God has a purpose for you!

For the Lord takes delight in his people; He crowns the humble with salvation. Psalm 149:4

Psalm 34:1

I will bless the Lord at all times.

and also...

But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness". 2 Corinthians 12:9

God loves you!

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8.

12/06/2017

The Welsh Revival


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Evan Roberts (6/8/1878 – 9/29/1951) was a young coal miner and blacksmith apprentice. Some have called him the “silent evangelist” and God used Him in His dealings with the Welsh people. God gave him a vision of 100,000 souls to be won in his native land. His brief ministry only lasted a few months. His basic message consisted of four major principles.
  1. Confess all known sin, receiving forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
  2. Remove anything in your life that you are in doubt or feel unsure about.
  3. Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly.
  4. Publicly confess the Lord Jesus Christ
Roberts entered Preparatory School in Newcastle Emlyn to study for the ministry. Shortly after his enrollment, in February, 1904, a little flock of believers in the village of New Quay met regularly to pray for a spiritual awakening. In one of these prayer times, Florrie Evans in a testimony time stood and stated, “I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart.” The effect in the gathering was electric and many date the beginning of the revival in Wales to that meeting. Following this meeting several meetings were held in different places. In a meeting at Blaenanerch, Rev. Seth Joshua prayed, “O Lord, bend us.” That became the watchword of the revival. Others prayed, “Bend the church and save the world!”

The meetings spread into many different towns and cities. Shops would close early for the meetings and chapels were crowded. The road outside of the meeting places were lined with disappointed people who could not get into the meetings because of the crowds

The messages of Evan Roberts were simple and yet powerful, so much so that it was reported that even the bars (pubs) closed for lack of patrons. He told those who came that he had not come to frighten them with a discourse on the terrors of everlasting punishment. He believed that the love of Christ was powerful enough to draw the people and emphasized the joy of the Lord which was far beyond human expression.

There were more than a thousand people who were faithful church members, but recognized in the meetings that they had never truly become Christians. Even the crime rate dropped in the whole country. Denominationalism was set aside with an emphasis on God’s children in Christ becoming one to fight against Satan and to pray for the salvation of sinners.

This revival only lasted about nine months. It was stated: Why, there would be a perpetual revival if men would only keep their hearts open instead of closing them to every influence! It was not unusual for preachers to preach for more than an hour and at times the meetings lasted into the wee hours of the morning. It was not unusual for men and women to break forth into prayer and song. Many people could not explain what was taking place, but they all recognized that in some unexplainable way, the Holy Spirit was at work. So many people were being converted while others were getting right with God.

It is difficult for many Christians to even begin to imagine what genuine revival is like because for the most part, so few have ever experienced it. Have you ever felt the need to start praying for revival on a consistent basis? Have you ever shared that with another brother or sister in the Lord and gathered together to pray for such to take place in your life, your church and in your nation? Consider praying: “Oh Lord, bend me!” How about praying: “Lord, do it again! Start with me!” Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).

20/05/2017

I am the way, and the truth and the life.

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Jesus Comforts His Disciples

1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
4 “And you know the way where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me

13/05/2017

Is Jesus your personal saviour?

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God’s original plan for all man is to be in perfect fellowship with Him all of the time. He loves and desires for everyone to be saved.
However beginning with the first sin in the Garden man was separated from the perfect love and plan of God.
God in His perfect love for us sacrificed His only Son Jesus to restore us back to His perfect plan, to be in the complete love and fellowship with Him.

God’s plan of salvation for us is so simple, we must confess with our mouth that Jesus is our personal Savior and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead for us to be saved.
The Bible is clear that there is no one that is righteous on their own and that all must receive Jesus to be saved.

To receive Jesus as your personal Savior just say and believe this simple prayer by faith:
“Dear Lord Jesus,
I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that Jesus is my Savior.


If you have prayed this prayer of salvation, welcome to the family of God! 
You have just made Jesus your Savior and Heaven your home. 
It is Important that you join a Bible believing Church and to fellowship with Christians, your brothers and sisters in Christ and continue to learn and experience the Love of God and grow in the knowledge of Him.

