I have heard the Biblical book of Acts called by many names including the "Acts of the Apostles" and the "Acts of the Holy Spirit." As I see it, the book should really be termed the "Acts of the Holy Spirit as demonstrated through the Church!" It chronicles the life of the early church from Jesus’ resurrection until Paul’s house arrest some thirty plus years later. As I noted yesterday though, the book does not come to a clean conclusion at the end of chapter 28. It is as though it was purposely meant to continue.
I believe that the next chapter in the book of Acts is the one that is currently being written about you and me! Chapter 29 is our story! It is all about our daily lives and how the Holy Spirit is working through us in that part of the world that we individually as well as collectively touch each day. How does your story read?
As I read the end of chapter 28 this morning, I was interested to observe that the people of
, both those who believed and those who did not, came in droves to hear from Paul. Remember now, here is Paul, forcibly confined to his rented home, literally chained by his right hand to a soldier of the Praetorian guard, twenty four hours a day. God was mightily using Paul right were he was currently situated. Rome
This is a great lesson for you and me. God is telling us to “bloom where we are planted!” Sometimes we spend so much energy and time longing for the super ministry, the right church, the right location in the world, the right equipment, and the attentive crowds of people hungering for the word of God, that we miss the opportunities that are directly in front of us. As I considered this today, I was immediately brought to remembrance of the time many years ago when my wife and I decided that she was called to stay home and not return to her job after maternity leave, following the upcoming birth of our first born child.
One of the big hurdles that my wife had to overcome was her disappointment at not being able to share the Good News with the abundant variety of individuals that she came into daily contact with on her job. So, the first thing she did was to pray that since she couldn’t go out to them that God would bring people to our door… and you know what? He did! Be it the door to door salesmen, the mail carriers, the Jehovah Witnesses, the young Mormons on their missions, or the myriad of neighbors that regularly came over, my wife joyously lived and shared the Good News with them. There was even an incident when a mute teenage girl, whom we had never seen before, knocked on our door signing for help as she had been accosted by a group of boys a few blocks away. It turned out that she had gone to our neighbors first and they immediately directed her to us! This answer to my wife’s prayers continued even when we moved to
How about you? Once again I’ll ask, How does your story read? What Acts of the Holy Spirit are being demonstrated through your life? Not too long after our first son’s birth, a neighbor’s staunch Mormon husband knocked on our door asking for prayer for his back pain because his wife had told him of my wife’s friendship and faith. He left our home a little while later feeling relieved of the pain. That incident opened the door to many more conversations throughout the few years that they lived across the street from us.
What stories are being recorded in Acts chapter 29 from your neighborhood, your job, your shopping experiences, or vacations, or from the multitude of events that capture your life? Thank God that most of us don’t have to spend our days chained to a guard. But then again, it didn’t stop Paul. Just imagine how many of the Royal Guards got to hear the Good News! Wow… what a story! So enjoy yourselves today. Live your life and your faith explicitly before your world today. Then think about the volumes that are being written for later generations to read and be encouraged by. Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What am I expecting To Have Written About Me today?”