Friday, December 02, 2005

Acts 1:1-9

This is, obviously, the first chapter of the book of Acts, the fifth book of the New Testament. So far in the New Testament, the writers have told the story of Jesus on earth. Those chapters were full of stories of Jesus’ miracles on earth and, of course, the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection. But in Acts, we hear the stories of mere men. You’ll remember in the Gospels we hear fairly briefly the backgrounds of each of the apostles. These were everyday men, all of them sinners, from all walks of life in that time period. Some rich, some poor. Some pious, some not so pious.

Imagine, if you will, if a modern day prophet were to walk up to you, during your regular work day and tell you that you should drop everything you are doing - your work, family, everything – and follow him around, and by doing so, you are offered everlasting life. Would you actually stop what you are doing and follow that person? It was not so different for the apostles, friends. They were just like you and me. Except, they did leave their lives, suffered greatly for doing so, all for the promise of life in the heavenly kingdom.

Now, think of this – here is this group of what were once just regular guys. They have spent about three years following Jesus and seeing the miracles, hearing His message. Jesus has been crucified and has risen. The apostles are in hiding and are scared that they will suffer the same horrible death. The risen Lord comes upon them, on several occasions over the course of 40 days. Then, just before he ascends into heaven for good, He gives them the great Commission: “…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Sumaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

But, Jesus did not expect them to go about this job based upon their mortal capabilities. He promises them in verse 8 that they will receive the power of the Holy Spirit. With this power, they then go on to establish the church, just as Jesus has commissioned them to do.

I pray that all of us will strive to be more like the Apostles in our walk with Christ.

Vicki Nelson

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