Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Acts 2:1-21

Today's reading in Acts is a familiar one. It is the story of the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples at Pentecost. Even though I have heard this account many times, when it is my turn to write this devotion I learn so much. I see details I never noticed before as I study a particular reading in preparation for this writing. This is one reason I enjoy writing this devotion. Of course, as you might have guessed, today is not exception - so let's have a look.

The first thing I notice is that in verse 2 wind is used as an analogy for the Holy Spirit. To me this seems like a great analogy as one cannot see the wind but one can see its effects. Also, wind can be found everywhere and in never-ending supply.

After the wind analogy, in verse 3, a visual analogy is added. Flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. The Bible often uses fire to represent God. Here is no different. But why fire? When one purifies metal or when one shapes metal one uses fire to liquefy or soften it. When metal is in liquid form the impurities can be separated. When metal is in a softer form, it can be hammered into desired shapes. When the Bible uses fire to represent God, the Bible is saying God purifies us or shapes us for his work. God sets our hearts on fire to do his work.

The final item for today is something I think about often. God revealed himself to these believers in a spectacular way - violent wind and fire. Wouldn't it be great if God would reveal himself to us in the same way? I submit that God does use dramatic methods to work in our lives - and he speaks in gentle whispers. We have to be prepared to recognize, capture, and act upon both.

Wishing you the best in your walk with Christ,
Richard Leach

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