January 2, 2018

Four words got my attention today in our daily reading. Acts 2:14 Then Peter stepped forward… This is the way of a Christian. A Christian lives by faith not by sight. God asks us to do this as a way of showing our allegiance to him. As a way of showing that we trust him. This is kingdom of God living.

God told Noah to build an ark. Noah could have said, “Show me the water and I will build the ark.” But God would have said, “Build the ark and I will show you the water.” Which is exactly what happened. When Moses and Israel left Egypt and were faced with the Red Sea he told Moses to hold his staff over the sea and the waters would part. Again Moses could have said, “Part the waters and I will hold my staff.” But that is not God’s way. When Joshua was ready to lead Israel into the Promised Land the river Jordan stood in their way. God told him the waters would part when the priests stepped into the water. Again Joshua could have said, “Part the waters and we will step in.” He didn’t because he knew following God was a faith walk.

Now back to Peter. Before this day Peter had been stepping backward. He wasn’t walking by faith. He was looking at the outward circumstances and those circumstances looked pretty bleak and so in unbelief he denied Jesus three times even though Jesus said if he would just hang in there he would see it all work out for good. Peter wanted to see it all work out for good before he trusted, but that isn’t the way we live in the kingdom of God. Miracles take place when we step forward in faith.

Peter stepped forward and boldly preached about Jesus and three thousand people were saved. These people boldly stepped forward and > Acts 2:42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. And when they did this > Acts 2:43-47 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

So as we begin our journey of faith in 2018 where do you need to step forward? Is it devoting yourself more to the Word of God, to fellowship with other believers, is it in more generous giving, is it to take Holy Communion everyday and believing that the life of Jesus if flowing into you, is it to set aside more time to pray and seek the Lord, is it taking time to praise the Lord regardless of how you feel or how things look, is it to stir up the spiritual gifts that you know you have but you are not using, is it to love unconditionally? As the people stepped forward God did some wonderful and amazing things.

Perhaps 2018 could be the year of “Stepping Forward”.

Be Inspired Hilltop!



  1. Mary Anne Frank says

    Two things stood out to me in the readings today . From Ezra “42,360 people returned to Judah, in addition to 7337 servants and 200 singers both men and women”. That is close to 50,000 people and probably more if one counts the children. The devotion of the Jewish people to their homeland and the temple was amazing to me. This was not an easy move…they didn’t just pack the vans and drive a few hundred miles, stay in hotels along the way, stop at the local Walmart on the way to get groceries….this meant suffering for a cause that meant everything to them. I’m pondering that in my life . How much does Jesus mean to me and am I willing to give up everything and suffer for Him because He means everything to me.
    The other thing that struck me was from Acts 2:43 ‘and a deep sense of awe came over them’
    From looking at the verses before and after these words it seems that the awe came from living the way they were living since finding Christ and that signs and wonders came after…
    I’m wondering if I’m living my life in such a way as I can say I am in awe of God. It’s easy to be in awe of God when we see signs and wonders. But I should be in awe of God every day because of who He is and the life He has given me. Mercy has found me. I’m in awe….