Wednesday, April 6, 2011

And she persuaded us.

I recently began reading the book of Acts. I have lots of favorite verses in this book and I had heard a lot of great things about it. So, I decided to dig in. Little did I know, I would fall in love with the book and never want to put my Bible down!

The book of Acts is simply amazing. The book holds the stories of what took place after Jesus had risen from the grave and ascended into Heaven. It tells of the disciples call and mission and records their struggles, journeys, and victories. I guess what I enjoy is that the book of Acts is in a sense how we are supposed to live our lives. Jesus is obviously physically not here, but He has called us to do his work...and that is what this book shares. It has encouraged me so much and challenged me to live my life for Christ, just as the disciples and apostles did.

When I think about the book of Acts, one word quickly comes to mind: BOLDNESS. Every time I pick up my Bible to read the book, I immediately think of that word. I am sit in utter amazement at the boldness the people back then possessed. In so many situations, they knew they would be punished for sharing Jesus with others, but it did not stop them. They simply continued to share Him with everyone they encountered, regardless of the possible consequences. My prayer has been this: God, give me the boldness those people had. I want to badly to have that kind of boldness in my walk with Christ. I want to share Christ with each and every person that I encounter. I may get rejected, picked on, made fun of, or shunned, but I still want that boldness. The disciples in the book of Acts perfectly display what it means to be bold in our faith, and my hope is to have that same boldness.

One verse that I really love from Acts is this:
"The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name." Acts 5:41
Wow. That verse really needs no explanation. I sit in amazement just thinking about this verse. And again, I pray for the same exact attitude. Rejoicing and suffering just aren't two things that go together. But, yet in this case, it makes perfect sense. They walked away rejoicing, happy, glad, that they even were counted worthy to suffer for Christ. I think we need a little more of that in our every day lives. My prayer is that I live my life rejoicing every single day because I have been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.

The last thing I would like to say is what has come to be one of my favorite set of verses in all of Acts. I was reading the story of Lydia. Paul, Silas, and Timothy are on a journey to share Christ with people. They happen to come across Lydia who is at the river, and they began talking to her. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And the last line of this story says it all : "AND SHE PERSUADED US." I get so excited when I read this part of the story and God is like screaming at me through this verse...I love it. I love the fact that in the short time that they spoke with Lydia, she did something that pointed every single bit of glory to the Lord, and she persuaded them that she was a believer. I feel like every word she may have spoke, every action she may have done pointed straight to the fact that she was a follower of Christ. This is what I want my life to be. I want every single interaction that I have with anyone to persuade them that I am truly a Christian and a child of God. I hope to persuade people that it's not about me, but all about Him. I hope that He gets all the glory in my words and in my actions. I want people to be able to say: AND HE PERSUADED US.

If you can't tell, I have fallen in love with the book of Acts. As I continue my journey through the book, I will update more on what I am learning and what God is doing through this! Thanks for listening friends!

Holding Open His Door,