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.’
Devotion by Chris Shiver
This scripture describes what for believers was a pivotal moment in time, when the Spirit of God first became available to anyone who would simply believe that God was real and was ready to deal lovingly with each of us personally as we are. Before I believed, I was more like the crowd that accused them of drunken behavior – after all how could anyone believe that God actually cared for this world and its messed up people. But when I felt the true presence of the Holy Spirit I was compelled to speak out as to what had happened to me and how my life and attitude were changed from that moment forward.
Jesus, I pray that I will never forget or turn away from the power of your Spirit, and that I will speak your truth when you ask me to do so. Amen.