June Reading from The Message
You are unique. Your history and emotional life are all your own. God knows that. He comes to each one of us. Here in the second chapter of Acts we are in the room on the Day of Pentecost. God’s arrival does not lead to group think, but better relationships.
When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.
5-11 There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were blown away. They couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, “Aren’t these all Galileans? How come we’re hearing them talk in our various mother tongues?
Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; Visitors from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene; Immigrants from Rome, both Jews and proselytes; Even Cretans and Arabs!
“They’re speaking our languages, describing God’s mighty works!”
12 Their heads were spinning; they couldn’t make head or tail of any of it. They talked back and forth, confused: “What’s going on here?”
13 Others joked, “They’re drunk on cheap wine.”
14-21 That’s when Peter stood up and, backed by the other eleven, spoke out with bold urgency: “Fellow Jews, all of you who are visiting Jerusalem, listen carefully and get this story straight. These people aren’t drunk as some of you suspect. They haven’t had time to get drunk—it’s only nine o’clock in the morning. This is what the prophet Joel announced would happen:
“In the Last Days,” God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters;
Your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams. When the time comes, I’ll pour out my Spirit on those who serve me, men and women both, and they’ll prophesy.
I’ll set wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, Blood and fire and billowing smoke, the sun turning black and the moon blood-red, before the Day of the Lord arrives, the Day tremendous and marvelous; And whoever calls out for help to me, God, will be saved.”
22-28 “Fellow Israelites, listen carefully to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man thoroughly accredited by God to you—the miracles and wonders and signs that God did through him are common knowledge—this Jesus, following the deliberate and well-thought-out plan of God, was betrayed by men who took the law into their own hands, and was handed over to you. And you pinned him to a cross and killed him. But God untied the death ropes and raised him up. Death was no match for him.
God Deals with Individuals, Not Masses
The thing that stands out to me here is the astonishing concentration of God on the individual. In the room where this Day of Pentecost took place, a large number of people were together, all doing the same thing: praying. But the experience of God that they entered into wasn’t an absorption into group thinking; it was a sharpening of personal relationships.
They discovered, you see, that God deals with individuals, not masses. His power isn’t promulgated by governmental decrees announced through the newspapers or tacked on the post-office bulletin board. He comes to each one of us. You are a unique individual. You have a history and an emotional life all your own. And God operates in intimate relationship with you, just as you are.
Large Print Bible for Father’s Day
Enjoy the surprising clarity of The Message . . . with a font size to match. The one-column layout and 12.5 point text size make it especially easy on the eyes. With over 100,000 sold this Bible is a great gift for you or a dad in your life. Watch below or learn more about The Message Large Print Bible here.