26/04/2017

Every good gift comes from...

my hand! Love 
your Dad, 
God's almighty.
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The Father's love letter


My Child,
You may not know me, but I know everything about you.
Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book.
Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live.
Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14


I knit you together in your mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me.
John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love.
1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child and I am your Father.
1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore.
Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5
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I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul.
Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me.
Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine.
Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager. 
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
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I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you.
Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart.
Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes.
Revelation 21:3-4

And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth.
Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus.
John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being.
Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you.
Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you.
1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love.
Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me.
1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you from my love again.
Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen.
Luke 15:7

I have always been Father, and will always be Father.
Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…Will you be my child?
John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you.
Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

22/04/2017

What is the rapture?

The word Rapture does not appear in the Bible. It comes from the Latin word rapare which means "seize", "snatch" or "take away." The term Rapture is used to refer to the faithful believers being taken up to meet Christ in the air as described in this passage written by the apostle Paul:

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. (NRSV, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)

Apparently, doubts had arisen among the Thessalonian Christians regarding the fate of those Christians who had died before Christ returned. Would they miss out on the glorious events of Christ's second coming and the resurrection? Paul assured them in this way that God would save those who had already died, as well as those still living.

01/04/2017

Let us rejoice because ....

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Titus 3:4
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20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Ever felt that everything you do does not satisfy, you are looking for something more exciting, fulfilling however you've tried everything under the sun and still you feel empty and hurt. Why don't you consider Jesus? 

Jesus went back to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and as usual he went to the meeting place on the Sabbath. When he stood up to read from the Scriptures, he was given the book of Isaiah the prophet. He opened it and read,

The Lord’s Spirit has come to me,
because he has chosen me
to tell the good news to the poor.
The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners,
to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers,
and to say, ‘This is the year the Lord has chosen.’ “

Jesus closed the book, then handed it back to the man in charge and sat down. Everyone in the meeting place looked straight at Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “What you have just heard me read has come true today.” Luke 4:16-21
Click here to read more


21/03/2017

Jesus ..said ..Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink

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John 7:37

37 On the last and greatest day of the festival,(B) Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.(C)38 Whoever believes(D) in me, as Scripture has said,(E) rivers of living water(F) will flow from within them.”[a](G)

Isaiah 58:11

The Lord will guide(A) you always;
    he will satisfy your needs(B) in a sun-scorched land(C)
    and will strengthen(D) your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,(E)
    like a spring(F) whose waters never fail.

This is to be understood not of a natural thirst, though the allusion is to it, which is very painful and distressing; as the instances of the Israelites in the wilderness, Samson after he had slain the Philistines, and our Lord upon the cross, show; much less a sinful thirst, a thirst after the riches, honours, and pleasures of this life;
but a spiritual thirst, or a thirst after spiritual things, after salvation by Christ, and a view of interest in it, free and full pardon of sin through him, justification by his righteousness, a greater degree of knowledge of him, more communion with him, and conformity to him, and after the sincere milk of the word,..
and such that thirst after these things, and eagerly desire them, and are in pain and uneasiness without them, as a man is, who has a violent thirst upon him, are such as are regenerated and quickened by the Spirit of God, and are made sensible of themselves, and of their state and condition by nature. 

Now these Christ invites to come unto him, not to Moses and his law, moral or ceremonial, and to obedience to them, and works of righteousness done by them, to any creature, or creature acts; for these are cisterns without water, where no true peace, joy, righteousness, and salvation are to be had; but to himself, who is the fountain of gardens, the well of living waters, and who is as rivers of water in a dry land, to thirsty souls: 

and when come to him, which is by believing in him, they are encouraged to drink; 

that is, to take of the water of life freely, or to take of his grace freely; salvation by him is of free grace, and the pardon of sin is according to the riches of grace, and justification is freely by his grace, and so all other blessings; and of this they may drink abundantly, or they may partake of it largely: 

there is a fulness of grace in Christ, and there is an abundance of it communicated to his people; it is exceeding abundant; it flows, and overflows, and may be drank of to satisfaction, till their souls are as a watered garden, and they are satisfied with the goodness of the Lord.

27/02/2017

Helen Cadbury: the founder of Pocket Testament league

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In 1893, a young girl of 13, Helen Cadbury found new life in Jesus-Christ and the power of the Scriptures through the Holy Spirit. She was so excited about sharing her faith that she asked her school friends to sew pockets in their dresses to carry the small New Testaments her dad had given them. They made a pledge to 'read a portion of the Scriptures daily, carry it with them wherever they went and use it to share their faith with others. They called their group the Pocket Testament league.
Find out more, click here


11/01/2017

Good morning

Photo:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding
For through me your days will be many
and years will be added to your life
If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you
If you are a mocker you alone will suffer.


