Day 1 In Acts
Some of the points that stood out to me in the first chapter of Acts:
In verse 3, we see that Jesus was with them for 40 days and “spoke of the kingdom of God”. Can you imagine knowing you only had a specific number days with your loved ones and you have to give them all the instruction and important lessons they are to carry out. This wasn’t just “day to day life”. This was about the beginning of taking the News of Christ to a world that is doomed for hell. How important is that?? The thing is, we don’t know how many days we have left on earth to carry out Christ’s command and to teach and share with those we love. We don’t know if we have 40 years, 40 weeks, 40 days, 40 minutes, or 40 seconds to carry out His plan.
Verses 4-5 are pretty exciting. The Father has Promised a gift!! Can you just imagine the excitement of KNOWING the FATHER is giving a gift?? And it is a gift Jesus has mentioned: The gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the water is just a bath, without the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Do we REALLY understand what that baptism is? The word in the greek means to immerse, to submerge; to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean. Do we live a life submerged and immersed in the Holy Spirit? One of the points of my prayer is that we can truly understand and live a life deeply submerged in the Holy Sprit.
In verse 8, Jesus says “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. Again, can we even begin to fathom the power of the Holy Spirit? The spirit that raises the dead to life, that conquers death, that heals, that loves, that forgives, that is, by its nature, Holy. The power to overcome temptation, to share the Word of God with those around us, to love the unloveable, to go to those we know, those we don’t, and places we have never even thought about, all because the Power of the Holy Spirit has been received. WOW.. that will make a girl speechless (which should be proof that I haven’t fully understood it..). Another point of prayer is that we can experience the true power of the Holy Spirit. That we can share with our neighbors and family, with those in our community, with those in our nation, with those in our world through that Power.
In verse 11, the two men dressed in white ask, “Why do you stand here looking?” I think we often “stand here looking” to see what’s gonna happen next, rather than getting out there and carrying out the command Jesus has given. We have a promise that He is coming back, and because we don’t know when that is there should be a sense of urgency. I pray that we can be urgent and diligent in working to share and grow God’s Kingdom.
Verse 14, to me, shows one of the most important threads that bound that first church and sustained them. “They ALL joined together CONSTANTLY in prayer, along with women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” Nothing can bond us like together as the Family of God, like prayer. I pray that we can have the assurance that our brothers and sisters are joining together constantly in prayer. We have been studying the book of Ephesians and this week talked about Eph. 3:14, when Paul says, “I bow my knees before the Father,” we were asked the question, are we ever “lazy and casual in our praying to the Father?” Is our attitude toward prayer and the time we spend in prayer part of the break down in the Church today?
One last point I want to mention was in verse 25 that says “Judas left to go where he belongs.” Where do we “belong”? What happened to Judas serves as a reminder that if we choose things that appeal to us in the “short term”, the consequences can often be infinite. As sinners, we all “belong” to the same outcome. “BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:4-7)