Saturday, September 13, 2014
Cut to the Heart
Cut to the Heart
"What do we do?" the people cried.
My son Todd, now Pastor Todd, preached this sermon on the Pentecost when we visited his church at the beginning of the summer. Peter and the disciples were in Jerusalem, and the Holy Spirit came down on them. They began to speak in tongues. Fire appeared on their heads. Peter began to preach to the amazed crowd.
He knew what they would understand the most. He spoke right from the scriptures. "What was spoken about in Joel is happening, right now!" They understood immediately, and the words did not simply go in one ear and out the other. They cut to the heart. The words spoke of a new way. They tore down the old. But the power of the Holy Spirit gentled their hearts, softened their resolve to the law. Peter went on to remind them that it was they that crucified Jesus. These word cut again deep and brought them to tears. They shouted, "What do we do?" Peter answered with a mighty cry, "Repent. Turn, turn from your wicked ways." And they did! They listened, they repented, and told others of Christ. That was the beginning of the Christian church.
This topic makes me think of an older generation of Christians that do not want to listen to the younger ones coming along. The ones that are trying to remind us we need to take a look at where the church has been taken these last years. Have many in the church become slaves to laws that make it impossible for the lost to find Jesus? Other churches have walled themselves in. Afraid of a secular world. Or have become complacent on how they represent Christ. Do some of us need to soften our hearts, listen, and repent? Even though it may hurt to change we need to evaluate where we have focused our energies. Is it politics? Ranting about Hollywood? Or seeking out the tender places of peoples hearts and lives that need God's healing. Then rolling up our sleeves, and jumping in with both feet to fight for, not against, the ones that need us most.