Acts 2:16 “But this is that which was spoken of through the prophet Joel...”
By: Dr. David Edwards, Pastor of Discipleship, Church Project
Our unfaithfulness is not our undoing. Many believers live with a feeling of shame about their relationship with God. Their mistakes clutter the mind, cloud the heart, and create confusion. Whenever shame sets in, be sure condemnation is not far behind. A life of faith becomes a tangled mess.
Peter is the New Testament case study of a believer who had his share of messes. He was emotionally unstable, ranging from a sense of the heroic to hatred and hiding. He was given to moments of angry outbursts, erratic decisions, and denial. We must not forget that unfaithfulness does not mean we are unusable.
That was a lesson Peter had learned from Jesus when the disciples sat on the beach eating with Jesus. Jesus, now resurrected, looked Peter in his eyes, assured him he was forgiven, loved and still had a purpose to fulfill. Peter embraced it with his whole heart. That Jesus loves me and is for me, is the antidote to guilt and shame. Nothing will awaken courage like knowing you are not condemned and Jesus is with you.
Peter stood before the crowd with an awakened soul, kindled by the fire of Jesus, free of his old ways that had for so long rivaled for his loyalty. Now, awakened with great power and clarity, Peter says, “this is that,” which the prophet Joel foretold. A word of the coming of the Spirit spoken hundreds of years ago was now the experience of 3,000 people. What was once prophecy now shapes their present and our today.
The Spirt became a reality for Peter and his generation because he was awakened to the promise of the Spirit. He opened his soul, gave his beating heart and intellect as an instrument to the work of Jesus. Otherwise, there would have been no “this” or “that.” It is through yielded will that the power of God acts.
God makes possible what His people will trust Him and believe Him for. God, in return, provides His Spirit to give us the courage to accomplish great things in His name – to be brave in the midst of unbelieving crowds.
Dear Lord I realize it’s now or never, lead me into the truth that all is right between you and me. Knowing you love me and are for me outstrips all my guilt and condemnation. In you I find great courage to live bravely.