The Upper Room devotional reflection for Sunday, June 5, 2022 comes to us from Linawati Santoso of East Java, Indonesia
37 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?" 38 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. 39 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." 40 And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. Acts 2:37-41 NIV
“Opportunity to Bless”
“Thank You, Sister. I’m blessed with your sermon,” said my friend. I had been given the opportunity to preach a sermon in our prayer meeting. Although I had prepared, I was still nervous. On the day of the prayer meeting I was unwell, and shortly after delivering the sermon I felt sad. I said to God, “I’m sorry, Lord. I’m not good at delivering your words.” But hearing my friend’s opinion refreshed my soul.
I was reminded of Peter. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter talked about Jesus, and his message transformed people’s hearts. They were blessed. Many of them were baptized, and about three thousand were added as believers. Even though Peter had not intended to preach that day, God worked through his message and Peter was a blessing for many people. Like Peter, so was I! Even though only one friend told me that he had been blessed, I was still very encouraged. I thank God for giving me that opportunity and for the many other opportunities God has opened up for me to be a blessing to others.
Preaching is an opportunity to share God’s endless loving grace, and I pray that I take that responsibility humbly and seriously. Like Linawati Santoso, I appreciate any encouragement I receive after I have delivered a sermon. I particularly appreciate those who ask thoughtful questions about the sermon. Those questions tell me that whoever is asking them was really paying attention. Those responses are blessings to me, and I pray that the sermon was a blessing to others. So, as Pastor Anthony reminds us every week, “You are a Blessing from God. Now go and be a Blessing to others.”
Dear God, thank you for the opportunity to bless others. Give us the courage to act on those opportunities. Amen.
Thought for the Day:
I am happiest when I can bless others by sharing God’s good news.