Reflection on Acts 2:1-21

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Scripture

Everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages as the Holy Spirit gave hem the ability.

Observation

It is the Day of Pentecost, and all the believers are in one place. Suddenly there is a noise like a mighty wind and something like tongues of fire settle on each one.

Everyone present is filled with the Holy Spirit and begins to speak other languages in the power of the Holy Spirit. People hearing the commotion come running and are perplexed to hear the disciples praising God in various languages. Some ascribe it to God, others to drunkenness.

Peter stands up and points the hearers to the prophet Joel who had prophesied that in the last ays the Spirit would be poured out on all flesh.

Application

How awesome it is that every believer has the ability to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is God’s Spirit dwelling in us and empowering our speech to God’s glory.

Everyone present was filled- there were no exceptions. The gift of the Holy Spirit is available to all ages, to women and men.

The outward sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit was the gift of tongues; the ability to praise God and to pray in a language you don’t know, a special prayer language.

When we don’t know how to pray, praying in tongues is a means by which the Holy Spirit in us intercedes on our behalf.

The presence of the Holy Spirit was not just for the believers who were there. It was for unbelievers also- those who heard the noise but did not know what it meant. This event led to the hearts of many being softened and prepared for Peter’s message so that 3000 people were saved that day.

The power of the Holy Spirit changes everything.

Prayer

Come and fill me Holy Spirit. Let my tongue be used to praise you and my heart set on fire by your love. Amen.

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Reflection on John 17:1-19

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Scripture

“Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.”

Observation

Jesus is praying prior to His arrest and crucifixion.

He asks the Father to glorify Him so He can give glory back to the Father. Jesus has been given authority to give eternal life to all who come to Him.

Jesus revealed the Father to everyone who believed His message. He asks his Father to protect the disciples who remain in the world.

The world hates Jesus’ followers. Therefore Jesus asks the Father to protect them. They are not to be taken from the world but protected in it.

Application

Jesus was sent into the world. The word “sent” is apostello from which we get the word apostle. It has the sense of being sent by a king for a particular mission, representing the king in another country. The word “world” here is cosmos which refers to the spiritual and cultural forces which resist God’s sovereignty.

Jesus was sent by our heavenly Father into the world which has rejected His reign. Jesus was sent to establish a kingdom of disciples or followers who would do His will in the world.

In exactly the same way, Jesus now sends His disciples into the world to continue His mission.

We are apostles, missionaries, ambassadors of a kingdom that is not of this world. We have been sent here for a purpose to further God’s kingdom by confronting the powers and principalities that hold people in bondage.

We are to serve a kingdom that is higher and greater than our limited ambitions. We serve the King of Kings, the Lord who established His kingdom by dying for His subjects.

What is God calling you to do today?

In what way will you be His sent one?

Prayer

Lord you have sent me into this place. Hep me to see what your mission is for me today. Grant me the grace to fulfil all that you entrust to me. Amen.

Reflection on 1 John 5:9-13

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Scripture

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.

Observation

We believe human testimony, so how much more should we believe God’s testimony? God has testified about His Son, If we know the Son we know God’s testimony is true. Those who don’t believe call God a liar.

God’s testimony is that He has given us eternal life in the Son. If we have the Son we have life, and if we don’t have the Son we don’t have eternal life.

Application

Jesus is life. If we have Jesus then we have life. If we don’t have Jesus we don’t have life.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. If we want to come to the Father to receive eternal life, we must go through Jesus. There is no other name by which we may be saved.

We cannot go through Mohamed or Buddha, through the Torah or through living a good life.

There is one way to the Father and that is Jesus.

If we have Jesus our eternal life is assured. We don’t have to do anything to make ourselves right with God. There is no law that can add to what Jesus did on the cross.

That’s good enough for me.

When I am tempted to doubt my salvation, I need to remember that God has declared that I am righteous. His judgement is all that counts.

Prayer

Thank you Lord for this assurance of my salvation. I don’t need to impress you with my good deeds. All I need is Jesus. Thank you for making it so simple. Amen.

Reflection on Acts 1:15-26

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Scripture:

Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.

Observation:

It is in the gap between the return of Jesus to heaven and the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes.

One day, when 120 of the believers are present in the one place, Peter tells them that they need to replace Judas as an apostle.

They nominate two men, Matthias and Justus. After praying they cast lots, and Matthias is added to the eleven.

