July 16

Acts 2:37-39 37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" 38Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call."

One hundred and twenty of the followers of Jesus had gathered to wait and pray for the power Jesus had promised. The Spirit was poured out, and they were all filled with Him. They supernaturally spoke the languages of the people that were gathered for the Jewish Feast of Pentecost. Peter preached the first sermon of the newly born church of Jesus Christ. Thousands of people were convicted of their sin of having executed Jesus. They asked the disciples what they should do?

Preaching today should be no different than that first sermon. It should be given in the power of the Spirit. It should convict of sin. It should cause the hearers to ask what God wants them to do. The disciples told the people to repent and be baptized, in other words, have a complete change of mind and attitude, and give yourself to a new master, Jesus the Messiah.

Baptism is not only a declaration that you are beginning a new direction in life, but it also declares you are submitting yourself to a new master. The crowd was promised that if they did this, they too would receive the Holy Spirit.

In the power of the Holy Spirit Peter preached a message that he did not fully understand. He declared that the promise was for all who are far off, for all whom the Lord our God will call. He interpreted it as meaning for the scattered Jews. God would have to speak to him later in this book of Acts to help him understand more fully what he had preached.

Servant of God, the power to change lives is the presence and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Peter's message bore fruit, not because of Peter's wisdom or oratory skill, but because the Spirit had indwelt Him and was given the freedom to work through Him.

Consider: Whatever your ministry, if it is going to bear fruit, the same must be true for you.