This morning I am reading in Acts 2:1-21. The apostles are pretty much where I left them yesterday, waiting for the Holy Spirit. They will wait a total of ten days before the Holy Spirit will come on them with the sound of a rushing wind and appearing as tongues of fire (Verses 2-3). The Spirit immediately manifests Himself, enabling them to speak in all the various languages of the people then gathered in Jerusalem. Each heard them testifying to the greatness of God in their native tongue (Verses 4-12). Peter capitalizes on their amazement by preaching the first recorded sermon of the new church.
In his opening (Verses 14-21), Peter recognizes that the events that have just taken place are the partial fulfillment of an Old Testament passage from Joel 2:28-32. Not only did Peter acknowledge that God had worked, he was so intimately familiar with God's Word that he saw the connection between those events and scripture. God pierces my heart with truths applicable to me today.
- God Works in Harmony with His Word - When I pray for selfish desires or out of a place of envy, bitterness or spite, I am not praying in tune with God's Word. I deeply desire to see God work in my life. Since He only works that way, I need to focus my prayers to things that do honor God and stay within the guidelines He's set for me. This requires me to actually know what's in the Word. I can't pray within His boundaries when I have absolutely no clue what those boundaries might be. I need to continue to diligently read, study and memorize God's Word.
- He Works Whether or Not I Acknowledge it - Verse 6 states that a crowd gathered in response to sound of the Spirit's arrival. A crowd however does not include everyone. There must have been many that heard the sound but chose to ignore it and return to the duties of their day. Just because they didn't acknowledge what had happened doesn't mean God didn't work. How often does God work and I just go on about my business without even pausing to notice let alone thank and praise Him for what He's done? I need to be aware of what God is doing and have a grateful heart for what He does.
- God Works in My Life So I Can Tell Others - When Peter saw God work, he immediately took advantage of the opportunity to inform others about what God had done and why. God's work in my life is not just for my benefit, but also that I may be a blessing to others. I need to remember to relay to others the mighty ways He has worked and continues to work in my life.
The issue for me today is not how quickly these first forty years have passed but what I plan to do with the next forty. Will I dive into God's Word daily and apply what I learn to my life so I can pray according to the Word? Will I live a life of awareness of God's working in my life and overflow with thankfulness? Will I capitilize on every opportunity God gives me to tell someone else the incredible things He's done in my life?