Acts 2:37 “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart...”
By: Chad Clarkson, Executive Director, Houston Church Planting Network
April 1, 2018
He is risen! Today we have the opportunity to celebrate our risen Savior Jesus Christ. We not only celebrate with our respective local churches, but with other believers in Houston and around the world that the grave is indeed empty.
Easter and the resurrection serves as a reminder that our faith is well-founded as we trust in Christ’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. The resurrection also always seems to bring with it a renewed sense of mission. It was the resurrection that emboldened the disciples and it is the resurrection that should fuel a renewed passion in us for Jesus and His mission.
For the next 50 days we want to encourage you to pray along with others throughout the church in Houston. We chose 50 days because it represents the seven weeks between Easter and Pentecost. A lot happened in those 50 days: the hope of the resurrection, Jesus appearing to his disciples, His ascension into heaven, and the birth of the church.
This year our 50 day theme is simply revival. I know that word probably carries with it a lot of different experiences and definitions for people. To be clear we aren’t talking about a scheduled meeting, an evangelism event, church growth, an emotional extravaganza, or anything we bring about by human effort. I like how author and student of spiritual awakenings Richard Owen Roberts defines it...
“Revival is an extraordinary movement of the Holy Spirit producing extraordinary results.” - Richard Owen Roberts
The Spirit of God is always at work, but during seasons of revival there seems to be a greater sense of the work of the Holy Spirit. This seems to manifest through a deeper love for Jesus, greater conviction of sin, an increase in spiritual conversions, and an expansion of the work of God through the ministry of His people.
It was 50 days after the resurrection, where in Acts 2, Peter delivers his sermon at Pentecost. The second half of that sermon he’s preaching about Jesus and as he concludes Luke records the response of the people... “now when they heard this they were cut to the heart”. (v37) God had pricked the listener’s hearts and they repented and began to follow Jesus.
My hope is that as we unite in prayer we would see God prick our own hearts and move in our lives, our churches, our communities, and our city. Please join in and pray along with us these next 50 days for revival. There will be a daily devotional that will be posted as an opportunity to reflect and pray together. I look forward to watching how God answers our united prayers.
As I reflect on the resurrection today I say thank you. Thank you for the cross and the hope that the reality of the resurrection brings. Today, and over the next 50 days, I want to pray specifically for revival. I realize that revival starts in my own heart, so I pray that my love for you Lord would continue to grow. Convict me of my sin and may your kindness bring me to repentance in all areas of my life that Jesus is not center. I pray for our churches. May those that lead and serve them grow in intimacy with you. May those in whom you dwell be drawn deeper into your love and mission. I pray for our city. I pray that your Spirit would draw people to yourself and for many in Houston to move from death to life. All for your glory. Amen