Read: Acts 2:1-12

We hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God. (v. 11)

In serving as Words of Hope’s president for nearly 23 years, I often had the joy of traveling to other countries to preach. But I always felt like a dumb American. Our international ministry leaders could speak two or three or six different languages; I could only speak one. Sometimes I would joke that I wanted to become a Pentecostal, if that meant being instantly fluent in another language without having to learn it!

Rushing out into the streets of Jerusalem on Pentecost, Jesus’ followers began to proclaim in the Spirit’s power all the mighty things God had done for salvation—especially Jesus’ death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead. The international crowd gathered in the city was filled with astonishment, amazed as much by the medium as by the message. The tongues were amazing, but it was the message of the saving power of God through Jesus Christ that mattered most.

On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to preach the gospel in other languages as a miraculous sign of what was to come. For us, the task is longer and more laborious. We use translators, interpreters, and teachers. Mission-aries spend years learning another language and culture. But the purpose and result is the same as on Pentecost: people hearing the good news in their own native tongues. —David Bast

Prayer: Lord, may your whole church be “pentecostal” in proclaiming the gospel in the languages of the world’s peoples.