Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the book that never gets old (part II)

so i finally finished the book of acts this morning. it took me a while to get through it, but what a blessing the account of our God working through such men in this book was! i also had the privileged of reading the last few chapters in a new esv study Bible-a grace gift, as i would like to call it. some quick take-aways:

  • -the esv study Bible rocks! typically if i have a question about something in the text, i no longer have to think about getting my concordance and maybe or maybe not looking it up. it's in my Bible, (27:35). so basically, it's the lazy-christian's Bible ;).
  • -when the apostles talk about conversion, it's kinda how we are taught, (at least i hope this is the Biblical model under which our model is formed). the apostles saw who they once were (a hebrew of hebrews, etc), then they say how they met God, (i saw a vision of the Lord), then they proclaim Christ and Him crucified and risen again, and lastely, the need for all to repent and believe. (26:12-23). I do NOT mean to oversimplify or fomulize the beauty of "conversion," but i DO believe that it is simple and seemingly effective, (but that's probably just the Holy Spirit, right? ;) )
  • -courage and boldness are often prayed for. the disciples and apostles know what harsh circumstances lay before them, yet they acknowledge the Lord and pray to be bold and courageous for His namesake.
these are just a very few things to consider and most of them you probably already know. the main takeaway for me, though, was grace. for it was only through grace that the Holy Spirit worked in these men and women; only by grace that they were given courage to speak truth and die for Christ; only by grace that their eyes were opened to the truth; only by grace that God intervened and sent the God-Man.

***side note: God is so faithful! i have been struggling so much with what grace means and what it looks like and He has answered that abundantely for me this summer. i still have lots to learn, and i think i always will, but what a place to start!***

i'm praying a lot about what a church, a body of Christ, should like. acts is definitely a guide to that, but it is more than 2:42, (not just cause i heard a sermon on that last night). i think it is made of up people who live out 20:24, (also, not fully because i recently heard i sermon on this verse, but in some credit to dave johnson, but most credit to the Holy Spirit).

"But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."

oh, that the body of Christ we be characterized by this attitude! when we, when i, can do this, then we can do 2:42. when our lives are nothing accept for Christ and being witnesses to His! words cannot describe the wonders that i envision! may we be transformed to be such people of humility and grace!

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