Recovery as War??

This story of the Deborah has many connections to us in recovery.  Many of us have achieved great victories in our life.  And every real victory in life is a spiritual victory, a triumph given by God.  We have all been in a war in our recoveries.  And any war, including the war of recovery, needs its leaders.  I’ve spent time in the rooms of AA, but my recovery began, lives, and grows thanks to the Celebrate Recovery ministry in my church.  One of the recovery victories in my life is having the privilege of now serving on the leadership team in our ministry.  CR lives and operates under constant spiritual warfare.  We are often the last hope for sick, hurting people, wounded warriors if you will.  We can not hope to be successful unless we constantly work to heal the hurting relationships in our own lives and ministry.  When people hurt us, we need to disengage ourselves from the conflict, both for our own sake, and so we can be models of Christ for others to emulate.   “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”Matthew‬ ‭5:39‬ ‭NIV‬‬‬

In this passage, Israel wins a huge battle with Gods intervention.  Though Israel was outnumbered and outgunned, God sent a storm on the enemies chariots and engineered the death of the opposing General.  See verses 11-24 below.

How did God do this??  He used leaders who had abandoned their own personal pride.  “Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.”  Deborah first of all could have done it all on her own, but she chose to call Barak.  Barak could have gone on his own, but chose to ask Deborah to come, probably to his own embarrassment (Deborah being a woman.  And the year not being 2016).  Point is, both Deborah and Barak were concerned with the people they were trying to help free, and the promotion of Gods glory over their own.  These same priorities must dominate any persons recovery.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬ ‬‬

 

 

Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided. She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’ ” Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. There Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him. Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law, and pitched his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh. When they told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, Sisera summoned from Harosheth Haggoyim to the Kishon River all his men and his nine hundred chariots fitted with iron. Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. At Barak’s advance, the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot. Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim, and all Sisera’s troops fell by the sword; not a man was left. Sisera, meanwhile, fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there was an alliance between Jabin king of Hazor and the family of Heber the Kenite. Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come, my lord, come right in. Don’t be afraid.” So he entered her tent, and she covered him with a blanket. “I’m thirsty,” he said. “Please give me some water.” She opened a skin of milk, gave him a drink, and covered him up. “Stand in the doorway of the tent,” he told her. “If someone comes by and asks you, ‘Is anyone in there?’ say ‘No.’ ” But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died. Just then Barak came by in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him. “Come,” she said, “I will show you the man you’re looking for.” So he went in with her, and there lay Sisera with the tent peg through his temple—dead. On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites. And the hand of the Israelites pressed harder and harder against Jabin king of Canaan until they destroyed him.

‭‭Judges‬ ‭4:4-24‬ ‭NIV‬‬‬‬‬‬

Borrowed from the Celebrate Recovery Bible Pg 281.  “Character Study – “My Name is Deborah””  by John Baker

Do Something!!


This is stunning.  A resurrection before the resurrection.  “Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  Martha is right.  Jesus had been healing the sick and the lame and the blind.  He certainly could have healed Lazarus, one of his good friends.  He was told Lazarus was sick a few days before, and could have gotten there in plenty of time.  There’s that the thing – time.  We all want things when we want them.  We have our own plans, our own time frame.  But our plans are not Gods plans.  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬.  
He has plans for us, which though we do not understand them, are always plans for our good, and for his glory.  And – his plans are always greater than our plans, if we would just wait.  “Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.” “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.””  Jesus begins to reveal his plans, but Martha, like us most of the time, still does not have any idea what’s about to happen.  “Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?””  Wow!!  Do you believe??  One of the most important verses in the bible, but I’ll move on to the point here.  Martha believed, and Jesus called for Mary (Marthas sister) to come.  Many people followed her to console her by Lazarus grave.  Instead, they witnessed one if the great miracles of the bible.  “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?””  Then Jesus prayed this prayer –  “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.”   And out comes Lazarus, dead for four days, walking away from the grave.  After everyone there knew it was too late for Lazarus, because Mary and Martha (and Lazarus himself I would infer here) had faith in Jesus, he performed an unbelievable, supernatural miracle in their lives.  Not on their time, but his time.  What are you waiting on God to do in your life??   Cure your addiction?  Ease your anxiety??  Heal your hurt??  Wonder why it’s not done yet?  When we feel like God should have done SOMETHING by now, know that he has his own plans, on his own time, and it’s bigger than anything you are imagining right now.


