Our Bible reading for today has two main parts. Part one is a description of the Holy Spirit coming to the disciples at Pentecost and part two is Peter beginning his speech to the crowd in Jerusalem. Both of these parts have a special meaning for me. They both provide me a message.
Have you ever wanted God to make His presence known to you in as spectacular a way as He did on the day of Pentecost for the disciples? After all, wouldn't it be nice for God to let us know He has something to tell us, to get our attention, by sending violent wind, fire, and the Holy Spirit to announce His message? Most of the time God does not use this technique to get our attention. God often speaks in a gentle whisper. It is true that God sometimes uses dramatic methods in our lives to get our attention, but more often He does not. Thus, we must always listen for God's word. This first part continues to remind me that in our busy lives we must find the time to clear our minds and listen for God's whisper.
The second part of today's reading is about one of my Bible heroes, Peter. Have you ever felt as if you have made such bad mistakes that God could never forgive you? I know I have. This is why Peter is one of my heroes. While following Jesus, Peter had a short temper, was an unstable leader, and denied Christ three times on the night before His execution. It would seem to me that these characteristics would disqualify Peter from being useful to fulfill Christ's work on earth. But Christ forgave Peter and restored him. No matter what sins you or I have committed, God promises to forgive us if we truly repent. Once we have repented God can then use us to further His kingdom. Peter allowed God to forgive him and then to use him. If God can use someone like Peter, with all of his human faults, then He can certainly use us to advance His kingdom. The story of Peter provides me with inspiration as we, and especially me, all have our human faults.