“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”  40 With many other words, he warned them, and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day, they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:37—47)


            Peter delivered a Holy Spirit-directed message to his fellow Jews.  The message was so effective that his fellow Jews said, “They were cut to the heart,” and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”   Sometimes, preachers are more concerned about offending people than saying straight to people what they need to hear.  I know I am often challenged with this reality as I speak.  I must not be a men pleaser that I will be ineffective in my sharing of Jesus’ truth.  The Holy Spirit is a gift that is meant for all who believe and trust in Jesus.  However, we must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins before the Holy Spirit can fill us up and use us for his glory.  The promised gift of the Holy Spirit is not just for me but for my children, and to all who are far off, and for all whom God calls. 

            The Holy Spirit works in the hearts of all who accept his message, repent, and be baptized.  About 3000 were added to the church.  The Holy Spirit does not lead people to Himself without connecting them to a group for dynamic growth.  We are not saved to be by ourselves but to be a part of the church of Jesus.  We grow in faith and relationship with Jesus and others not as lone rangers but as a part of Jesus’ community. 

            The 3000 people themselves to the apostle’s teaching, to fellowship, to breaking bread together, and to prayer.  They learned how to share and had everything in common.  They learned not to focus on themselves only but to sacrifice and give for the sake of others.  Meeting together and fellowshipping together by inviting others into their homes brought so much joy and gladness among themselves, praising God, and many were added daily to those who were saved.

            We are not saved to be alone.  We are saved to be a part of a community of people who learned to follow Jesus together, to be accountable to each other, and to spur each other to grow.  We are to be a part of what God is doing in our lives and among the lives of others. 


            I am glad to be reminded again why Jesus saved me and made me a part of his church.  I cannot be a lone ranger Christian who lives for myself and my selfish desires.  I am to be among others whom Jesus saved and be a contributing member of his church for the sake of others.  Christians are not to be selfish, looking only after themselves and what makes them happy.  I am reminded to be a part of Jesus’ church and contribute to other’s growth. 


            Jesus, I am grateful again for a fresh reminder of being a part of your church and to contribute to the health and growth of your people.  Thank you for reminding me again that I was not saved to be a lone ranger but to be a part of a community.  Help me to do my part so many more may come to your salvation and be a part of your community.  Amen!