Lord, thank You for pouring Your Spirit on everyone.
Read ACTS 2:14–21
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! 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.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
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.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’[a]
- Acts 2:21 Joel 2:28-32
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good’ (1 Cor 12:7).
As a wife of a vicar, I am always amused to look at the job pages of the Church Times to see the array of skills that parishes want from their future vicars. Many churches still view their leaders as some sort of superheroes who can fly in and sort everything out.
In our passage, Peter stresses that we are in a new age where things are done differently. No longer is God’s Spirit given only to a few special individuals such as prophets and kings. Now it is poured out on all Christians. Peter stresses that the Spirit is for everyone: women as well as men; young as well as old; poor, not just the well-off. (‘Slaves’ is the Greek word behind the word ‘servants’ here.) God has gifted us all and wants to use all of us. This clearly has implications for how we do church and what we expect of our leaders. No one person, no matter how able, will possess all the skills needed to make a successful church. God wants us to be a team working together, using the gifts of all.
Do we expect too much of our leaders? Are we frustrated with them over their lack of skill and success in a certain area? Rather than criticizing, can we turn our frustration into supportive prayer and action? Maybe we have the skills to fill that gap. If you are a leader, do you spot and encourage the gifts of others, or do you like to be seen doing everything yourself? How good is your church at fostering the gifts of young and old, female and male, poor as well as richer people? If the Spirit really is poured out on all, then the church simply cannot reach its potential unless the gifts of all are valued and used.
What can you do to maximize the gifting God has invested in you?
Lord, help me to be a team player in Your church, using my gifts and encouraging others to use theirs also.
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