Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

Belong & Become, Week 4, Day 23

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The church did not creep into history. It did not emerge in a quiet and gradual manner, with incremental increases in interest and commitment. No. It was jump started at Pentecost. It exploded into life and burst into history. Thousands of people responded to just one sermon!

And notice the disciples were counting the response and celebrating this dynamic growth. Later the pattern shifted and “day by day” the Lord added to their number. Mass evangelism and large scale conversation gave way to steadier, quieter witness and growth, spurred through relationships and formed through the unspectacular means of prayer, friendship, fellowship, worship, sharing and the loving care of neighbors.

Sometimes there is spectacular revival. Most often the church grows by steady faithful practices.

How effective are you as a witness?

What is your personal strategy?

ACTS 2:37-41 |  37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” 40 And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. 

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in Lent

Belong & Become, Week 4, Day 22

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After the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, Peter gave the first sermon, a public speech in Jerusalem to a crowd of Jews who had come to the city for the annual festival. The change is remarkable in this courageous disciple! Previously a fearful betrayer who abandoned his Lord in the moment of greatest need, Peter now speaks boldly of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, and calls his fellow Jews to repentance and baptism. This change was fueled by 40 days of blessing and teaching with his resurrected Master and then the empowerment of God’s spirit.

Jesus’ promises about marvelous power and presence are evident in Peter. He’d told the disciple not to worry about what to say, but explained that the spirit would give them the words in the moment that were needed. He had called the spirit “parakletos,” the advocate, naming this Holy presence as a powerful inner counselor who can speak for and with us.

He’d commanded his disciples to be witnesses, first in Jerusalem, then to the ends of the earth, once they were “clothed with the power from on high.” The Old Testament hopes for a savior and an outpouring of God’s spirit are fulfilled in Christ and Pentecost, and this is made clear to Peter. Jesus had promised his spirit would be an interpreter and teacher making connections clear.

What is most powerful to you about Peter’s sermon?

ACTS 2:1-4 | 1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

ACTS 2:14-17 | 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.

ACTS 2:21-24 | 21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 22 “You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— 23 this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. 24 But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.

ACTS 2:32-33 | 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear.



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