Acts 3:17-26 (NRSV)
Peter preaches in Solomon's Portico
"And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus, who must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets. Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you from your own people a prophet like me. You must listen to whatever he tells you. And it will be that everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be utterly rooted out of the people.' And all the prophets, as many as have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, also predicted these days. You are the descendants of the prophets and of the covenant that God gave to your ancestors, saying to Abraham, 'And in your descendants all the families of the earth shall be blessed.' When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you, to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways."
Today’s scripture says that Jesus is the Messiah and that we must listen to whatever he tells us!
The word "Messiah" means one who saves or delivers. According to our scripture, Jesus saves us by wiping out our sin and refreshing us with the presence of God.
I don’t know about you, but I am so glad that Jesus has the power to wipe out sin. See, I couldn’t do that for myself. No matter how “good” I tried to be, I just kept messing up.
I simply don’t have the ability to love God and neighbor perfectly. Some days start off just fine, but then someone gets on my nerves, or my pride gets in the way, or I get too busy or anxious to even think about God.
I—like you—am human and therefore I am beset by a terminal dis-ease called sin-sickness. It is a condition of the soul that means that I miss the mark time and again causing me to be separated from God.
But, here is today's GOOD NEWS! Jesus is able to heal our sin-sickness. Jesus has triumphed over this life-threatening condition. Jesus gave us a “blood transfusion” when he donated his blood to us on Calvary’s tree.
Because Jesus died on the cross, he is now able to “wipe out our sin” making it possible for us to eternally dwell in the presence of our God.
Aren’t you glad that God has promised never to leave us or forsake us? Aren’t you glad that Jesus is called, “Immanuel,” God with us? Aren’t you glad that God possesses such Amazing Grace and Unconditional Love? Aren’t you glad that God has always had a salvation plan for humanity, which was revealed in parts by the many Hebrew prophets, and was made fully manifest in the person and divinity of Jesus Christ?
Peter said that we must listen to whatever Jesus tells us! My mama told me that a person’s actions speak louder than his words. So, what did Jesus tell us with his actions?
God loves, gave, and saves! God loves us so much that he gave Jesus to die on the cross to save us from our sin and to gift us with eternal life.
As Jesus allowed himself to be nailed to an old wooden cross, his actions declared, “God loves you.” As Jesus bled, suffered, and died, his actions declared, “God gives me to you as a sacrifice.” As Jesus hung his head and died, his actions said, “God is determined to save you at any cost!” When Jesus resurrected from the dead, his actions said, “You are saved! Your sins are wiped out! Enjoy the refreshing and eternal presence of the Lord!”
Isn’t God amazing? Isn’t God’s only begotten son wonderful? Isn’t our salvation the most wonderful gift you could ever imagine?
Nobody has ever—does—or will ever--love you like Jesus! In my tradition we say, “Cain’t nobody do me like Jesus!”
God has been faithful to humanity down through all of the generations! God has been faithful to us, even when we did not know—or appreciate it! God will be faithful to every generation to follow us. God is just faithful!
Salvation really is very simple. All that is required is that you believe that God loves you and proved it by allowing Jesus to die on the cross and be resurrected from the dead.
Won’t you put all of your hope in Jesus today?
If so, please pray with me:
Dear God, I know you love me and I love you too. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and that you raised him from the dead! Please forgive all of my sins and fill me with your Holy Spirit. I want my whole life to declare your praise and glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you just prayed that prayer for the first time, today, you are saved! I would be so honored if you would let me know about your decision by clicking “Yes” in the poll located at the top/right of today’s devotional! I am so happy for you! Happy Spiritual Re-Birth-Day!
Next steps: In response to what God did for you just now, let me suggest that you consider telling another Christian so that they can celebrate with you! Ask them to help you find a Bible that is easy for you to understand so that you can learn more about your new-found faith! Ask them to help you find a good Bible believing church where you can make new friends who will walk with you on your new journey! You are already saved; now let God mature you by faith! Congratulations!
Congratulations to the people who have recently put all of their faith in Jesus! We are so excited about your newfound faith in Jesus! You are in our thoughts and prayers!
If you have additional questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, "Come to Jesus"
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From Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com