Brave New World Day 3

Read Acts 2:12-21 - And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”  But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.  15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
“And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
And it shall come to pass that ceveryone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

     When God is working in our lives, it can seem like things are chaotic and disorderly. We thought about that yesterday. As we see with the crowd’s response to the Holy Spirit working through the disciples, outsiders will see the disruption as well, and they will look for answers the only way they know: simple rational thinking. There is something to be said about that. Even God asks us to reason with Him, but when we reason without Him we are missing the most important element. 
     As the disciples began to carry on, responding in obedience to the Holy Spirit by speaking the gospel in many languages, people assumed they were drunk. This kind of criticism has kept many followers of Christ from doing the seemingly crazy things God has asked them to do. Who of us wants to be accused of being drunk or worse when we are obeying the move of the Holy Spirit? Peter wasn’t about to let that criticism stop him. Instead, he used their assumptions as an opportunity to start a new conversation in which he briefly denied the drunkenness of the disciples and then expounded the work of Christ on the cross. Instead of getting defensive, Peter offered salvation. Two things we can briefly take from these two verses are that fear is no reason to ignore what God asks us to do and that criticism is a perfect opportunity to share the gospel in love.

Journal about a time you know that God asked you to do something and you declined for fear. Ask God for forgiveness and ask Him to help you face fear knowing He loves you.

Think about the criticisms that the church receives in our time. How can we turn these criticisms into opportunity for conversations about the gospel?

Write out your personal testimony. Make it about a page long or shorter. Read through it once a day for a few weeks until you can share it in less than five minutes. Our personal God stories are often the best way to open the door to sharing the gospel with others.