Acts 2:1, 36-42

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:1, 36-42

It isn’t unusual for Kelley to ask me, when I get home from worship on Sundays, if anyone had anything to say about my sermon. I seldom have anything to report. It isn’t that people don’t make comments on the way out the door, or down the hallway, or even in the parking lot sometimes, but I’m just not able to hear them well. It is too fresh. I’m still too tender. I feel too vulnerable.

Preaching isn’t easy. When you add the fact that public speaking is one of the most terrifying things to do for most people…to the reality that you are speaking week after week to mostly the same crowd of people…who have heard all of your best stuff before…yeah, preaching isn’t easy.

Yet I still pray for that wonderful home run of a sermon every time I have the privilege to give it my best. It is too much to expect the Holy Spirit to bring about the kind of reaction that Peter saw, 3000 new believers in a day, but that isn’t what I need in order to be encouraged as a preacher. I just want to know that God used my words in at least one person’s ears to do the gospel to them. Just one person – to know that forgiveness is not just a word game. To know that they aren’t alone, that God hasn’t abandoned them in these dark days.

I read these words from Acts and I realize that, no matter what else happens in the humble gatherings we know as Sunday morning worship, the miracle still continues. For wherever we gather, we devote our selves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers, knowing and trusting that God isn’t through with us yet.

Let us pray: Dear Lord, you know us. You know how impressed we are by numbers, by the spectacular. And how prone we are to get discouraged, to forget how your Spirit does all the heavy lifting. Encourage us today to keep on keeping on, to make room in our lives for you to have a word with us. And do bless those called to bring that Word each time your people gather for worship. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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6 Responses to “Acts 2:1, 36-42”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you!
    You mentioned once that you write on the text for the day. From where do you obtain the list?

  2. Wendy Says:

    Thank you to all who speak and teach the Word of God and rarely know that what they say and do resonates with we who hear.

  3. Anita Byrd-Petts Says:

    What a beautiful thought! I am certain after reading your daily devotionals that your sermons touch many more people than you know……just like this devotional touched me today. God has been speaking to me lately about forgiveness, so your message was another whisper in my heart.

  4. Carl Says:

    Good, bad or somewhere in the middle, your sermons almost always leave me with a thought to work on for the following week. For that, I’m thankful.

  5. Rita Wade Says:

    When we have guests in church, particularly non-attending family members, I always pray “please God, not a miracle here, but let something – a song, the message, something resonate well with them. Enough that they want to come back here or to a church near them.

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