Read Acts 2:1-4
I. Disciples Energized. On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were gathered together. We read here in the Sunday School material that sounds of wind and what appears to be fire are described. The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.
- God’s mysterious ways of getting us to serve. Notice in vss. 1-4 of our Sunday School material that God works in mysterious ways to get us focused on doing His will.
We really miss the point of the annual Day of Pentecost, the sound of wind, the appearance of something that looks like fire, and the speaking in other languages being mentioned, if we don’t appreciate that God uses all of this to further His will for the disciples to do a work for Him.
In like manner, when we focus on sounds, what things look like, and practicing speaking in tongues but fail to serve the Lord by ministering to the needs of people, we too have missed the point.
Let’s work on appreciating how God works in mysterious ways to get us to do His will. Our appreciation should lead to our obedient serving. To be filled with the Spirit is to be controlled by Him. When God is in control, we serve Him by responding to the needs of others.
Read Acts 2:5-13
II. Visitors Confounded. In our Sunday School material the people of the city gathered to see what was going on. They were amazed to hear the disciples speaking in the languages of the various people who had gathered in Jerusalem.
The disciples were talking about the wonders of God. Some people mocked the disciples and said they were drunk on wine.
- Obeying God, in spite of what people expect. Notice in vs. 7 that God can use those to whom others have assigned low expectations. In other words, just because people don’t expect much out of you doesn’t mean God cannot do great things in and through your life.
People did not expect much from those who came from Galilee, specifically the ability to speak other languages. But God had the last word on that matter. And God has the last word on what He will use us to do.
Let’s focus on God’s will for our lives more than on people’s low expectations for us.
- Speaking in tongues. Notice in vs. 8 of the Sunday School material that speaking in tongues means speaking in languages that others can understand. The aim of tongues was not to edify the speaker or to engage in a private conversation with God, in front of a crowd.
The aim of tongues was to communicate with others about the goodness of the Lord. In like manner, we should aim to communicate with others about the goodness of the Lord, in tongues or languages that others will understand.
For example, when doing street ministry, one would do well to dress casually and speak in unchurched laymen terms, instead of “churchy” terms. Being saved from going to Hell is easier for some to understand than the term justification.
Let’s work on being a witness to people in tongues/languages that they can understand.
- African people. Notice in vs. 10 the mention of African places, which strongly implies that people of color are in view.
It damages the African American believers’ self-image and self-love to think that all of the people in the Bible were blond haired, blue eyed, and pale Charleston Hesston types.
This stereotype also hurts European American believers. It gives them a false sense of superiority and inaccurate view of the people in the Bible.
Let’s work on trying to be as accurate as we can, in understanding what was going on during Bible times. We ought not compromise accuracy for Hollywood’s concern with profits, racist agendas, or ignorance.
- Mocking rejection. Notice in vs. 13 of our Sunday School material that there were those who mocked what they did not understand. Sadly, there are still people like this today. We should make sure that we don’t join this crowd.
Because God is so big and so mysterious, we should be careful about mocking what we don’t understand. We may be mocking God and His will, as in the text. Let’s work on withholding our mocking rejections, until we really understand what is going on.
Think about how this applies to the multicultural challenges that are before us and the many more that are on the way. We don’t all worship the same way, don’t have the same values, and don’t live out our values in the same way.
Read Acts 2:14-16
III. Peter Emboldened. Peter addressed the crowd. He rejected the idea that the disciples were drunk with wine. He explained that the people were experiencing what had been prophesied in the book of Joel.
- Taking advantage of opportunities. Notice in vss. 14-16 of our Sunday School material that Peter took advantage of the opportunity to witness about the Lord.
We should seek the spiritual discernment, courage, and energy to take advantage of the opportunities before us to be a witness for the Lord.
This is not to say that we should always walk around with the large family Bible in hand. But it is to say that we should be ready and willing to talk about God and His will. The best way to know God and His will is to prayerfully study and obey His trustworthy word, the Bible.
Let’s work on letting God us use to take advantage of the opportunities before us.
Conclusion: Let’s work on letting God have His way in using us to be a witness to others. God has much for those who obey His will.
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