Did your life really change after you accepted Christ?
I love Acts 2, because it reminds me just how much power the Holy Spirit can have in our earthly lives. This power is incredible, and I often forget that I have the very power of Christ in my heart. Read Acts 2 with me today… it’s full of so much insight about the first time the Holy Spirit was given to Christians.
I believe that there are so many little lessons we can learn from Acts 2. To start, I love the fact that the very first time the Holy Spirit came upon believers, they were all together. I think this is so powerful… I often have personally experienced Jesus the most when I’ve been purposefully surrounding myself with other people who love the Lord. Jesus placed a big emphasis on community during His life and His ministry here on earth, so I don’t think it’s any coincidence that God decided to pour out the Holy Spirit for the first time when believers were all together, doing life together and worshipping together. That’s a powerful place to be; as Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Something else that stood out to me in Acts 2 was how dramatically the people who received the Holy Spirit were changed immediately. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I was baptized and received the Holy Spirit, I didn’t exactly begin speaking in multiple languages. In fact, nothing that outwardly dramatic happened or changed in my life. However, I think there is a lesson for us in this… the power that caused the events we read about in Acts 2 is the same power that we receive when we accept Christ and receive the Holy Spirit. While this power may not be manifested so visibly or dramatically when we receive Christ, our acceptance of Him grants us access to the power of God working in and through our lives, and our souls are sealed in eternity instantly. THAT is something amazing.
Third, I was encouraged reading that believers have been enduring persecution and hardship in their faith since day. one. That just speaks to my heart in the world we live in today! Did you catch the ridicule of the doubters in verse 13? Acts 2:13 states that some who watched the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the results of this gift attributed these crazy events to too much alcohol and made fun of the believers. How encouraging that the same challenging and hurtful ridicule that we Christians sometimes endure at our workplaces, within our family and friend groups, and from our society as a whole has been going on since the very beginning of time.
Lastly, the fourth aspect of Acts 2 that stood out to me was the fact that, after receiving the Holy Spirit, the believers did not stay where they were. Verse 38 says,
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
As soon as they had received the Holy Spirit, the believers began preaching and sharing Christ with the world and with those who were watching. Verses 42-47 say,
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Not only did the believers immediately begin teaching, but their very lifestyles changed dramatically from day one. We may not live in a time when Acts 2-like events are happening all around us all the time, but we who have accepted Jesus do have that same Acts 2 Holy Sprit residing within us. Be encouraged today to live like it.