08/01/2017

Blessed assurance!


























Where do you turn to when your soul is in turmoil? Why? 
We are having a great Sunday, this morning in Ambernac, worship and teaching was great and we had a lovely time with our friends afterwards.
Tasty lunch and restful afternoon.
It's getting dark and suddenly I find myself besieged by questions that bring worries!
Only one solution. 
Speaking the truth to my soul and tell her to rest in the Lord's unfailing love!
This is the answer. Jesus-Christ told us: 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.'





Psalm 1
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, 
And in His law he meditates day and night. 
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
And its leaf does not wither; 
And in whatever he does, he prospers. 
4 The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

18/12/2016

Living in France!

I'm settling down in France slowly but surely. In September I started teaching in a secondary school in Angouleme and I love it. What is demanding is driving there from where we live in Civray (Vienne) because I need to be there just before 8 a.m. three days a week. I need to live our house at 6:30 to get there for 7:30 and I usually find a parking place in the Parking blanc. 
So I welcome the holidays! I am going to be able to sleep a little more in the  morning instead of getting up at 6 a.m. I might also go to bed later than 11 p.m. without feeling exhausted in the morning. 
The last day of term at our school was great. We were all gathered in the court yard at 11 and listened to every year presentation on different themes. Students expressed what they felt about the main Christian themes: Joy, Love, Hope, Peace in different ways. The most poignant was the Year 7 call to stop the persecution of Christian in Aleppo and to help the Syrian refugees.
At lunch time I went in town for lunch with four colleagues and had a cheesy omelette with Gruyere.   
On the Thursday, it is customary for the English teachers to set up a Christmas market in the préau. It was well attended. The kids loved it, they could buy two different kins of mince pies, small and normal size, crackers, and plenty of other artefacts that my colleagues managed to order a month ago!




Wednesday afternoon, Steven and I managed to have some quiet time in St Macoux. There is a restaurant by the side of a étang and we had a drink and a place of chips. Not many birds in sight though because it was cold!




07/12/2016

Let's rejoice always

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12/10/2016

International Day of the Girl Child

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October 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- An estimated 200 million women will not be celebrating International Day of the Girl Child today, because they are not alive. They were selectively aborted just because they were girls – victims of “gendercide.” Son preference runs amok in both China and India; both countries suffer from a vast gender imbalance, which in turn is driving human trafficking and sexual slavery.

Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated “The message of sex-selective abortion is that girls and women do not deserve to live. The selective elimination of 200 million women demands the passionate outrage of the women’s movement. It should be the number one priority of the international women’s movement.”

Women’s Rights Without Frontiers has launched a “Save a Girl” Campaign in China, which rescued hundreds of baby girls from gendercide. The advocacy group sent out a newsletter today highlighting the story of one such girl, “Lian,” who was almost aborted, but whose life was saved by their “Save a Girl” campaign:

Lian’s family lives in a remote village in rural China, where life is hard. Life for Lian’s mother is especially hard. Her grandfather on her mother’s side suffers from paralysis. His condition has caused financial hardship because the family has no insurance, so they have spent all their money on his medical care. They have even taken loans from relatives, though they do not know how they will be able to pay these off.
Lian’s mother was already very stressed when she found out that she was pregnant.  Her family told her it was not a good time to have a baby, but they were willing to support the pregnancy if the child were a boy.  When the doctor told them that she was pregnant with a girl, Lian’s grandmother on her father’s side began to pressure her mother to have an abortion. 
This poor mother did not want to abort her daughter, but she did not know what to do.  Then, she heard about WRWF’s “Save a Girl” Campaign and reached out to us for help to save her daughter’s life.  A fieldworker traveled to Lian’s village, knocked on the door of their humble home and offered hope.  She told Lian’s mother that girls are just as precious as boys.  She offered  Lian’s mother a monthly stipend for a year to empower her to keep her daughter. 
Lian’s mother gratefully accepted our offer of help.  She gave birth to Lian, a beautiful and healthy baby girl, and she is delighted with her new daughter.  Lian’s mother told our fieldworker that, without our help, she “would have no chance to see her daughter, who now makes her so happy.”
Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE
Littlejohn asked, “In honor of the International Day of the Girl Child, won’t you help us save more girls like Lian?  So far, we have saved more than 200 girls, and yet there are millions more who are being aborted and abandoned just because they are girls.  Each one of these girls is infinitely precious.” 
Learn more about how you can help to save girls here.
So this is a sad story to start with but it ends well. I still think that not many people know that this is happening now in China! Life is beautiful and we can all see it because we are alive now, thanks to the decision of our mothers mainly and fathers too. Speaking about abortion or against abortion is rather taboo now! It looks as if nobody in the West anyway wants to mention it. Actually Pope François did have the courage to do so, probably because he knows the figures and they are frightening. Join me in prayers. Our Father in heaven, we pray that all over the world, babies are saved too, young mothers or mothers to be are getting help emotionally and financially, in the name of Jesus-Christ our Saviour and redeemer. Amen. 

