"The Edge" features creative perspectives and reflections associated with the subject matter presented on the Current Lesson page.
Study Series: NTC
"Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having
the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth
this which you both see
and hear... Therefore let all the house of Israel
know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and
Christ -- this Jesus whom
you crucified." Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the
heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what
shall we do?" Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be
baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and
you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you
and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will
call to Himself." And with many other words he solemnly testified and
kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse
generation!" So then, those who had received his word were baptized;
and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were
continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to
the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.
And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,
praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
"Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart..."
It used to be primarily the ears. Now it's the nose, the eyebrows, the tongue, the navel... you name it - they can pierce it. But what about the heart? Sounds pretty lethal - and in a sense it is. When God pierces the heart of a man or a woman He's looking for a magnitude more than just an eye-pleasing adornment that changes the appearance. He's looking to do a complete makeover from within. Piercing the heart does veritably cause a kind of death - death to sin. "And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed." (1 Peter 2:24 NASB) Literally speaking, blood that flows into a heart must receive oxygen as it passes through in order to give life to the rest of the body. The same goes for our spiritual heart - if what comes into the heart does not truly encounter the living Jesus who breathes new life into it, then what flows out of the heart may well be destructive to parts of the body or even to the body as a whole. But we must let Him breathe! By circulating the shed blood of Jesus throughout the rest of the body, the heart pumps the gift of life to the man, to the woman, and ultimately to the body of Christ. "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." (1 Corinthians 12:27-28 NIV) It is the gift of the Holy Spirit - the giver of life, "It is the Spirit who gives life..." (John 6:63a NASB), and it is the greatest gift of all!
"...and you will receive the gift of the
If we don't let Jesus in, then Jesus won't be what comes forth from our hearts. And if we don't allow Him to really live in our hearts, day in and day out, then it is a gift that is taken out of the box from time to time, only to be put back up when not in use. It takes more than just an occasional acknowledgment of the true meaning of Easter, i.e. of His death and resurrection. It takes all we've got, continually devoting ourselves to teaching and fellowship, the breaking of bread, and to prayer... and the Lord will add to our number those who are saved!