I’ve been studying the book of Acts lately. Luke’s account to Theophilus reads like an action-packed, fast-paced thriller — the “stuff” of a great movie. The writers of the Gospels gave us an inside look into the life of Jesus as they recounted his birth, his life on planet earth, his death and resurrection, and finally his ascension. In summary, they relayed his parting words of the Great Commission, leaving not one speck of doubt as to what was uppermost in our Lord’s mind when he returned to the Father. All things had been accomplished and now it was time to “get the game on.”
I love this quote from the Message Bible: “Luke continues his narration with hardly a break, a pause perhaps to dip his pen in the inkwell, writing in the same style, using the same vocabulary.” The Gospel story doesn’t end with the book of John. On the contrary, it only picks up the pace gathering force like a hurricane until the early church bursts onto the scene. A succession of major events play themselves out as the Holy Spirit is unleashed upon the earth. This spiritual earthquake comes in full magnitude: a rushing, mighty wind, tongues of fire and the breaking forth of diverse languages, creating quite a stir in Jerusalem. Seizing the opportunity of drawing a crowd, Peter, fisherman turned preacher, casts his net and pulls 3,000 souls into the Kingdom at once — with one sermon!
In Acts 5, God’s purging work immediately accompanies the growth of the church with the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira, sending a ripple effect of holy fear and consecration into the new believers. The furnace of affliction only intensifies through the martyrdom of Stephen in Chapter 7. Continued persecution, spearheaded by Saul of Tarsus, drives the frightened believers to flee for their lives into the countryside — yet, taking the Gospel of the Kingdom with them. The precious seed of Stephen is not forgotten, however. His cries for forgiveness thundered throughout the heavens and paved the way for Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus in Chapter 9. The kingpin of the whole movement comes face to face with the King of Heaven. Saul, as we know, becomes the beloved Paul, who later pens the greater portion of the New Testament.
What a story! Acts, no matter how many times you read it, pulsates with vibrancy and pulls us into its story — His story. Every character played a pivotal role. Each person stepped out onto the stage of history and furthered the telling of this story. Each one was uniquely gripped with a vision from on high — the furtherance of the Gospel.
The scene has now shifted and you’re on! If you belong to this glorious Church, you have been entrusted with a special role to play as well. Are you linked in to the heartbeat of Jesus? Do you share his passion? This is your time. You’re in the spotlight and the Lord is calling you to be a part of his great plan. You can be one of those who actually goes to the ends of the earth to share the message or you can be one who is part of the equipping team that sends his messengers forth.
Would you pray with me and ask God to use you in a greater way for his Kingdom work?
“Father, I realize that this is my time in history. I am part of a great story and I want to be used to the max in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. I don’t want to settle for mediocrity. I want to go out as a flame. Show me how I can play a unique role and make an impact with my life. Use my skills, talents, and gifts for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”