Devotional Word for Thursday, June 4, 2020
Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost outlines the foundation stones necessary for a Christian worldview. That’s what we’ve been pondering this post-Pentecost week. Four foundation stones we’ve thus far identified are: 1) the need for a Scriptural lens through which to view life; 2) God’s plan and purpose was accomplished in Jesus the Nazarene, even though it was carried out by the hands of godless men; 3) Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the Son of God, the Redeemer promised since the Garden of Eden, confirmed by God’s raising Him from the dead, never to die again; and 4) since His Ascension, Jesus is reigning as King of the Universe; He is the One who poured out the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost to empower His people to carry out the task He assigned them, namely, bearing witness to Him.
Peter lays down one more foundation stone for us to consider. He does so by quoting from Psalm 110. He tells the assembled crowds on that Day of Pentecost: For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself (i.e. David) says, “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.’” [Acts 2:34-35] With His Ascension, Jesus is situated to accomplish the plan and purpose of God. The plan and purpose from the foundation of the world, the plan and purpose proclaimed before Eden, enunciated by the prophets, and now understood, announced, and undertaken by the followers of Jesus, which is this: For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. [Hab. 2:14]
That’s from the prophet Habakkuk. But Isaiah says the same thing, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea. [Isaiah 11:9] This will be the fulfillment of the mandate God gave to mankind in Genesis 1: God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth. [Genesis 1:28]
All those scriptural words are embedded in the vision that fills the minds of Peter and the followers of Jesus on Pentecost. They are taking up the task of discipling the nations, of teaching all nations to do all that Jesus has commanded. He has promised to be with them to the end of the age, that is, until the task is accomplished!
They will begin at Jerusalem, but then go on to Judea and Samaria and on to the remotest parts of the earth, so that people from every tribe, tongue, people group, and nation will worship the Lord Jesus, King of all.
Peter and the followers of Jesus in his day did not accomplish the task. They did make a good start. That task has been passed along to successive generations of Jesus’ followers. Jesus has been with each generation, watching over and blessing their labors. The task comes to our generation as well. Receiving this task, taking it up, is the final foundation stone in the Christian worldview Peter outlines for us. We need this foundation stone in place if we’re to have a genuine Christian worldview.
We do not expect to finish the task in our generation. But we should be determined to do our part in carrying out Jesus’ commission to His Church. We dare not have as our vision something less than the entire world, nor can it be less than having the world live in conformity with genuine Christian discipleship.
So, is that part of your Christian worldview? Is that how you think about the task Jesus has given His church to do? It should be. Jesus continues to pour out the Holy Spirit to empower us for the task. Psalm 110 will be fulfilled. Praise God that we have a part in it.
Let’s pray: Lord Jesus, Ruler of heaven and earth, open our hearts and minds to receive the vision You have for us. We confess we get bogged down and lose sight of what it is You’re doing and what all You have done. Just as Peter and the first Christians could hardly have imagined billions of followers of Jesus all around the globe, so we can hardly imagine what it will look like when all nations are observing what You command. But we trust the greatness of Your power more than the smallness of our imaginations. Come, Holy Spirit, work in and through us to the glory of the Lord Jesus who reigns with You and the Father, one God, forever and ever. Amen.