Journal Acts 2 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation and notes are mine)
Scripture: “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem, Jews—devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound (the “roaring wind” from the second verse) the multitude came together, and they were bewildered (because each one was hearing them (the disciples) speak in [the devout men’s] language.
[skipping down to verse 11]…we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” Excerpted from Acts 2:4:11
Observation: What is more controversial? A display of a spiritual gifting or that these bunch of guys in an upper room, hanging out together, would have it all together enough to simply talk EXTENSIVELY about the mighty works of God?
Application: You know why Christians are firmly encouraged to read the Scriptures repeatedly? Because the Holy Spirit will emphasize or expose something missed over the first dozen times a verse or section was read.
It is akin to seeing a movie more than once: I will pick up on a detail I missed previously. How many times have I seen Star Wars 4? And how many times have I noticed something new in the corner of a scene? That is like the producer of Acts (the Holy Spirit) grabbing the attention of the reader after the first reads…
During my first 40 years of being a believer, I am “Yeah, yeah, speaking in tongues; gift of the Spirit, nothing new to see here except to confirm in the mirror Gifts are for today and prepare to discuss (argue) with others about their validity.”
But what do I see today?
The group of knuckleheads known as Jesus’ disciples start talking. While speaking in languages they have supernaturally been enabled with, they are talking specifically about the mighty works of God—so that the hearers are bewildered AND amazed.
What is the difference between the “mighty works of God” and the “mighty word of God?” If there is no difference, why does the Scripture differentiate between them? Word and Works aren’t exactly interchangeable in a sentence.
The point for me this morning is “Why don’t I talk about God’s mighty Works?” Is it because I don’t gaze in the morning sky (or wherever) and I don’t recognize his Works—and they don’t move me, stir up my soul?
The Gospel is a work, a mighty work. It was conceived before time began and is never ending (think hard on it: Will the Gospel end with the advent of the New Jerusalem? My money is on NO.).
Does the Gospel grip my soul? Does it grip my soul enough that if NOT ONE OTHER PERSON ever is converted, does not get “saved”, will I still be in awe of the Gospel and speak of it (not present it, but speak of it) every day for the rest of my life?
I think that is why I saw this today. I have thought (and still do) that the Gifts of the Spirit is the “mighty work” to pay attention to.
However, if I think in a measure that prioritizes to my pea-brain what God has done, his Mighty Works, the works of the Gospel trumps all. That is why it is good to study all the disparate parts of the Gospel (even where the Gifts fall in) and put effort into knowing and understanding every doctrine involved—so that every day I awake amazed at what God has done!!
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for the shoulders of your mighty men that have come before. They have explained the Gospel in a systematic way so that I can pick out the volume of the Doctrine I need to review today.
I surrender to You, help me to surrender more.
Ricky Two Shoes