Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A changed man

Apostles Baptized with the Holy Spirit (From Treasures of the Bible).
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 2:22-39

“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’” Acts 2:37

Yesterday we read the end of Mark, where Jesus commissions His disciples to  spread the good news of all that has happened (Mark 16:15-18). Bible scholars believe that the book of Mark is Peter’s account of events surrounding the life and death of Jesus as told to his close companion John Mark (calls him “my son” in 1 Peter 5:13).

It’s interesting to contrast the fearful and foundation-rocked Peter of just before the crucifixion (Luke 22:31-34; 54-62) to the Peter we see here. In just over 50 days, in the interim never attending an hour of Bible school or Theology college, he is a changed man. Now he is confident, bold, articulate, insightful, absolutely clear about what all the events and happenings regarding Jesus mean, and how they fit into God’s plan revealed in the Old Testament. How does that difference come about?

I’m sure this new Peter is the result of what has just happened—the giving of the Holy Spirit baptism - Acts 2:1-14. Jesus had told the disciples to wait with carrying out their assignment of telling the gospel until after they had received the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:48,49). They had done so and it wouldn’t surprise me if the outcome shocked even them.

So much was available to the disciples and is available to us through the Holy Spirit:
  • Given by Christ - Matthew 3:11.
  • We can ask for Him - Luke 11:13.
  • He is called Helper - John 14:16; 16:7.
  • He gives power for witness and ministry - Acts 1:8.
  • He gives unique abilities to prophesy and speak in other tongues - Acts 19:6.
  • His anointing comes with downloads of knowledge (1 John 2:20,27) including what to say in dangerous situations (Luke 12:12; Mark 13:11) and an ability to remember Christ’s relevant words and teachings (John 14:26).
  • He reassures us we are God’s children - Romans 8:16.
  • He teaches and enlightens us in spiritual truth - 1 Corinthians 2:13.

This is only a partial list but we get the idea. It is through the Holy Spirit that Peter becomes an eloquent and bold speaker in a day and it is that same Spirit that accompanies, changes, and empowers us!

PRAYER: Dear Father, I ask for courage and faith to make more of myself available to Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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