February 9, 2017
READ: Acts 2:14-41
Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all (v.41).
I once supervised a woman who constantly demonstrated that her greatest strength was also her greatest weakness. She had passion and drive to do a great job but often got carried away in her zeal and had to be reined in.
Peter was a man of similar extremes who often reacted out of two things—passion and fear (Matthew 14:29-31). It was with passion he declared Jesus as God, only to then fearfully denounce His mission (16:16-23). This same heart caused him to lash out at those who arrested Jesus and then follow the crowd and be overcome by fear that led to denial (26:51-75).
Ruled by his emotions, Peter was a picture of instability until he was indwelt by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and was transformed. Instead of hiding his affiliation with Jesus, he boldly “stepped forward . . . and shouted to the crowd” (Acts 2:14). He then went on to preach “for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners to [repent]” (v.40). God used that impromptu sermon to add 3,000 people to the church!
Many of us struggle with a particular behavior or trait we just can’t seem to kick, even though we know it doesn’t please God. These weaknesses can leave us feeling defeated, hopeless, and full of despair. But there’s hope! The transforming power of the Holy Spirit is still available today. Once we surrender our hearts to Christ, Romans 8:9 says that “[we] are not controlled by [our] sinful nature.”
As we spend time reading and meditating on Scripture, the Holy Spirit works to mold and transform us into the image of Christ. We no longer have to live in fear, defeat, or shame. Instead, like Peter, we can live out our God-given calling boldly and powerfully!
365-day plan: Exodus 11:1-10, 12:29-36
Read 2 Corinthians 5:17 to see what happens when we’re transformed by Jesus.
Think about a past weakness and the process of overcoming it. What principles can you apply from that experience to a current issue you’re struggling with? How has God’s power helped you overcome fear?