SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
Bad News & Good News!
by Dave Mann
It is the Day of Pentecost, a great festival that drew many believing Jews to Jerusalem. Peter, freshly filled with the Holy Spirit, stands up in the courtyard of the temple and proclaims the gospel to the people. But notice that Peter does not sugarcoat the message. He does not make it appear that there is no problem, that he has only positive news to report. The good news is real and effective because the preacher acknowledges that there are some serious issues at stake.
This Jesus, whom you crucified…
They were cut to the heart.
With many other words, he warned them.
Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.
Tough words! Abrasive words! Peter does not sidestep the travesty that came about fifty days prior to Pentecost.
But Peter, in addition to laying these harsh words on the table in full view of the situation, also shows the way out; he shares the grace of God.
God has made this Jesus both Lord and Messiah.
Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.
You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The promise is for you and your children.
Words of assurance! Words of grace and hope! Peter announces the goodness of God.
Sin is serious business, but God’s provision is more serious still. Our rebellion against the Lord God Almighty is cosmic treason. How foolish it is to think that we can simply ignore our iniquity and it will just go away through neglect.
But of how much more value is the appeal from this same God, whom we have scorned, to come to him in confession and faith? He promises us the gift of his Holy Spirit, and that he will give this same gift also to our children. Even when we are far away, he draws us near. Admitting honestly the severity of our error highlights the shining beauty of the forgiveness of our sins and the closeness of a new relationship with Jesus.
When we recognize and respond to this call, our hearts are warmed with the joy of new life in Christ.
O Lord God, my sin is ever before me, but your love wraps your arms around me. I will be eternally grateful. Amen