‘Dear Theophilus, in the first volume of this book I wrote on everything that Jesus began to do and teach until the day He said goodbye to the apostles…’ (Acts 1 v. 1)
We had a wonderful start to our Acts journey, our new teaching series, during the worship celebrations yesterday morning, to mark the new church year beginning.
Luke is writing part two of his story – and he describes part one (Luke’s gospel) as ‘everything Jesus began to do and teach’. We shall see that Acts is the continuation of ‘everything Jesus began to do and teach’, through the lives of the apostles (‘sent ones’) and early Christians, and continues today, in the lives of those who seek to love, honour, serve, obey Him.
Eugene Peterson, in the introduction to his version of Acts (The Message), writes,
‘The story of Jesus doesn’t end with Jesus. It continues in the lives of those who believe in Him. The supernatural doesn’t stop with Jesus. Luke makes it clear that these Christians He wrote about were no more spectators of Jesus than Jesus was a spectator of God – they are in on the action of God, God acting in them, God living in them. Which also means, of course, in us (today).’
The power, energy, vision, drive, ability to continue the work Jesus began is only possible through the work of His Spirit, the promised gift, as we shall see in the next few weeks.
But for now, today, we simply marvel, and allow ourselves to be challenged and inspired, to stir a yearning within us to see God continue to work in and through us, to extend His influence, to spread the good news of His glorious love, to all.
PRAYER (Charles Wesley’s hymn)
Spirit of faith, come down
reveal the things of God
Spirit of faith, descend and show
the power of Jesus’ name
the grace which all may find,
the saving power, impart,
and testify to humankind,
and speak in every heart.
Come, Lord Jesus, fill me afresh with Your presence, today.