23/09/2016

There shall be deliverance!

Image result for Joel 2:32

Acts 2:14-41New International Version (NIV)

Peter Addresses the Crowd

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!(A) 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 “‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.(B)
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,(C)
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.(D)
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,(E)
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood(F)
    before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord(G) will be saved.’[a](H)
22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth(I) was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs,(J) which God did among you through him,(K) as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge;(L) and you, with the help of wicked men,[b] put him to death by nailing him to the cross.(M) 24 But God raised him from the dead,(N) freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.(O) 25 David said about him:
“‘I saw the Lord always before me.
    Because he is at my right hand,
    I will not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest in hope,
27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    you will not let your holy one see decay.(P)
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence.’[c](Q)
29 “Fellow Israelites,(R) I can tell you confidently that the patriarch(S)David died and was buried,(T) and his tomb is here(U) to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.(V) 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay.(W)32 God has raised this Jesus to life,(X) and we are all witnesses(Y) of it.33 Exalted(Z) to the right hand of God,(AA) he has received from the Father(AB) the promised Holy Spirit(AC) and has poured out(AD) what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand
35 until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet.”’[d](AE)
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord(AF) and Messiah.”(AG)
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?(AH)
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized,(AI) every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.(AJ) And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(AK) 39 The promise is for you and your children(AL) and for all who are far off(AM)—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”(AN) 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number(AO) that day.
Humans were born to ask "Why?" From the chattering toddler tugging at his mother's skirts to the seasoned astrophysicist puzzling over her computer-enhanced images from outer space, the response to the novel is the same: Why? In fact, we ask this question in two directions. We want to know the cause, and we want to know the significance, especially for us.
To find an answer that satisfies both "whys," especially in regard to one's personal destiny, is to discover the best good news.Apologia for Pentecost: Ultimate Cause and Saving Significance (2:14-21)

Seizing the moment in the midst of the crowd's bewilderment and confusion, Peter addresses the people in Spirit-filled utterance (see 2:4). He begins with a formal address, Fellow Jews, which will soften as he proceeds (men of Israel, 2:22; brothers, 2:29). His message will explain the Pentecost event as God's saving acts (see also 4:12; 13:38: 28:28) and show its crucial importance for his hearers and for us.

Though those drunk and those filled with the Spirit are "carried out of themselves into an abnormal sense of freedom and expressiveness," the cause and the end results are entirely different (E. F. Harrison 1986:64). Peter with good humor dismisses this empirical explanation with further empirical evidence: in a culture where the first meal is not taken until ten o'clock, nine o'clock in the morning is too early in the day to find people drunk (see Josephus Life 279).

The ultimate cause and significance of the Spirit's empowerment is found in God and his saving purposes, as the prophet Joel foretold. 

In the last days--the final days of this age, the time when the "age to come" is inaugurated--God promises to pour out his Spirit on all people. 
Joel used the imagery of the vivifying impact of a Near Eastern torrential downpour on parched earth to picture the generosity, finality and universality of the Spirit's coming.

 And Peter declares that this is now happening before the very eyes and in the very hearing of his audience. In contrast to the selective and occasional outpouring of the Spirit on king and prophet in the Old Testament time of promise (1 Sam 10:10; 16:14; Ezek 11:5), here the Spirit comes without regard to age, sex, social status or, as Acts 2:39 indicates, ethnic origin.

