I just finished a year-long study in the book of John and decided to move on to Acts. I have read John many times before and I was especially struck this time with a better understanding of the disciples' experience. Their world was turned upside-down and the whole time they were following Jesus, they really didn't have a clue of what was going on. Then He tells them He's going to die and go away. The next thing they know, He is brutally killed in front of them. Um... this man was supposed to become king and overthrow Rome and give them a place of importance. These uneducated fishermen, tax collectors, and zealots had left their commonplace lives and followed Him for three years and then it was over (in their minds). So they hid in fear. However, it truly was only the beginning. He appeared to them and proved that He had overcome death.
Then it all started coming back to them... all the things He had said. They slowly started seeing just how big was the picture Christ was painting. Then, in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit comes. It was the Helper that Christ had promised. Suddenly, they are bold and full of amazing words, even words in many different languages for all of the thousands of people in their audience. Peter gets up and speaks in a way I'm sure he never thought he'd be capable of. Wow, the Holy Spirit took men who just days before were hiding, scared, and doubting, and turned them into courageous men willing to risk everything to preach Christ resurected.
I am especially struck with a certain phrase I've found a few times in Acts. In chapter 9, verse 35, Phillip is led to witness to an Ethiopian eunich. He walks up to the Ethiopian and sees that he is reading from Isaiah, but doesn't understand what he's reading. So when the Ethiopian asks who the prophecy is speaking of, it says, "Then Phillip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him."
Later, in chapter 10, Peter is brought to the house of Cornelius, a God-fearing centurion, and is asked to share what God has commanded Peter to speak. Then, in verse 34, it says, "Then Peter opened his mouth and said..." and he went on to share that the message of Christ was for all people, not just the Jews.
Earlier, at Pentacost, all Peter had to do was "raise his voice" (vs. 2:14) and about 3,000 people came to Christ. I just love the obvious power of the Holy Spirit. We, as believers, just need to open our mouths and the Holy Spirit does the rest.
Are you willing to open your mouth? Do you look for opportunities to share the Gospel? It doesn't take all the right words or a whole lot of knowledge, it just takes a willing spirit and faith in His Spirit.
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