Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Acts of the Apostles et did they do it?

I have been going through the book of Acts lately and wanted to share some of the things I came across.

I just finished reading chapter 20 and something struck me about Paul's Paul perserved....he went through so many cities and in almost all he faced opposition. By chapter 20, he was on his way to Jerusalem despite so many prophecies that great hardship awaited him there. I couldn't help getting teary eyed when he told the Ephesian elders that he wouldn't see their faces again. I couldn't help feeling exhausted when in Acts 19 vs 29 Paul's travelling companions were seized and sad when Paul was stoned, dragged and left for dead (Acts 14 vs 19).

However as I went through his journey I saw a man relentless...pushing...perserving against all odds even death...(Acts 19 vs 21) he was in so much of a hurry to go to Jerusalem and then Rome (where he is believed to have died) that he didn't stop at Ephesus again but rather asked the elders to meet him at Miletus where he was sailing past (Acts 20 vs 16), that urgent was his walk even to death. For Paul, it was this: I must finish the race, I will complete my assignment, Christ has sent me into the world as herald to carry His gospel, to win souls - souls - souls...that was Paul's burden, that was his goal. To the Ephesians he said "Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God." Acts 20 vs 26 -27..a statement from a man confident that he had fulfilled his assignment to the Ephesians.

Peter, James, Stephen...we see in the earlier chapters of Acts being persecuted, James & Stephen killed. They kept going against opposition and the word that was opposed kept flourishing, God confirming with signs & miracles. How did they keep

That my friend is the question.....

  • The Holy Spirit was with them (Acts 1:8, Acts 2:4 & John 14:17)
  • When harassed, they gathered together & prayed earnestly to God (Acts 12)
  • When in chains, they prayed & sang hymns to God (Acts 16:25)
  • They worshipped & fasted, spending time in fellowship with God (Acts 13:2)
  • They prayed & fasted, committing their ways to God (Acts 13:3, Acts 14:23)
  • They received visions, directions & encouragement from the Lord (Acts 18:9, Acts 16:9, Acts 16:7)
These may all seem like basic things, which we know but sometimes we do need to be reminded of them and in some cases, maybe we don't to get through obstacles, harassment, develop a close relationship with the Lord, cultivate the atmosphere that allows Him to speak to us, how to not give goal is that now we do....atleast we have a starting point.

The Holy Spirit is the legal helper (advocate) and friend who walks alongside us to further our best interests. Parakletos is the Greek word used to describe the Holy Spirit, I searched to find which best translates what Parakletos means, it is translated as a friend who is called to walk along side you to act as an advocate for you to further your best interest. For me a light bulb came on, so..the issue that I have been banging my head about not knowing what to do with it, I actually have the most powerful live in lawyer who can help me pray the best way forward, who with the same power that raised Christ from the dead can help me see to it that the best solution is realised and it doesnt actually end up in a mess or failure.

Our best interests include that Christ is formed in us, that we can go out in power and tell somebody else about Jesus, that our lives tell somebody about Jesus, that we can discern truth & hear what the Lord is saying to us, that we can enjoy fellowship with God.

John 16 vs 12-13 "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."

Acts 1 vs 8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

John 4 vs 23-24 "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

The Holy Spirit is Christ living inside you, He is the best friend you can ever have. Let's welcome the Holy Spirit of God into our lives. Pls click on the link below to listen to a song I'd like to share with you, invite Him with all your heart to walk with you, to rain down on you, to help you to discern and fulfill God's purpose for your life. You are not just some random person but fearfully and wonderfully made, with a purpose in mind by your Father in heaven.

No comments: