News and views from the German-language region of Europe
|Filed under Sabbath Thoughts|
Many are familiar with the American toy store Toys"R"Us, which simply means "Toys Are Us," i.e., "Toys are what we do."
In a similar sense, the book of Acts could be called Acts"R"Us.
Acts is an extraordinary book. In a nutshell, it is the story of transformed lives – and the difference these lives made in the world.
Just a few weeks before the book of Acts begins, we see the disciples behind closed doors, full of fear, self-doubt and personal shame. With their master gone, they were a confused, disoriented group (Luke 24:11; John 20:19). However, by the second chapter of Acts, the same men who abandoned Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane have become bold and courageous, preaching with utter conviction and at great personal risk "the mighty acts of God."
This change is a major part of the story of Acts.
Acts"R"Us, so what do we see in the book of Acts that applies to us?
Acts serves as a distant mirror into the history of the church. We see the dynamics of the earliest church, the nature of its fellowship, the fervency of prayer life, and the zeal to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God. By looking at these examples, we can ask ourselves about today’s church of God. What does it mean to be the church of God today – and how does what we do compare with standard of the early church?
Acts also emphasizes the primary task of the church – evangelization. The public preaching the gospel is part of the task of "making disciples." In Acts we see the entire process of calling, repenting, empowering and sending people forth to obey God and share the message about Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God. Acts challenge us to meet a standard set centuries ago for the work of God.
With these thoughts I wish us all a rewarding Sabbath!
Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.