ODJ: for everyone

September 20, 2014 

READ: Acts 2:1-41 

Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this” (v.14).

The very first time one of the apostles stood up and publicly addressed a crowd about the good news of Jesus, he wanted to make it crystal clear that what he was proclaiming was for everyone.
The New Testament book of Acts tells us that this happened on the day of Pentecost—an annual Jewish feast. The promised Holy Spirit had come and indwelt the believers in Jesus, filling them with God’s presence and power (Acts 2:1-11). Peter, who only weeks before had lied and denied that he knew Jesus on the night He was arrested (Mark 14:66-72), found himself standing up with his fellow disciples before a huge crowd, explaining the amazing events that had recently taken Jerusalem by storm (Acts 2:14).

Now, the bold apostle announced to them that something quite radical had happened through Jesus’ death and resurrection that had changed the whole world for good. A new age had begun and the Maker of heaven and earth was doing a new thing. Forgiveness, restoration and new life were opening up for all people to turn and receive.

Peter went on to stress to the crowd that what God was doing wasn’t just for those who happened to be in Jerusalem that day. Nor was it just for a privileged few. He said, “This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles—all who have been called by the Lord our God” (v.39).

The good news of God’s grace and new life through Jesus is for everyone. It’s for you, your family, your next-door neighbour, that rude co-worker, the person waiting on your table at the restaurant, the child who’s yet to be born and for those living on the other side of the world. May we proclaim the good news today!

—Jeff Olson

365-day plan› Mark 14:26-52

Read Acts 16:25-34 and consider what happened when a jailer heard the good news. 
Are there people you are tempted to think of as beyond God’s grace? What can you do to proclaim the good news more effectively to everyone?