“When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem, and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss. When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.” “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” So Mary immediately went to him. Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?” Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!””
‭‭John‬ ‭11:17-44‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/jhn.11.17-44.nlt

 

John Lewis

Blessed


The opening of the Sermon on the Mount.  Jesus’ own words setting up expectations for how Christians should live.  So, what does it mean for us?? First thing, what is blessed??  Probably not how we read it today, which would most likely be simply “happy” or “given plenty”.   In the original Greek, with original intent, the full meaning would be “life changing transformation in spirit”.   When Jesus says “blessed” here, he is talking about transforming us, changing us from the inside.  I might be a little off here, but he’s not just blessing us as when we sneeze!!  He’s about transforming heart and spirit.  
What does it mean to be poor in spirit?  To mourn?  Meek?  To be poor in spirit means, I believe, to know that without God we are nothing.   Without God, we are spiritually dead.  We need to recognize this, turn to Him, allow him to take over our spirit and lives, and he will lead us to his kingdom in heaven.   To mourn – maybe simply mourning our dead, but that’s simply a natural human emotion.  Their fate is done either way.  So, as believers we are to mourn, be sorrowful for the state of affairs of the world around us, for the world around us is turning away from their salvation daily.   Meek does NOT equal weak.  Meekness is simply being submitted to God, which is really our greatest possible strength.  If we seek after what is right, Jesus tells us we will find it and be satisfied with our lives.  In the same way we’ve never had a problem finding the wrong things, have we??  Some of these are difficult for us.  To be honest, all of them are difficult.  They seem simple and easy enough, but try putting them into practice!!  Try being merciful.  We all want to receive mercy, but having mercy on others, not so much!!  Try being a peacemaker when someone else is in your grill.  Try being the humble one instead showing how strong and macho you are by going into your own fight mode.  “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you”.   Try living this one out.  Try telling your boys you’re not going to meet them at the bar because it’s just not where you want to be anymore.  Try being the guy who witnesses to lifelong friends who’ve known you in all you once were.  Try being the one who doesn’t want to have the same Friday or Saturday night you’ve always had.  Even Jesus had to experience this, remember?  And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.”” Matthew‬ ‭13:57‬.  Just know that the people most likely to persecute you as you transform and change your life are those who know you best.  I guess this is part of what He meant when he said “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”‭‭Luke‬ ‭14:28‬ ‭ESV‬‬.
 
 
 
“And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:2-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/mat.5.2-12.esv

 

John Lewis

Smart People



Many “smart” people these days claim the Bible has no meaning today, that it’s just an ancient book, that it’s all nonsense.   It’s funny how, once again,  such an ancient, nonsensical book has a passage that speaks directly to us.  “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  For people who don’t have the Holy Spirit within them, who have not accepted the work of Christ on the cross, who are living only for this world and not for eternity, the Bible is nonsense!!   And for those of us who have accepted Christ as our savior this book is the very word of God, the guide of our life.   “For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.””   The more we learn, the more apparent it is that there are just things God is not going to allow us to know.  Just like Adam and Eve in the garden…there are just things that the creator of the universe does not have in his plan for us know.  We are not God.  We will never know everything it is we are trying to learn.  In our humanistic society we quest to know it all.   But that was never Gods plan.  For believers, that is a good thing.  “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.””  We don’t understand why God chose us, but he did.  He chose us to be his people, his brothers, his messengers.  If we could understand, if it was something within our comprehension, would we accept it??  Or would we spend our days here on earth questioning the gift He gave us??   If we didn’t hit that point in our lives where the only way to look was up, where the futility of our own knowledge was clear, would we have accepted the work of Jesus on the cross??  Thank God for being dumb enough to have faith in Him!!





“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.””
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:18-31‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/1co.1.18-31.esv

Better For You!!

 

   This is from Jesus’ passion week.  He is again telling his disciples that he will be leaving them, that “now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things.”  Then he says something which would seem bizarre.  “None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away.”  Why would it be good that Jesus was going away??  Imagine being one of his disciples, knowing the Son of God had come to you and changed your life.  And now he says he’s going away, and it’s BETTER for you if he goes away!!??  Huh??  Then comes the shocking explanation – “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”  Thank God we know now the truth of which Jesus was speaking, but those poor disciple heads must have been spinning at that one.  But think about this – we do have the Holy Spirit, the third part of the triune God, with us in all we do.  Jesus was God the son – fully God, but limited on earth by being by being fully human also.  At any point in time, Jesus the man could only be one place, one time.  But the Holy Spirit is omnipresent, all places at all times, living in the heart of every believer, all 2.3 billion of us.  It wasn’t until Jesus rose into heaven and the spirit showed up in Acts 2 that Jesus’ church began to explode, as all his believers now had the power of God within them to “Go and make disciples of all the nations.”  This is why as believers we say we need to “empty ourselves”, so that we can be filled with this Holy Spirit – actually have the third part of the Triune God living within us!!  “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”””  Thank God for the Spirit he sent to help us in our lives, our recoveries, and our daily walk with him!!