What the Spirit empowers people to do is prophesy. Prophecy for Luke encompasses Spirit-filled speaking in other languages (2:12, 16), predictive discourse (11:27; 21:10; compare 9:10; 10:10; 16:9; 18:9, where dreams and visions guide the post-Pentecost church) and proclamatory witness (15:32). As the Old Testament prophets made God's will known by witnessing to his Word, so now, as Luther says, all Christians are Spirit-enabled to bear witness to "knowledge of God through Christ which the Holy Spirit kindles and makes to burn through the word of the gospel" (Stott 1990:74; compare Acts 1:8).

Joel and Peter remind us of the decisiveness of these last days by pointing to cosmic signs on earth and in heaven. The universe will reveal what a shambles sinful humankind makes of things by its constant assault on God's moral order. From this the human race should know that judgment must come at the day of the Lord (Is 13:6, 9; Ezek 30:3; Zeph 1:14-15). The hope held out by Joel is thus vitally significant. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Acts 2:21/Joel 2:32).

Today, living in a time of rapid social change, moral decay, environmental crisis and seemingly unmanageable economic and political problems, we can identify with the apostle's and prophet's sense of the end. We are comforted that history is not out of control, for God is constantly at work. We live in the time of the Spirit's life-giving presence--and there is the challenge: will we call on the name of the Lord and be saved?Apostolic Gospel at Pentecost: The Immediate Cause (2:22-36)



Who is this Lord? How can we know he can save? What does Pentecost have to do with this salvation? Peter directs the crowd's attention to Jesus of Nazareth. He characterizes Jesus' earthly ministry as the arena of publicly witnessed divine power. Through him God did miracles, the power of God at work;wonders, astonishing, significant portents that point to God's presence; and signs, miraculous embodiments of spiritual truth. God accredited Jesus' mission by these marks of the messianic age and showed that it was the very beginning of the last days.

Peter next boldly implicates the crowd in Jesus' death. He was handed over into their power. With the help of lawless men--that is, Gentile Romans (NIV wicked men)--they did away with him through crucifixion. Peter sets their responsibility in tension with God's determined purpose and foreknowledge (compare Lk 22:22). Far from discrediting Jesus as God's Messiah, this shameful death was very much a part of God's set purpose and foreknowledge (see Acts 3:18; 13:29). Though Peter does not explicitly refer to Jesus' death as a vicarious atonement, he gives us the objective fact, which is the basis for such an understanding: an innocent man suffered and died.

But there's more. Human beings may have killed Jesus, but God brought him back to life. It was not a resuscitation but an eternal resurrection. In a remarkable mixed metaphor, death's agony became its birth pangs: death was in labor and unable to hold back the "delivery" of Jesus.

As Peter will go on to prove, with respect to Pentecost, Jesus' resurrection is the answer to the question "Why?" from both angles. It is Pentecost's immediate cause (vv. 32-33), and it is the ground for the saving significance of the Pentecost event.

Peter now argues, based on Scripture, that Jesus' resurrection is part of God's saving plan. In verses 25-28 he introduces a quote from Psalm 16:8-11 to explain Jesus' resurrection as the fulfillment of prophecy about the Messiah (NIV does not translate the Greek gar, causal connector between vv. 24 and 25). The psalmist declares that because of his ongoing relationship with the Lord God, he will not be shaken. This accords well with Luke's portrayal of Jesus in his last hours (Lk 23:46/Ps 31:5; the cry of dereliction is absent--Mk 15:34/Ps 22:1). The psalmist expresses joyful confidence that his flesh (sarx, NIV body; v. 26) will live in hope. He openly declares that there is no abandonment to Sheol or experience of decay, but rather the path of life and the joy of God's presence forever.

