God’s Path to Tender Hearts and Strong Voices
It’s seems like it’s been forever since we’ve just done life here together on the blog. Between the holidays, a blogging break and the devo post last week, it’s been a hodge podge. Thanks for hanging in there with me. You’re a treasure. Truly.
But I’m ready and excited to settle back down into our purpose to develop:
Tender hearts. Strong voices.
We’ve got lots of newcomers, and I’m thrilled to have you here. Welcome! If you’re new and wanting to get a taste of where we’re going, I invite you to watch the videos below to get a clear idea of our direction.
“Will you go a new direction with me?”
“Unity and Love: Some rules of engagement”
If you’ve been here a long time, I’m so grateful! Either way, I know I need a chance to get back on course, and maybe you do too. God was so good last week to give me a clear, biblical picture of where He’s leading us.
I’ve never heard God audibly speak to me, but He’s always speaking. One of the ways I recognize His voice is through repetition. I’m slow, so I may miss it the first time. I’m not completely dense, though. I usually catch it the second time around.
This week, I studied Acts 2:41-47 with my friends at New Providence church, and then our pastor preached on the same passage at Apex Baptist on Sunday. Hello, God!
I’m going to be processing the lessons in that passage for a long time, but I felt compelled to review all of Acts 2 today. You may want to get your Bible and read it too. As I was reading, our process leapt off the page at me!
Starting in verse 14, Peter stood up to address the crowd, and they listened. Led by the Holy Spirit, using God’s Word from the Old Testament and explaining his eye-witness account of Jesus’ life, Peter explained the Gospel. Do you see what’s happening there? All three persons of the Trinity– God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit– are playing a part in speaking through Peter. He has been and is actively listening as he speaks.
As Peter speaks truth, the crowd is listening.
Peter wraps up his message of the Gospel, and verse 37 tells us, “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart….” The people listened to the message given by the Holy Spirit through Peter, and they felt conviction. Sorrow. Pain.
It was the appropriate and Holy-Spirit-given response to what they had heard.
But the people didn’t just feel and then leave. They felt and responded with a question, “‘Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2: 37b). They knew that listening wasn’t enough. Even being moved wasn’t enough. Now it was time to act.
And act they did, thus the title of the book of the Bible! They turned to Christ for forgiveness and were baptized, but they didn’t stop there. They started learning and meeting and sharing and giving and breaking bread together. We’ll focus much longer on the end of the chapter when I write about our third step, “DO.”
We know that these new Jesus followers didn’t limit to do-ing. They also began speaking of Jesus, sharing the Gospel. As a result, “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2: 47b) They told others who listened and believed, and so the process was repeated over and over. Through the centuries. Until there was you and me.
I was amazed and strengthened to see that the process I outlined before Christmas really is a God-idea, not just an Amy-idea. It’s my heart’s desire to share God-ideas with you because only those are transforming and eternal.
Are we all on the same page again and ready to move forward? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Next week I’ll start writing about “Listening to Others” but “Listening to God” always, always comes first and is the foundation. If you missed any of the posts from before Christmas in the “Listening to God” series, this is your chance to catch up or review. Next week, we’ll hit the ground running.
To Be Successful Always Refer to Rule #1
How to Know for Sure that Scripture is Trustworthy
How to Know for Sure that YOU Can Find the Truth in Scripture
I’m finding your blog posts very interesting Amy. I’m someone who does try to listen to other viewpoints but in all things wants to think, speak, and do what aligns with God’s word. I’m often caught in the middle – my mind not aligned with the liberal view of today’s culture, but not fully embracing every conservative, “Christian” viewpoint either. Too often I stay silent because I could get attacked from both sides.
I’m in the exact same shoes, Mary. I’m still on a huge learning curve, but I’m glad that women like you are walking with me.
It was really important for me to see you put Feel into the process. I have often discounted my feelings, was told they were bad and needed to be held tightly under control, but I know that they have a place in our life because why else would God give them to us. So, I’m excited to hear what you are going to share with us on feelings in particular but thrilled to be along for the ride in this new direction you are taking.
Are you writing a book about this as well?
Jennifer, it’s such an encouragement that the process is resonating with you! I don’t know exactly where this is going long-term, but there might be a book stirring around. 😉
Thanks. The weather has us parked in the semi. I needed this encouragement
Drive safe, Mary! This nation’s weather is the wildest right now. You were in snow, and it’s almost 80 degree in NC today. Crazy!
Thanks for outlining Acts 2, Amy! I seem to land there in my bible many times and wonder what the significance is to me as a believer.
I’m so glad that God is speaking to you through Acts 2 also, Lillian! It’s been rich and challenging for me.
This is all so powerful. Thank you friend.
<3 <3 <3