/Tuesday, May 3, 2022
I’ve been stuck in the Books of Acts for a while now, reading its stories over and over again. It’s a fascinating read of an unfamiliar world full of supernatural experiences, hardships and persecution, and transforming moments of bold witness that birth church and shape the world. And while we may read it as a historical narrative recalling the first days of the church and its leadership, the Book of Acts is really a book about the movement of God’s Spirit, of His gospel, of His people to make disciples.
The movements recorded in first few chapters of Acts are compelling.
- The fearless preaching of Peter on the day of Pentecost added 3,000 to the faith on that single day (Acts 2:41).
- The church in Jerusalem continued to grow as “the Lord added to their number daily” (Acts 2:47).
- Peter and John’s effort brought about the number to around five thousand (Acts 4:2) and Luke, the author of Acts, goes on to recount how “more and more” men and women believed in Jesus (Acts 5:14), culminating in a great number of disciples in Jerusalem (Acts 6:7).
- The persecution and death of Stephen sent scattered believers to other places (Acts 11:19) and Paul’s missionary journeys resulted in the gospel being spread through whole regions and the churches being strengthened in the faith (Acts 13:49, 16:5).
- By the end of Paul’s last journey, the number of believers had grown from 120 gathered together (Acts 1:15) to literally thousands spread out across the massive region of the Mediterranean.
I’m thankful for this initial movement of the gospel written in the pages of Scripture. It’s thrilling to read of the changed lives and the growing church.
But what about today? Can movements like the ones described in Acts happen in our day? Do we have the courage that ignited the disciples to share the gospel, knowing it has the power to bring salvation (Rom 1:16)? Are we lacking anything that the disciples or early church had that we don’t?
What the Book of Acts offers us is not only the model of God’s plan for His people to advance the gospel, one people group at a time, until the ends of earth are reached but also a challenge for us to be a part of that amazing movement, expansion, triumph, and transformation of our families, neighbourhoods, cities, and nations.
God’s mission is a movement - always has been, always will be. The question is, “Will you join it?”
(To be inspired by and to pray for what’s happening in our world, check out Justin Long’s research on movements)
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Shauna Archer serves at the Saskatchewan/Manitoba Regional Coordinator for Simply Mobilizing Canada and is the Pastor of Family and Discipleship at Living Hope Alliance Church in Regina, Sask. Married to Tim and mom to two adult children, she enjoys hosting dinner parties, spending time at the cottage, and enjoying new foods. Her prayer is that God’s saving power would be known among people groups everywhere (Ps 67:1-2).
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