How is it possible to understand a first-person psalm attributed to David, in which he appears to speak of his protection from death, as a prophecy of the Messiah's hope in a resurrection out of death? Peter comes to such an understanding by using two hermeneutical principles: literal interpretation and a messianic reading of first-person Davidic psalms. Thus David, "not . . . as a mere person but David as the recipient and conveyor of God's ancient but ever-renewed promise," can predict the Messiah's experience (Kaiser 1980:225). Pointing to the well-known (and still extant) tomb of David, Peter contends that David could not be talking about himself. By a process of elimination, then, someone else must qualify to experience the literal fulfillment of this promise. That someone is the Messiah. For David was a prophet. He had received the divinely sworn promise of an eternal reign for one of his descendants, who would be the Messiah (2 Sam 7:12-13; Ps 132:12).

But how can a Messiah who suffers and dies also reign forever (Ps 22:15-16)? It is possible only if that Messiah rises from the dead. David was permitted to see ahead of time this vital stage in God's process of redemption. So he could speak confidently of Messiah's resurrection when he said that Messiah was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay (Acts 2:31). What a wise God to plan a path the Messiah would follow to effect salvation! What a merciful God to reveal a portion of that path to prophets, so that now, as we look back after the fulfillment, it all makes sense (see 1 Pet 1:10-12).

Now Peter moves from argumentation to proclamation (Acts 2:32). The great good news is that God has now raised to life the same Jesus who was crucified (v. 23). Peter adds his voice and those of the other apostles to the witness of the Scriptures. So confident is he of the apostolic witnesses' compelling testimony that he can divide his presentation into two steps: (1) the Old Testament bears witness to a risen Messiah and (2) we bear witness to Jesus as the risen Messiah.

Peter unveils an even greater truth about Jesus which turns his audience into witnesses of God's saving grace. Jesus is the exalted Lord raised to the Father's right hand in heaven (see also v. 30). From that position of authority Jesus mediates the gift of the Spirit (Jn 14:16, 26; 16:7).

Peter now completes the second half of a chiastic (or reverse parallelism) construction that extends all the way back to verse 25. He has (a) preached Scripture proof of Jesus as the Messiah risen from the dead (vv. 25-28), (b) given an interpretation (vv. 29-31) and (c) made a kerygmatic proclamation (v. 32). Now he (c') proclaims Jesus as the exalted Lord and giver of the Spirit (v. 33), (b') gives an interpretation (v. 34) and (a') presents Scripture proof (vv. 34-35/Ps 110:1). This construction binds together Jesus' resurrection, his exaltation and his giving of the Spirit.

Again by a process of elimination and literal interpretation, Peter applies the Old Testament text to the Messiah. David is dead; we cannot claim that he has ascended to heaven. Then, following the lead of Jesus, Peter claims that David is addressing the Messiah when he says, "The Lord [God] said to my Lord [the Messiah]" (Lk 20:41-44/Ps 110:1). When Jesus asked how David could call his descendant "Lord," he was not simply making Messiah and Lord synonymous titles. When the One who is literally exalted to the right hand of the Father is called "Lord," he is addressed as more than an honored human descendant of David. The way Jesus formulated the question implied as much. Peter, unveiling what Jesus' question hinted at, declares him to be Lord in the sense of Yahweh. Jesus is God! (See also Acts 2:21, 36, 38.)

Peter calls his listeners to know for certain that God has openly avowed Jesus to be Lord and Messiah (compare Lk 1:4). Jesus may now rightfully be declared Messiah, since he has done Messiah's saving work and has been vindicated by God, who raised him from the dead. He may properly be proclaimed Lord in the highest sense of the word, as the respectful designation of the unpronounceable name of God (YHWH). For by his resurrection-exaltation he has demonstrated that he is the ever-living and life-giving God, whom death cannot hold and who pours out the Spirit (Acts 2:24, 33).

Peter immediately reminds his listeners that it is this risen and exalted Messiah and Lord whom they have crucified. "They were not trifling with a Galilean carpenter, but God!" (Ogilvie 1983:71).Application of Pentecost: A Call to Repentance and Promise (2:37-41)



By the Spirit (Jn 16:8-11) the crowd feels the sharp pain of guilt (the NIV renders the verb literally, were cut to the heart). For Luke, this is as it should be: the heart, the inner life, is the source of all the thoughts, motivations, intentions and plans of sinful human beings (Lk 6:45; 12:34: 21:34; Acts 5:3-4; 7:39; 8:21-22; 28:27). Realizing they have killed the Messiah, their only hope of salvation, they desperately want to know, "Is there anything we can do about this? Or are we doomed to suffer God's certain wrath on the day of the Lord?" (see 2:20). They address Peter and the rest of the apostles, for it is the apostolic gospel, not a gospel of Peter, that they must receive and cling to (2:32, 42).

