sins.
– He preached for a long time.
– He strongly urged his listeners with BOLDNESS.
How hard do we try? Do we simply live a good life and hope someone will notice and follow God, or do we follow Peter’s approach? When was the last time I was “Peter-bold”? If I want results like Peter saw that day, not for my glory but for the sake of those coming to Christ for forgiveness, I must consider the possibility that there will be times when God is calling me to step forward without hesitation and be patient. It may take a long time and many discussions before a heart is moved. I may need to use persistence and passion in my approach.
Persistence, patience and passion – those are some powerful ingredients in my life. I need the Holy Spirit in order to have any of these. But there is one more ingredient I need – purity. I need the work of the Holy Spirit to purify my heart if I am going to be used of God.
If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! Get rid of your sins and leave all iniquity behind you. Then your face will brighten in innocence. You’ll be strong and free of fear. You will forget your misery. It will all be gone like water under a bridge.” – Job 11:13-16
Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.” – Joshua 3:5
If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
If you keep yourself pure you will be a utensil that God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. – 2 Timothy 2:21
So, if I want the Master to use me for every good work, I must prepare my heart and pray to Him. I must purify myself, but how? I cannot make myself clean. But, if I confess that I have sinned, He is faithful and will forgive me and HE will purify me from my unrighteousness. Then the key ingredient is not MY purity but HIS holiness.
These are what I need to have to PREPARE myself for all that He wants to do in and through me today. This is what I need to do if I want to BE BOLD for God.