Tuesday, July 18, 2017

living in "Acts 29" -- part 2 of 12

The Word for today:
Acts 22:30-23:10
Does the Bible have a happy ending? That depends on the reader. The Bible is the original "choose your own adventure" story. Each reader is responsible for what he or she does with the story of the Bible. Each reader will be held accountable for his or her own response.
Each of us must choose to be identified with the protagonist or with his enemies. There is no neutral ground. If we decide for the protagonist, Jesus Christ, we come to him in faith, and he saves us from sin.
From then on, we find that we are not only readers. We are characters! If we place our faith in Christ, we share in his story and in the glory of its final stability.
If we do not decide to be identified with Christ, we will be numbered among his enemies. Then there is no climax, resolution, or stability--just eternal conflict. The Bible is then a tragedy.
If you have not yet decided for Jesus Christ, the choice remains before you.
The book of Acts has 28 chapters. It tells the story of the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ for the first several decades after he ascended into heaven. We meet Saul of Tarsus and watch as God saves him, transforming him into the Apostle Paul. He becomes the main character, and we follow along with Paul until the book ends.
The strange thing is, the book of Acts doesn’t really seem to have an ending. The action never draws to a close. Paul is under house arrest in Rome:
For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Acts 28:30-31)
That's it! The book of Acts stops there, seemingly suspended in mid-air, as if it were to be continued...
The book of Acts is still being written. Like the Gospel of Luke, the book of Acts is yet another record of the things Jesus ‘began both to do and to teach.’ Jesus isn’t finished yet. He began His ministry in His human body, as recorded in the Gospels. He continued in His body, the church, through the book of Acts. He continues His ministry today through you and me and every other believer on the planet. The book of Acts will be completed someday. And when it is completed, you and I will have a chance to read it in glory, in eternity, when the plan of God has been fulfilled. When we read it, what will my part be in that great story? And what will yours be?
–-Ray Stedman, "Adventuring Through the Bible"
We'll venture further into Acts 29 tomorrow. See you then.

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