 
 

““All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.””
‭‭John‬ ‭16:1-15‬ ‭NIV‬‬
http://bible.com/111/jhn.16.1-15.niv

 

John Lewis

 

Celebrate Life!!



What does this mean to you??  I think it means…live life!!  Engage the world.  Get involved!!  “Cast your bread upon the waters, for joy will find it after many days” – invest in the world around you, use what God has given you, and you will get your investment returned and then some!!  Use your abilities.  Then..diversify.  “Give a portion to seven, yes, even [divide it] to eight, for you know not what evil may come upon the earth.”  We are not just talking about money here.   In carrying out the great commission, the apostle Paul modeled this.  He went to the Jews, the Samaritans, the Romans, each group he would bring the gospel to in a different way, his stated goal was to win as many to Christ as possible.  “He who observes the wind [and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.”   What are the perfect conditions you are waiting for to take that next big step??  How will you know when conditions are perfect??    Stop trying to predict the future, because none of us know what’s coming.   We do not understand the plans God has for us.  “In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening withhold not your hands, for you know not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether both alike will be good.”  We should enjoy our lives when we are young, but know that not everything is always smooth sailing.  “And walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.”  There will be the good times, there will be the struggles.  Live your life not in fear of what you don’t know or understand,  but get out there and mix it up!!  Celebrate life!!  LIVE life!!  Use what have, don’t hoard it!!  Just remember…the day of judgement will come.  How will you account for what you’ve been given??



“CAST YOUR bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, yes, even [divide it] to eight, for you know not what evil may come upon the earth. If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth; and if a tree falls toward the south or toward the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. He who observes the wind [and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you know not what is the way of the wind, or how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a pregnant woman, even so you know not the work of God, Who does all. In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening withhold not your hands, for you know not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether both alike will be good. Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun. Yes, if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all; yet let him [seriously] remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. All that comes is vanity (emptiness, falsity, vainglory, and futility)! Rejoice, O young man, in your adolescence, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your [full-grown] youth. And walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. Therefore remove [the lusts that end in] sorrow and vexation from your heart and mind and put away evil from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity [transitory, idle, empty, and devoid of truth]. [II Cor. 7:1; II Tim. 2:22.]”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭11:1-10‬ ‭AMP‬‬
http://bible.com/8/ecc.11.1-10.amp

Sent from my iPad

 

Repent & Recieve

 

The more I read the Bible, the better it gets!!  This starts with all the believers in Christ being filled by God with the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus had promised.  That is immediately followed by one of the most impactful sermons of history, where Peter lays out for all the non believers the case for Jesus Christ being the Messiah they’ve been waiting for, and also lays it out that they persecuted and executed their own savior.  “What should we do” they asked Peter.  Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away —all who have been called by the Lord our God.”  The Holy Spirit promised by Jesus was sent.  The same Holy Spirit Jesus himself promised his disciples would come, the same Holy Spirit Jesus himself promised would be better for us than if he were still here.  This spirit filled Peter, the same guy who who shamefully denied Jesus three times the night he was crucified.   The spirit came upon Peter, empowering him to preach one of the most powerful sermons in history.  There was no more spirit of cowardice within Peter, he took the Gospel directly to those who has opposed Jesus before his crucifixion.  “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.”   No more cowardice, just the spirit of God speaking through Peter to all who were listening.   Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.”  And so our modern church began.

 

“On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers. They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other. But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!” Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that. No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike— and they will prophesy. And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below— blood and fire and clouds of smoke. The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and glorious day of the LORD arrives. But everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.’ “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. King David said this about him: ‘I see that the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’ “Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us. But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David’s own descendants would sit on his throne. David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave. “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said, ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”’ “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!” Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away —all who have been called by the Lord our God.” Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.”
‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭2:1-41‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/act.2.1-41.nlt

Sent from my iPad