What will it take today to bring people to their knees--beyond admitting their anxiety (the awareness that something is wrong) to facing their guilt (the recognition that someone is wrong)? The sin of people today put Jesus to death just as surely as the sinful hatred of first-century people. This fact leaves no room for anti-Semitism. With Peter's first audience, we must return to the scene of the crime, the cross. We must face up to our guilt before almighty God, the Judge. We must throw ourselves on his mercy, asking, What shall we do? (v. 37).

Peter's invitation is to repent, "do an about face in your life's orientation and attach yourself to Jesus" (Talbert 1984:16). This turning from sin and turning to Christ is the necessary condition for receiving salvation blessings (Lk 13:3, 5; 15:7; 16:30; 24:47; Acts 3:19; 17:30; 20:21; 26:20). What about faith? It is mentioned in verse 44. John Stott observes, "Repentance and faith involve each other, the turn from sin being impossible without the turn to God, and vice versa" (1990:78).

Peter calls for each one of them individually (hekastos, but NIV every one) to be baptized . . . in (on the basis of) the name of Jesus Christ--that is, as Joseph Addison Alexander puts it, "by his authority, acknowledging his claims, subscribing to his doctrine, engaging in his service, and relying on his merits" (quoted in Stott 1990:78). By repentance and baptism we show that we have met the conditions for receiving forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Spirit. By making repentance and baptism conditions for the reception of salvation blessings, Luke does not imply that salvation comes by merit or ritual. He is not promoting some necessary second experience. He consistently presents both forgiveness and the Spirit as gifts of grace (3:19; 5:31; 13:38; 11:17; 15:8). The gift of the Spirit is the Spirit himself, who regenerates, indwells, unites, and transforms lives. All the fruit and gifts of the Spirit flow from this one great gift.

Peter now declares the universal extent of the salvation offer. He reaches out across time and space, generations and cultures (your children and . . . all who are afar off--that is, Jews of the diaspora and Gentiles; see Is 57:19; Eph 2:13). And he does not let his audience forget, even as he tells them their responsibility, that salvation is God's work from beginning to end. For the promise is for all whom the Lord our God will call. Those who respond are answering the Lord our God's effective call on their lives (compare Acts 13:48; 16:14). "He set me free to want what He wanted to give!" (Ogilvie 1983:72).

Now we have come full circle. The salvation promised by Joel (and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved--Acts 2:21/Joel 2:32) is accomplished by Jesus (God has made this Jesus . . . Lord--Acts 2:36). And it is humanly appropriated when one is baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (v. 38) with the assurance that the gift of salvation is for all whom the Lord our God will call (v. 39).

There were many other things Peter said to the crowd as he warned them. He kept on exhorting them to allow themselves to be saved, rescued from a corrupt (literally, "crooked") generation. The Old Testament labeled the Israelites who wandered in the wilderness a "crooked generation" (Deut 32:5; Ps 78:8). Peter's use of this phrase intensifies the call to repentance. The "wilderness generation" experienced the judgment of God when it did not repent. So will those of the present generation if they do not answer God's call and turn to him in repentance.

The gospel call comes clearly and urgently today. "The question is not, shall I repent? For that is beyond a doubt. But the question is, shall I repent now, when it may save me; or shall I put it off to the eternal world when my repentance will be my punishment?" (Samuel Davies in Wirt and Beckstrom 1974:203).

Three thousand souls welcomed the word (compare 28:30), met its conditions and were baptized. They joined the ranks of the apostles and disciples in the nucleus of the New Testament church. "The kerygma,indeed, has the power to evoke that which it celebrates" (Willimon 1988:36).

We must not be negligent either in giving or heeding invitations. Lloyd Ogilvie strongly encourages pastors to make invitation a standard part of regular worship services. In whatever form--whether printing an invitation in the bulletin, designating a room for inquirers or calling people forward during a closing hymn--the Lord's call for those to be saved should be consistently present. "People are more ready than we dare to assume. And why not? The Holy Spirit is at work!" (Ogilvie 1983:73).

May God bless you and your beloved in abundance in the name of Jesus, Amen
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