Welcome Home – 40 Day Fast Devotion #37
Spirit, Break Out!
Matt Destry – Communications Pastor
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all those who heard the message.
Do you like going to the movies? We enjoy the relief, escape, and identification with characters that we get from a well-told story or film. The part that is sometimes most memorable is when the ‘hero’ arrives on the scene – the moment when the main protagonist, who is here to save the day, bursts through the doors with a plan to beat the ‘bad guys’.
The Acts of the Apostles is that moment, that part of the story in the Bible. The part where the ‘hero’ arrives, to put wrong things right, to bring justice, and to make everything OK. So much so is the arrival of the Spirit in Acts the grand emergence of God into the human story (in the same way that Jesus was, although in an omnipresent way), that some commentators call this book ‘The Acts of the Holy Spirit’.
Undoubtedly, God is the Hero of this story, and when He arrives, everything changes. Peter is summoned to the house of Cornelius, and not by co-incidence. He receives a vision (see: yesterday’s devotion), and is told to go with the people who would arrive presently on his doorstep. Those people have responded to the voice of God via an angel to Cornelius – the whole stage has been set by an all-seeing, all-knowing and outrageously beautiful God.
As Peter speaks the word to these ‘unclean’ people, the Holy Spirit visits them in a very special and noticeable way – in a way that manifests supernatural gifts and inspires spontaneous worship. The Hero arrives, and a response of praise and love is the result. The very thing that our hearts ache for is the presence of God. Our ministry on earth is more than programs and sin-avoidance: it’s ultimately about God and his mission to seek and save the lost. It’s about His ministry to bring bring people into an experience of redemption and transformation that would ultimately usher in renewal to all creation.
1/ How can we experience the presence of God today?
2/ What experiences of transformation and redemption have you had?
3/ Do you believe God can do this again for your friends?