If you have been following along with the SeekGrowLove devotions for the past 1.5 months, we have been able to take a look at the life and ministry of Jesus through the four gospels. What a crazy, action-packed time during Jesus’ ministry on earth. Today, we transition into the book of Acts, and we get to see how Jesus’ disciples will respond to these couple crazy years with Jesus. As we near the end of 2020, we are all too familiar of what it looks like to live through some crazy events. As we read through the book of Acts, we can take some notes of how Peter, Paul, and others responded to the crazy events revolving around Jesus.
Before Jesus ever ascended to heaven (yep, not even Jesus went to heaven right after his death), he spent 40 days preaching about the Kingdom of God. Right before Jesus’ ascension, he told his disciples to, “Witness in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth,” (Acts 1:8).
The order of locations that Jesus provides is important. He starts off with Jerusalem; Jerusalem was basically the home base for the Jews and early Christians. They first needed to witness to their home base of Jerusalem. Then, they needed to witness in Judea and Samaria; that consists of the land surrounding the city of Jerusalem. After they have witnessed to the surrounding area, then they had a calling to witness to the ends of the earth. The book of Acts follows this exact blueprint, which I find to be so fascinating. Chapters 1-7 are all witnessing in Jerusalem. Chapters 8-9 consists of them witnessing in Judea and Samaria. Then, chapters 10-28 cover the disciples, Paul, and others witnessing to the ends of the earth: Caesarea, Antioch, Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome.
We can learn a lot from this blueprint that Jesus provided for his disciples. We have a calling to witness to those right around us, whether that be your family, friends, coworkers, etc. Studies show that the most effective mode of evangelism is relational evangelism. We are best able to spread the news to people we have a relationship with. Are you using your relationships with nonbelievers, as an instrument to spread the gospel message of the Kingdom? When you have spread the gospel message to those around you, are you helping that message be spread throughout the ends of the earth? We have better capabilities now than ever to spread the gospel message to the ends of the earth. Let’s take advantage of those capabilities.
We can’t go through Acts 1-3 and not mention Peter’s killer sermon in chapter 2. It is truly one of my favorite sermons ever recorded. Peter absolutely brings it to the Jews. You can feel his passion for his Lord and Savior in this message, and he shares this passion with the Jews, the same people who had him crucified (as Peter so gracefully informs them)! If you want to see someone who is on fire for God and his son, Jesus, then look no further than Peter’s message here in Acts chapter 2. I hope and pray that we can reflect this passion in our lives today.
I look forward to covering the first half of Acts with you all. It’s my prayer that we can all learn from the wonderful examples of Peter, Paul, and others throughout this wonderful book. Witness to those around you, and then help spread that message to the ends of the earth!
Today’s Bible reading passage can be read or listened to at BibleGateway here – Acts 1-3.
Tomorrow we continue this exciting book, with Acts 4-6. Now’s a great time to jump on board and finish 2020 strong with a daily reading of God’s Word as we watch to see how the world responds to the life, teaching, death and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus. Let’s get ready for his return!