Read the Bible verses related to each devotion.
Then follow the actions and prayers for yourself and a nonbeliever at the bottom of the page.
READ ACTS 2
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.’ (Acts 2:17-21)
Let me tell you a story that has a beginning, but not an end.
Remember the first time that Jesus met John, the brother of James? John and Andrew were passionately seeking world-wide, life-changing impact, so they were following John the Baptist. They were young reformers, leaving the day to day behind so they could learn from the fiery preacher in the wilderness. Together they were answering the cry of hunger inside of them. But John the Baptist, who knew the times and seasons, was there only for a moment, to burn brightly, pointing the whole world to the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world—Jesus, his cousin.
Do you remember the first words they said to Jesus? “Rabbi,” (which is to say, when translated, “Teacher”) “where are You staying?” (John 1:38). And do you recall what Jesus, the Master of the universe, who knows the end from the beginning, said in response? “Come and see.”
Now, it is important to note, that the title they gave Jesus was one of submission, reverence, and a desire to learn. And, Jesus’ response was one of willingness to teach them. This is the relationship that we have with Jesus. He is the Teacher, and we are the students. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. John and Andrew had a healthy fear of the Lord, so they submitted to the will and Lordship of Jesus in order to learn from Him.
See how Jesus did not answer. He did not lord it over them, demand that they grovel at his feet, and force them to get on board with “His ministry” or “His vision” for the city. Jesus did not share their past sin, nor did He bring up their future issues. (Remember, John and James’ mother? She tried to get her boys to be the greatest leaders in the kingdom of God.) Jesus simply said, “Come and see,” and this is how He invites everyone.
Now, consider the future leaders of the church of God, Peter, the older brother, and fisherman. Andrew, Peter’s brother, was also with John learning from Jesus. Apparently, Andrew was so moved, that immediately, he became an evangelist and ran to tell Simon (he was not yet Peter) and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And then Andrew brought him to Jesus. And how did Jesus respond? Did he tell Peter, “Hey buddy, I know about all your sins, and, haha, you are gonna deny Me three times when I am going through My hardest time?” No! Instead, Jesus called and affirmed him, by saying, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, a Stone; John 1:42).
What about you? Do you remember when Jesus first met you? Can you remember the sense of peace that flooded your heart when His mercy washed you clean? Can you recollect that first moment when you had really blown it. When you turned to Him, asked for forgiveness, and He lifted you up with grace? Do you remember the overwhelming sense of joy when He first called you, and showed you His plans for your life? When He first met you, like John and Peter, I can imagine that He led you with goodness. And so should you.
Paul, who had persecuted the church, dramatically wrote that we should never judge someone else.
“And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:3-4)
How did Paul come to this conclusion? That is an interesting question. The answer is strongly bewildering, but tells a lot of the nature of God’s mercy and grace. Paul came to this conclusion, just like the disciples did and just like you should have. He came to the conclusion when he first met Jesus. Do you recall Jesus’s first words to Saul (he was not yet named Paul)? “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4). Jesus, knew the pain Saul caused while persecuting new believers, and He could have condemned him. Instead, the goodness of the Lord, who is trying to lead all to repentance asked him why he was persecuting Jesus. Glorious! This is truly glorious.
So back on topic. Let’s recap from our Scriptures. Acts 2:21, “whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” And Romans 2:4, “…the goodness of the Lord leads to repentance.”
Remember you were once a “whosoever.” You were once full of sin and weighed down by the debt of your sin. But the goodness of the Lord lead you to repentance. Remember how kind Jesus was when He first met, John, Andrew, Peter, and Paul. The merciful kindness of our loving Father led them to repentance. Let that refresh you today in your own life and help you as you pray for the one you are sharing the gospel with.
WARNING: the person that you are going to share the Gospel with may have been hurt by the church. One of those ways is through hypocrisy. A hypocrite is someone that knows what is right, talks about what is right, but in the secret places of their life does not do what is right. And this is the issue we want to tackle today. Why? Because we are all sinners that are saved by grace, and you are going to be used by God over these 21 days to help lead someone to the Lord.
They may have met people within the church that are hypocritical in what they say or do, and this usually leaves a bad taste in their mouths. So, how do you handle this, should the issue arise? Do not try to defend something that you cannot defend. I always say, “God is perfect, but people are not—especially Christians.” We are trying to walk as He called us to walk, but we mess up along the way. However, God loves us as a perfect Father. He is rich in Mercy (doesn’t give us what we deserve), and He overflows with grace for the repentant heart (He blesses us when we don’t deserve it).
ACTION4U: HUMBLE yourself before the Lord. Remember, the goodness of the Lord which lead you to repentance. Remember, when He first called you. What are the first words you can remember Him saying to you? What are some of the words He has spoken to you that have impacted your life? Remember them. Write them down. Remind God of them. If you have any hypocrisy, confess it, tell Him you're sorry, take it to the cross of Christ, allow Him to wash you in mercy, and then become empowered by grace.
PRAYER4U: Father, You are righteous, I want to be just like you. I am so sorry for ____________ (whatever hypocrisy you may have). Remind me of Your goodness, which leads me to repentance. Wash me in mercy. Strengthen me in Your grace. Make me new. Let me have a new mind, a new heart, new soul, and new strength.
ACTION4ONE: Rest in this: He who began a good work in you is faithful to bring it to pass. (Philippians 1:6) Therefore, it is not you that has to strive to get this person saved. Your job is to cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Therefore, just say hi and ask them how they are doing (whether this is through a text message or face to face).
PRAYER4ONE: Father, today I put ______________ in Your hands. I ask that you would send Your Holy Spirit to convict them of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). Father, make a way for us to see your goodness to lead them to repentance. Chase them down with Your unrelenting love.
Have you been blessed by this and want to be a blessing?