Acts 2:37-40 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do? "Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him. "And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."
We live in a hard hearted world. Hard hearted, because we are told it is necessary. Necessary, because if we do not harden our hearts, then many will take advantage of our generous nature. We do not want to be taken advantage of, so we harden our hearts. It makes sense, and often we give it no more thought. And we should give it some thought, for our hard hearts carry a high price. God gave us tender hearts for a purpose, on the one hand we have tender hearts so that we can love and have compassion on people.Ephesians 4:32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Hard hearts just can’t do much loving, because love is giving without considering the cost.1Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love of the brethren, a tender heart and a humble mind. On the other hand, we have tender hearts for our benefit, for it is much easier to accept the Lord shepherding us with tender hearts.
Tender hearts listen, can be touched. A good part of the shepherding of God, is God showing us our sin. Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Tender hearted people can listen, and although it may pierce their heart with guilt, for sin is never a good thing, once they see their sin, they can, by the grace of God, turn from their sin, and return to God, for this is what repentance is.
It is hard for God to touch a hard hearted person, for that which protects them from the world, blinds them to God, stops their ears and dulls their mind. And the worst thing is that if we look a hard hearts as a defense, then it is important to know that hard hearts don’t recover, because they cannot be pierced, they break, and when they break, pieces are lost.
What is the sin that most often affects us? Its having other gods. Or to see it another way, to have something other than God and his will at the center of our life. Often the god is "me" and "what I want"; but it could be many things. I wish I could touch each one of you deeply, so that you would see your sin, and turn from it and return to God. Why, well, because those who do not turn from sin will perish. And there is something so much better, something that God has prepared for us, not just forgiveness and peace with God, but an everlasting life that is perfect in every way. This is the gift of God in Jesus Christ.
What must we do to receive this gift? On the one had, nothing, for God has paid the full price, for this gift was paid for with Jesus holy & precious blood, and his innocent suffering an death. On the other hand, by the grace of God, we can see our sin, and seeing our sin, also by the grace of God, we can turn from sin, turning to life everlasting, and confessing Jesus as Lord, receiving the grace He offers and living by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
This is the Christian life, and it is into this life that we welcome Brianna Marie. God gathers us together to encourage one another, and to remind each other of the many promises that are ours in Jesus. God gathers us together so that we might learn from one another, and teach our young people in the way that they should go. God gathers us together to equip us that we might tell all, that this promise of life and salvation that is ours in Jesus, is promise that God intends for all. And so God sends his Spirit upon us, and we build the church, beginning in our homes, and reaching out to the ends of the world.
We thank God not only for the salvation that is ours, but for our calling as Christians, and for the Spirit, that gives us the words and the courage to share them, all for Jesus sake. And this is what Pentecost is about. That 1st Pentecost 3,000 heard the word, believed, and were baptized, and we pray that God may use us to continue the expansion of the church, that many more may be saved.