Acts 2:29-33 “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.
Having just had an incredible encounter with God, the initial and promised outpouring of The Holy Spirit, the Apostles come down from the upper room. A large crowd gathers as something obvious has happened and continues to happen. People in the crowd begin to question and debate what this might be, seeing the Apostles in an overwhelming demonstration of God’s Spirit as demonstrated by their condition and the signs and wonders that begin to immediately happen through them. Peter, having just been filled with that Awesome Presence, is moved to address the crowd and preaches a message that moves about 3,000 souls into the Kingdom. This moment defines the expression and impact the Church/Christian should always have and the way we should always live.
The first thing that stands out to me is that mission leads to greater mission and faithfulness leads to greater empowerment. The Apostles had walked with Jesus through their training, the crucifixion, the resurrection and the period thereafter. Though shaky at times, these people had been transformed by Him, through mission. They were now so much more than they were when they started. In Acts 1, Jesus left them with one particular promise, that they would be filled with power when the Holy Spirit had come upon them. Next, they are assembled in an upper room where that promise does fill them with The Holy Spirit, empowering them for a greater level of mission. How does that apply to me? If I am found faithful in the mission of the church and any personal mission God gives me, I will, through those experiences, be trained for greater mission (maybe not in purpose, but in scope. Or both) and will receive power to accomplish it.
The other thing is Peter. Here’s a man who did stumble around during his training, even to the point of eventually giving up and returning to his previous life. Until Jesus finds him and helps him understand grace and how it’s all part of training. A restored Peter then becomes something more and here, in the middle of this outpouring, stands and declares the Word of God to tremendous effect. How does that apply? His past does not define him. Neither does mine. His Jesus defines him. So does mine. He yielded to the Holy Spirit. So will I. He allowed the Spirit of God who had just poured into him to pour right back out of him, into those God had brought before him to hear the message. Unless I engage in the mission God has set before me and allow Him to move through me, I shouldn’t expect any great thing to happen. Through obedience, yieldedness and partnership, God will do mighty things through me. Together in the Holy Spirit, it’s our mission. If I want to see the same thing and live in that same manner, I need to have that same heart, obedience, seeking, waiting, yielding, expressing and pouring out to all of those around me.