Daily Bible Reading - kindly provided by Premier and the Bible Society
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reading below. It is really so good. Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Monday 29 May
A sermon is worth nothing if it doesn’t lead to action. Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost powerfully described the reason for Jesus’ death. In words that would have shocked many in his audience, he pointed out that they had been responsible for it. It was their sin that had driven Jesus to the cross just five weeks earlier. Having heard this, the people were deeply challenged and knew that they needed to take action.
Peter’s response is interesting because of the way in which it speaks of the covenant partnership that God wants with us. There was something that the people needed to do, and then a response that God would make. Firstly, they needed to repent. They needed to recognise they had done wrong and head in a new direction. This would be powerfully symbolised by baptism and would show their clear intention to live a new life. The result would be that their sins would be forgiven, and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
God loves to bless us, but he will only do so when we make it clear that we mean business with him. He will never impose his blessings on us if we don’t want them. But when we recognise that we have messed up and are ready to turn around, he will bless us in the way that he longs to.
On that amazing day, 3,000 people were added to the Church. They could have all congratulated Peter on a wonderful sermon, gone home and forgotten all about it. But they didn’t. They took action. And the result is that the world has never been the same.
When were you last pierced to the heart by something that God said to you, and how did you respond?
Lord, help me to listen carefully to what you say to me, and make me ready to respond decisively to your words. Amen
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