Monday, October 06, 2008

Power and Passion

Act 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

I have read this verse many times throughout my life, but as I was considering it tonight God brought to mind some interesting thoughts.

First He led me to consider the placement of Acts. Have you ever realized that God led those that canonized the Bible to place Acts right after the gospel? So immediately after God through His Word teaches us the most spectacular truth in the universe He then goes on not to teach theology as found in Paul's letters, but instead we a history book (full of theological truths, but focused on history). And what is this history book about? Two things: The church and it's beginnings and the spreading of the gospel to the nations.

I think his is truly an amazing picture of the heart of God. First we see the vehicle through which he intends to fulfill His plans, the people of God filled with the Holy Spirit, and then we see what that vehicle is to do, share the gospel and disciple the nations.If you've ever considered leaving the church or the purpose of the church then I strongly encourage you to read Acts.

A couple other thoughts on Acts 1:8.

1. What is this power we are given? I know who it is from and how it is received, by baptism in the Holy Spirit (which I believe occurs at conversion to all believers), and I even know what is if for, to be a witness, but I am still unsure about is what exactly is that power really.

2. The other thing I was thinking about when reading Acts 1:8 is that when Christ says "Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" I don't think he is merely giving a pattern for missions as I have always been taught. I was taught that you do missions locally and then you spread out. While this is not necessarily a bad method I do not believe it is the primary function of this text.

It seems to me that Christ is truly excited ans as he is speaking he just lets more and more intense. It reads almost like a football coach that is overly excited. Its not a pattern, but a passion. A passion to be a witness. A passion to see the glory of God exalted in all the earth. I believe that through this power that we receive we should have the same intensity and desire for the gospel to be taken to all people as Christ does.

Those are just a few thoughts from reading first part of Acts. Please comment and share any additional insight you may have on Acts in general, Acts 1:8, or simply what God is doing in your life.

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