Peter and John continued preaching about Jesus, and people were listening - including the church leaders, who had Peter and John arrested. Their experience shows us that, when we are serving God, we will encounter opposition. However, that should not dissuade us, because we will also see God transform lives through His grace.
Fresh off Peter and John’s healing of the man who had been lame since birth, they had the people’s attention. Peter preached to them not of their own power, but of God and His plan to provide healing for all of mankind. This provision from God was a plan laid out across the ages, involving the Prophet of the Lord Who would make the supreme sacrifice.
Some time after Pentecost, Peter and John were going into the temple for mid-afternoon prayer. They had probably walked past the same beggar many times, but on this day, they truly saw him. They had no money, but they knew that what he really needed was to be introduced to Jesus. In the same way, we should strive to truly see those around us, and share Jesus with them.
After Peter’s powerful sermon, the Spirit of God changed the hearts of those came to Him. However, their change was not just an inward change; this affected their outward lives as well. They saw awesome power displayed, they showed compassion for their fellow man, they worshiped the Lord, and they experienced joyful growth.
Peter came a long way from the disciple who denied Jesus 3 times before He was crucified. On Pentecost, Peter stood up firm in his belief in the One Who had restored him. God’s work through Peter serve as an example to us on how God empowers His people as they stand boldly and proclaim His Word; He gives us the courage to stand, an understanding of His purposes, words that can penetrate hearts, and the only source of spiritual regeneration and growth.
The Feast of Weeks, also known as Pentecost, was a celebratory feast which saw Jews assemble in Jerusalem from all over the known world. This was when the Holy Spirit arrived on the 120 followers who had been told to wait, and His arrival signaled a move of God upon His people, with its effects felt throughout the world.
After Jesus had returned to heaven, His disciples were dedicated to the mission they had been given. There were two ways we can see their dedication - their unity of heart, and their perseverance in prayer. Today, these two aspects are hallmarks of Christians who continue to be dedicated to making our Lord’s name great.
Many people today are fixated on various things - cell phones, social media, politics, and the like. As Christians, though, our efforts should be fixed on God’s purpose for our lives; as we do this, we must be sure we are not focusing on the wrong thing (even though it may be a good thing), or focusing on simply keeping things the same. God has called us to be His witnesses here, today.
The Lord’s Supper is a memorial to Christ’s sacrifice. It not only reminds us of what He has done, it also shows us how far we have drifted, and helps us understand that He can change us into what we were created to be.
(There were two periods of silence during the service that have been removed from this recording, one for technical issues and one for a time of reflection.)
As Jesus spoke with His disciples in the upper room, He prophesied His coming death. Beyond that, though, He said that the key to serving God was following His example. By following Him, our faith cannot be hidden, and will bear much fruit.
(There were some technical issues early in this recording; they resolve around 10 minutes in.)