Application:

It seems an odd way to choose an apostle, that is by casting lots. To our way of thinking it seems a little casual to make such an important appointment in this way.

Both Matthias and Justus meet the criteria that were established and both were equally qualified for the position.

If we believe that God directs the courses of nations, then it should not be too hard to believe that He directs the selection of the apostles.

After Pentecost, we do not read of this method of selecting ministers again. We have the Holy Spirit, God Himself, dwelling in us. Surely we can believe that He will lead us in every important decision.

The important factor of course is prayer. When we pray and include listening in the prayer process, then God will lead us in every decision that we submit to Him.

Prayer

Lord God, please help me to submit every decision to you, and please lead me into the right choices. Amen.

Reflection on John 10:11-18

Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+10.11-18

Scripture

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep, and they know me.”

Observation

Jesus is the good shepherd who sacrifices His life for the sheep. A hired hand is in it for the money; he doesn’t care about the sheep.

Jesus is the good shepherd. He knows His sheep and they know Him. He gives His life for the sheep. He has sheep from a different sheep fold and He will bring the flocks together.

Application

Jesus is the good shepherd. He is not a faithless hireling who runs at the first sign of danger. He lays down His life for the sake of His sheep.

There is nothing that Jesus will not do for His sheep. He won’t always give us what we want, but He will meet every need that we have. He is the good shepherd.

He knows us by name. He sees us the way we really are. He knows our strengths and our weaknesses, our victories and our failures. He knows us as closely as He knows the Father. And He loves us.

He wants us to know Him also. To have the strong, unbreakable bonds of friendship. He wants us to invest time and energy in seeking His face.

It is said that in the time of Jesus, shepherds would often put their sheep in a shared sheepfold overnight. In the morning, the shepherds would call their respective sheep but name, and their sheep would hear the voice of their own shepherd and go to them.

Jesus’ sheep know their shepherd. They know when He calls their name and they follow Him.

Prayer

Jesus, you are my good shepherd. Thank you for sacrificing your life for me. Amen.

Reflection on Psalm 23:1

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm+23

Scripture

The Lord is my shepherd

I have all that I need

Prayer

You, O God, are my shepherd.

I used to be a lone ranger sheep, not even knowing I was a sheep. I thought I was God, or at least, the shepherd of my own soul.

I would go where I wanted, pursuing the green meadows and fresh water myself. I made my soul sick on the excesses of the world. It would have killed me.

But then you came into my life. Now Lord you lead me in the right paths.

You are my shepherd Lord. You lead me to the best places. Sometimes it feels like I am in a desert place, but you are always there, right beside me, pointing out the green shoots.

Because of you Lord I have everything I need.

I don’t have a yacht or a plane or a fancy house. Sometimes the bank balance gets low. But Lord I do have everything I need- family and friends who love me, a purpose for my life, food on the table and a promise of eternal life.

I lack no good thing.

You are my provider, my abundance. In you there is no lack and no shortage, as long as I follow you and walk in the path you set for me.

When I wander away from you, it is into the place of danger. When I stay with you, it is joy and provision.

So Lord I will walk with you all the days of my life, knowing that you are the good shepherd.

Reflection on Acts 4:1-12

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+4.1-12

Scripture

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

Observation

After the crippled man is healed, Peter addressed the crowd. While he and John are still speaking, some priests and guards come to arrest them as the priests are disturbed by their teaching. Many in the crowd believe their message and so the number of believers has grown to 5,000 men plus women and children.

The next day, the priests question Peter and John, demanding to know by what power they had healed the man. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, testifies that the man was healed by the name of Jesus, whom they, the priests, had crucified but God had raised from the dead. He goes on to say that there is no other name by which people can be saved.

Application

There is healing in the name of Jesus, and salvation in the name of Jesus. There is no other name, no other salvation.

Unbelievers say that all religions lead to God. But only one name will save us from hell and bring us to heaven. Only one name will bring healing, wholeness and new life.

The name of Jesus is powerful. Demons flee when they hear the name preached. They wither in fear at the testimony of righteous men and women.

Why would we seek another name, another salvation?

Yet some people do exactly this. Some people claim to be born again but run after other gods. A little bit of Christ, a little bit of Allah and a touch of Krishna.

Salvation is not a buffet in which we can take a little of what appeals to us.

There is only one Lord, our saviour Jesus Christ.

No other name will save you. No other “god” will heal you or take you to eternal life.

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, your name is above all names. Thank you for saving me through your death on the cross. Amen.