Thursday, June 4, 2009

Reading Challenge: Acts 1-2

We begin a brand new journey today. We are going to read through the book of Acts over the month of June. For a Christian, the book of Acts is the story of our origins as a church. Christianity goes from being a small sect of a 120 or so, to an unstoppable movement in the ancient world. Take time to think about things that apply to you, but also put into larger perspective the themes you are reading on.

Today's reading is from Acts 1 - 2

Chapter 1 and 2's major theme is the Holy Spirit. I'm teaching on this Week 3 of SENT so I don't want to show my hand completely, but these are powerful passages. Notice that when the disciples were commissioned (Acts 1:8), shortly after Jesus ascends into heaven and the disciples are sitting staring at the sky. An angel comes and asks them, "why do you stand here looking at the sky?" I think that there is still a lot of standing around and staring at the sky going on in Christianity today. There needs to be more "going and doing." When we sit around and only dream of his return, we are essentially reliving this passage of staring at the sky. We have been challenged to "go" into the world, not sit around and gaze at heaven.

What are your thoughts? What stands out to you?


  1. I think these 2 chapters are very powerful and at the same time cause alot of controversy in the church...but not getting into that yet....

    My take away came from
    And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.

    I long for this..not that I want what others have but the fact that it says "they had all things in common", etc....It seems like the church as a whole is so far from this...we seem to have more things in disagreement then we do in common...

  2. What a dramatic entrance into a new era!What a visual!Tongues of fire dancing above and then settling on the disciples.Pretty cool.
    Since the beginning of time God's Holy Spirit had various roles or attributes.In the past;He mostly empowered an individual for battle or a specific occassion to show God's authority,or to give them a prophesy or interpretation of some vision.
    When Jesus was preparing the disciples for His return to heaven,He told them He would send them a Comforter.The word comforter gives me the impression of someone or something soothing and at first glance this arrival of the Holy Spirit doesn't look very comforting, but if you can see deeper, that is exactly what He is.
    Jesus,physically had just left them-again and it loked like He wasn't coming back anytime soon and before he left he had given them this big to do list.
    Most of these men were uneducated and had never travelled very far from their little town before they met Jesus.Now they were expected to GO into All the World?!!
    When I was little my mom would leave a little chore list for my sisters and I to do before she came back from wherever and I always looked for the simplist,easiest,quickest chore to do so I could cross that off.
    The disciples showed tremendous faith in that they even went to that little room to pick a new 12th
    Kinda like Abraham climbing the mt.with Isaac.Obey is an action word and once again we see God provides-Himself
    So, the noisy,showy arrival of God's Spirit and power is very comforting. Jesus had given them this impossible looking task AND the power to do it.The best part is that this Spirit would stay within them till the day they died.
    If we're christians, we have that same spirit in us-wow!

  3. I love Acts. Acts is the book where we see the Disciples finally getting it. Why did they get it? Because of there brilliant minds? Because they were worthy of it? no none of these things. It was because they waited on God. They waited on Him and He gave them what they needed in the upper room. The Holy Spirit.

    Peter who had denied Christ now had the boldness and the understanding in his heart to speak boldly. He began doing what Jesus had told him to do which was "do you love me?" "Then feed my sheep". Acts is still going on right now.

    Pastor Erik that was a great point about standing and not doing anything.

  4. I think one of the most amazing things that stands out is the conversation about Judas that takes place in Acts 1. All these guys studied at the feet of the living God and as a result had their lives changed radically. Imagine the frustration and pure confusion they must have felt after seeing one of their own betray Jesus. The closest thing I could think to compare it to might be like a Columbine type event. We were all shocked and confused that day. I find that piece of Acts 1 fightingly fascinating.

  5. I have always found it interesting that the desciples felt it necessary to replace Judas with Matthias. The scriptures never says God told them to repolace Judas. It does tell us that Peter said they needed to replace Judas, then they all chose the best two candidates, then asked God to pick someone from the two choices. Then they cast lots to see who God chose. That just always struck me as odd. I wonder if God REALLY chose Matthias or if the desciples chose him and God chose Paul.

  6. I have always loved verse 2:42.

    "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."

    If you think about it, this is sort of our model for small groups at churches now days. We meet for the purposes of discussing scriptures and ideas, for fellowship and breaking of bread, and prayer. How cool is it that for ages people have been meeting in small groups for discipleship, fellowship, and prayer? If it was important in the life of a believer back in the day to be in a group probably should be important for a believer today's world.

  7. I too love the Book of about a journey. It began with the most wonderful promise of our Savior....the coming of the Holy Spirit to abide with in us.

    Talk about getting the right stuff together for the Great commission. It simply fell on them.

    Then to see prophecy come true right before theirs eyes

    My favorite verse...".....repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.