Monday, May 21, 2012

Come Holy Spirit!

In yesterday's preaching (which I outlined, more or less, last Monday) I referred to the Acts 10 account Peter's repentance* and the amazing results.  Peter preached to people who had never heard him before, and "the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message" (Acts 10:44).

As I'm thinking about next week's preaching, which will focus on Acts 2, I echo a question that comes out of the group I work with as I prepare: "What step can you take to grow in Passionate Spirituality, Radical Community and Missional Zeal?"  Let's allow God to speak to us so we repent of whatever is holding us back!


Repentance means a "change of mind" and that's just what happened in Acts 10 in the Apostle Peter's life.  By supernatural means God led Peter away from religious traditions he had held to all his life, bringing him into a more open spiritual place.  "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right" (Acts 10:34).  He said this in the home of a Gentile Christian by the name of Cornelius, a home he he had entered with the following announcement: "You are well aware that is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or to visit him.  But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.  So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection" (Acts 10:28-29).  God had led Peter to a radical change of mind, a change that did not bring him farther from God, but closer than he had ever been.  Such intimacy brought the amazing results I refer to above from Acts 10:44.

It is absolutely necessary, however, that we do not give into peer pressure or social niceties in order to somehow gain influence over people.  Only God has the right to demand change of us.  And only when God is in charge of the repentance will the Spirit that comes upon amazed people be the Holy One.  There are plenty of politicians and religious leaders who try to stir up excitement by giving into popular demands.  This is not what happens in Acts 10!  Here, God is in charge!

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