May 19, 2024

God’s Growing Kingdom

Acts 2:1-21

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.

—  Acts 2:5

On the day of Pentecost, God-fearing Jews from many nations were staying in Jerusalem. They were gathering to celebrate the Feast of Weeks that God had established for his people Israel some 1,500 years earlier (Deuteronomy 16:9-12). They all converged on the temple on Pentecost (fifty days after the Feast of Passover) to bring offerings of the firstfruits of their harvests. That day people from many nations heard the good news of Jesus for the first time. And about 3,000 believed and were baptized (Acts 2:41).

Scholars estimate that the world population was about 300 million people at that time. That is 1/27th of today’s population. It took 1,800 years for the world’s population to grow to a billion. Prior to the 1800s there were few formal immigration laws. But with the world’s population at over 8 billion today, almost every country has decided to regulate immigration.

Christians are free to differ and disagree over the details of immigration laws. However, as immigrants, migrants, refugees, and others cross borders today, many hear the gospel for the first time. God’s people have the opportunity and responsibility to share the gospel with them. And as the gospel is shared, many people continue to enter God’s kingdom each day! That of course is a good thing—regardless of our views on immigration.

Lord, we pray for every person who has left their homeland to find a new home. Enfold them into your kingdom, we pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

About the author — George Koopmans

George Koopmans has served as an ecumenical chaplain at Medicine Hat College in Medicine Hat, Alberta, since November 2021. Prior to entering into chaplaincy, George served as a pastor to two congregations—one in Minnesota (Luverne), and the other in Medicine Hat. George and his wife, Emily, have four adult daughters and three grandchildren. Hiking, biking, and birdwatching are his favorite hobbies.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!