Cuts Like a Knife

October 2nd, 2007 • Category: Book of Acts
by David Zier

Today’s scripture: Acts 2:37-42 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Zier):

Today’s scripture continues the Pentecost story — the pouring out of the Holy Spirit into the lives of Jesus’ followers and those present with them. It is the story of a powerful conversion and consciousness change in the lives of typical, ordinary people just like us. Upon hearing Peter’s sermon, everyone was “cut to the heart,” but they were not quite sure what to do.

Peter tells them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. I know that some would say, “Why does that seem to always be the answer?” Well, why not?

The repentance we are called to is the removal of stuff that keeps us from God. We can hear a great message on Sunday, and be moved to pursue Jesus. Then, we wake up Monday morning and we are back where we started. What happened to the fire? What happened to that message that “cut to the heart”? We need to make some personal decisions and choices and changes to make these messages that cut to our hearts real.

If the lives of the three thousand have been changed and they want a new start in Christ, the Holy Spirit has already begun to seep into their hearts and minds — so why be baptized?

This is the beginning of their pursuit for Christ and discipleship in their lives. The water baptism provides an acknowledgment, is symbolic of a cleansing, and shows the commitment within this community. This is a response to what the Holy Spirit baptism has already started. This serves as a covenant with Christ and each other. Then, “they devoted themselves to the apostle’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and of prayer,”

What can we learn from this story? To repent means to stop what you’re doing and to go in a different direction. To be baptized means to enter into a new awareness and consciousness, a new value system that alters your attitudes, thoughts, words and deeds. To receive the Holy Spirit is to be empowered, motivated and equipped by God, to live God’s kingdom today.

Thought for the day: Has Jesus’ message cut into your heart?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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