pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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The Opportunity

Reading: Acts 2: 37-41

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

The people that were drawn to the place that the church was gathered feel remorse over their role in crucifying Jesus. Yesterday we felt our role so today we can relate to how they felt. Their question of Peter is, “What shall we do”? Their hearts told them they needed to respond. It is a familiar feeling, isn’t it? We have felt it when we see someone in great need. We have felt it when we have sinned and have felt the conviction.

Peter’s response is basic Christianity 101: “Repent and be baptized”. Leave your old way of life and enter into new life with Jesus Christ. Leave behind your sinful ways and begin to walk as a follower of Jesus Christ. Leave behind not only your sins but the guilt and shame that we often associate with wrong-doing. In this case, Peter wants them to leave behind their remorse for their role in the crucifixion. Only then can they claim their new resurrection life as they begin to walk as new creations in Christ. As they make the good confession and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, they too will receive what drew them to this time and place – the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Then, in verse 39, we see Peter beginning to understand just what Jesus meant when he gave the great commission. In verse 39 Peter says, “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call”. The idea of making disciples of all nations and of going to the ends of the earth are starting to settle into Peter. God will continue to work in and through Peter to make the gospel known. Many others will have a hand in sharing the good news – James and John and the other disciples, Paul and Timothy and Silas. The first disciples will teach new disciples. The work will continue on. The list of disciples of Jesus Christ goes on down through the ages. It continues to grow in 2020. The range of the church expands and now the gospel reached around the globe.

Yet there are still places that the good news of Jesus Christ has not yet taken root. One might be just down the street. One might be in the next office over from yours. One might be in the pew next to you when we once again can gather together. Peter took the opportunity to share the gospel as the opportunity presented itself. 3,000 were added to the church that day. May we, like Peter, make the most of the opportunities that God gives us. May we share the promises of resurrection with a world in need of the good news of Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Lord God, help me to share the good news today in whatever form I can. Give me words to speak, prayers to offer, actions to take. Lead me by the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.


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Good

Reading: Jeremiah 4: 11-12 and 22-26

As I read Jeremiah today, I wondered how similar the world today looks to God.  I wonder how much of the earth seems to be filled with people who do not know God and who are skilled at doing evil.  From God’s perspective, is the world still a good place?

If one reads the headlines of the world news feed, the stories of violence and evil certainly dominate the news.  But, in general, I believe they involve a very, very small percentage of the world.  For example, on a day when terrorists strike and kill scores of people, there are billions and billions of people not doing evil.  While evil in all forms must be and is addressed, those perpetrating violence and evil acts are still in the very small minority.

While most of the world’s seven billion plus people are not Christians or other God-believing people, I do believe the spark of God resides in all humanity.  In each human being is the inate sense of good and evil.  Some choose to do evil for a variety of reasons, but there is still that twinge of good in all but the rarest of people.  Because if this spark of the divine, most people seek to be a ‘good’ person.  Most people will not intentionally harm another person and will feel remorse when they do so.  Most people will try and treat their ‘neighbor’ well and will help another when presented with the opportunity.

Through the New Testament we understand our call as Christians to be to bring the good news to all people of all nations.  This is both a collective and individual charge.  Some are missionaries in far corners of the world.  Some are translating and providing Bibles to people all around the world.  But for most of us, the charge is right here in our own family, right here in our own neighbor, right here at our job or school.  Today, each of us will have opportunity to do good and to be the gospel lived out.  May we make the most of our opportunities today.