And all who believed were together
?As we continue our study of Acts 1-12 this weeks study will be on Acts 2:41-47. Up until this point we have talked about the promise of the Holy Spirit, the power of of the Holy Spirit, and see the demonstration of the presence of the Spirit at Pentecost and in the preaching of Peter. Now, we see another aspect of the work of Spirit. The Spirit of God draws people together.
People coming together does not to seem to be the current way of our world. You only need to turn on the news and look online to see all the ways people are divided. It is obvious our world struggles with divisions resulting from race, political views, religion, and socio-economic division. Think for a minute- where are places you see people coming together?
The verse above says that when the people believed they were together. Their togetherness was the based on their common faith in Jesus Christ and the Spirit they all shared. As you read Acts 2:41-47 you see the result of their common believe was a common live- they lived together, worshiped together, ate together, and served together.
People who believe come together not because of who we are but who we believe.
‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons andyour daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
Today's reading in our study of Acts- Part 1 was Acts 2:14-17 where it talks about "the last days" in v. 17. I'm not a big last days person. I don't spend a lot of time trying to discern signs about what is to come. My perspective as been that the end could come anytime and the Bible tells us to be ready. But, this passage does remind us that we are living in "the last days.". There is an end the story. In Acts 2:17 I found some encouragement for those of us living in the days.
God is pouring out his Spirit. It is easy to be negative about the days we live in and all the things happening in the world around us. But, God is still present. His Spirit is still moving in lives of people drawing them into a relationship with Him,
This outpouring of the Spirit affects everyone. We hear stories from around the world of people being transformed by the God's presence in their lives. We see examples in our families and communities of the difference the Spirit of God makes as he draws people to Himself. The Spirit of God is without borders or boundaries as He moves throughout our world.
Maybe living in the last days is not as bad as we think.
"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.” (Acts 1:8)
Today's reading was Acts 1:6-8. What caught my attention today was the word "power". People like power. It's not often you would hear someone say, "I like to feel powerless". We know that someone with power has the opportunity to make something happen- good or bad.
In the verse above Jesus told his disciples they would receive power. What was the source of the power? It would be God's Holy Spirit upon them. I'm sure they didn't fully understand that, but when we get to chapter 2 and following we will begin to see what the Holy Spirit's power can do.
What would be the purpose of this power? They were to be his "witnesses". They were to tell others about Jesus. Where were they to tell? Everywhere!
Here's the amazing thing, we have the same power. The same Holy Spirit promised to them lives in us a followers of Christ. That power is also for the same purpose- that we might tell everyone, everywhere about Jesus. No follower of Christ is powerless. Lets use that power.
Today marks the beginning of our study of Acts 1-12. Each of our adult Bible study groups will be joining together in this study and most weeks I will be preaching a message during the morning worship service on a passage from that weeks readings. What to get involved? Here's what you can do.
1. Read the daily bible readings. These are short (I mean really short!) and can can download a list of the readings, or you can find them in one of the personal study guides, or in this week's bulletin.
2. Be a part of a Bible study group. We have groups for everyone. Just come to come to the Welcome Center and find a group for you.
3. Be a part of worship. Each week's message will focus on one of the passages from the reading that week.
It's simple. Also, I will be blogging about what I am reading and learning as well. I invite you to share your comments.
Today's reading was Acts 1:1-5. Here's the verse that caught my attention, "He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God."
It's amazing to think to Jesus appeared to real people, in real places, for a real reason- to extend his kingdom. I think that he is still revealing himself to people today.
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17)
This past Sunday America celebrated what in recent times has become almost a national holiday- Super Sunday. People gathered together all over the country to eat guacamole, laugh at creative commercials, and check out the half time show. In the middle of the spectacle, there was a football game. It was game to determine who is number one the NFL. As a matter of fact, many of the players and fans exited the field proclaiming, “We’re number one.”
We like to be number one. The Denver Broncos will be number one, until next year when someone else wins the Super Bowl. Another group of players and fans will then proclaim “We’re number one.” Every season there will always be a new number one- at least in football.
The verse above indicates that only one person is really number one- Jesus. He is number one because of who he is and what he does. He is number one whether we know it or choose to acknowledge him as number one.
What if we lived like Jesus was number one? What if Jesus is holding our world together? What difference would that make in our families, our workplace, and our community?