Eight out of ten unchurched people are willing to discuss faith. Yet study after study reveals how Christians do not have these conversations. I believe most problems in the church could be resolved if the church would move out with evangelism. The early church moved out in the book of Acts, and God changed the world. The same can happen today!
Use the following guide to prepare for Sunday. Onward!
Monday’s Passage to Read: Read Acts 2:1-13. This text describes the day of Pentecost. What happens here births the church. The mission of the early church is the same one we have today. Generation after generation, we are called to keep going—moving outward. What begins in Jerusalem would extend to the ends of the earth. As you read, notice how everyone was amazed at this event.
Tuesday’s Devotional Thought: At the beginning of Acts 2, tongues of fire appear, and the Holy Spirit fills everyone in the upper room. The language in the text emphasizes how each believer received this filling. When God saves through Jesus Christ, each person receives the Holy Spirit. The Spirit guides, helps, convicts, and comforts you. God is not only with you, He is also in you. How incredible!
Pentecost was an unmistakable event. An audible sound got everyone’s attention. The wind rushed, and flames appeared. Then followers of Christ spoke in tongues. People could see, hear, and feel this movement of God. This was no ordinary occurrence.
Why the flames? In the Bible, fire often represents God’s presence. When Moses encountered the burning bush, a fire got his attention. The pillar of fire in Exodus 13 guided the Israelites. Fire fell to consume Elijah’s altar in 1 Kings 18. In Matthew 3, John the Baptist prophesies about Jesus baptizing with fire. While fire can symbolize judgment in the Bible, it also represents God’s presence.
As the early church is birthed on the day of Pentecost, the people are filled with the Holy Spirit, and fire marks the presence of God. The fire and the filling empower the disciples. Before Pentecost, the disciples were in hiding—intentionally avoiding the public. Following Pentecost, this same group is ready to take on the world. What was the difference? The Holy Spirit.
The disciples were not political radicals. They were not highly trained academics. Nor were they wealthy opportunists or connected power brokers. They were ordinary people empowered by the Holy Spirit. They moved from an “I can’t” attitude to a “God can” attitude because of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s power has not diminished since this time. The same power is available to you and our church. Can we get the attention of the world? Not on our own. We won’t turn heads. But the Holy Spirit can turn hearts.
The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the godly will flourish.
What good is a house if it contains wickedness? A tent is much less than a house, but God will help you flourish there if you follow Him. Focus on godliness today. How can your home be a more godly place?
Thursday’s Prayer through Scripture: Read Acts 2:4. Everyone—not some—was filled with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit fills each person who Jesus saves. You are part of God’s collective plan, but He also guides and cares for you individually. If you are saved, you are equipped and gifted by the Holy Spirit. Pray about your gifting and how God can use you more for His glory.