Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘Acts 1:8’

The Word Spreads

Step by step, the beautiful plan of Acts 1:8 unfolds in sequence:  And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Some of the key players in the stages of this plan are featured in Acts 6-10.

Stephen (chapters 6-7) was originally selected for a food distribution program in Jerusalem.  But along with that, he made good use of his God-given wisdom and power for preaching and doing miracles.  As we know, he was falsely accused and killed by jealous religious leaders. 

Philip (chapter 8) was also chosen for that feeding program, but like Stephen, he couldn’t help but preach and do miracles to spread the Good News about Jesus, especially when persecution drove him out of Jerusalem.  God used him in the neighboring province of Samaria to bring crowds of people to faith in Christ and also to an Ethiopian convert to Judaism.

Saul (chapter 9), more commonly known by his Greek name Paul, was a sworn enemy of Christ and His followers.  But he was arrested by Jesus, was turned around 180 degrees, and called to service among Gentiles in “the ends of the earth.” 

Peter (chapter 10), though his primary ministry was to the Jews, was chosen to “midwife” the first real Gentile conversions—Cornelius and his household. 

And on went the Good News from there, reaching around the world, and still spreading. 

Aren’t God’s ways and Word amazing?  I’m so glad His plan includes me!

Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

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Waiting and Working

Jesus’ disciples were bewildered and confused.  After all that their Messiah had gone through (including suffering and death which they certainly hadn’t expected), surely there need be no more delay for the long-awaited Kingdom that Jesus had been talking so much about–right?  (See Acts 1:3 & following.)

Finally they just had to ask outright:  “Are you going to set up the Kingdom now and be our King?” 

Jesus:  You’re not being copied on the details, but I have an assignment for you:  You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  Then He takes off! 

Still bewildered, they gaze into the sky until He disappears from their sight and an angel assures them that Jesus will be back.  Still, though, they weren’t told when!

Why the delay?  As the disciples obeyed orders, God’s wonderful plan unfolded in a way they had never really understood before.  It was time for the world to hear and be included in God’s kingdom—including Gentiles like me!  (By the way, Judas couldn’t wait, accept, and obey.  When the Kingdom didn’t materialize on his schedule, he became disillusioned and—well, we know that story….)

Living with ambiguity isn’t easy for me.  I want to know what’s going to happen and when, and what my part is in it.  I have much to learn from these first believers:  waiting, trusting, obeying one step at a time.  Still, as I watch and wait and work on my “assignments,” my heart cry is… “Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!”

Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

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