Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story-those he redeemed from the hand of the foe.
Psalm 107:2 NIV
Today is the day we begin this journey. I long to take your hand as we travel dusty roads, venture down the paths less traveled. We may cross the tracks and find ourselves on the wrong side of town as our story unfolds.
We will cross cultural divisions, encounter disagreements, bigotry, and racism. We will witness unholy actions in holy places, not so different, I think, from what we see today.
There will be violence, beatings, and beheadings. At times you may want to turn your head and pretend it did not exist. We will witness murder and watch as accusations are hurled with hateful words and intentions.
We will run into a rebel or two along the way. When I peel back the layers, there is a bit of them in me.
Our story picks up where the Gospels leave off. Doctor Luke’s sequel to the first book he penned with eloquent words and raw truths.
We will meet up with Jesus after his violent death. We sat in eerily quiet as he laid in the tomb stone cold dead. The third day Hope Rises with a risen Savior. We will listen as he gives last minute instructions, taking copious notes, for we need to know as well.
We will stand in awe, mouths gaped open and watch as he ascends towards the heavens.
One hundred and twenty we we are told, staring wide eyed at the sky. Left to wonder the miracle just witnessed. Trembling in fear and uncertainty.
He will leave us with direction, propel us forward in his work with words of encouragement.
We will be given a gift.
His Disciples and followers will be gathered, hiding out in an upper room, told to wait. And so they wait. I imagine it hot, with a shortage of air in which to breathe. Nerves jangling as loose change in a pocket.
Shifting from one foot to the other, wondering what will happen next.
The ground will shake beneath our feet. Tongues of fire will leap and dance on heads.
We find Peter in a sad state of being. Shaking his head, dropping it in shame. In his book, Twelve Ordinary Men, John MacArthur calls Peter “the man with the foot shaped mouth.”
We will watch in wonder as he makes the comeback of a lifetime.
We will be invited to sit on the pews of the first church. Witness community and church at its finest.
We will watch as Philip witnesses to the Ethiopian. He will be there, and in the next instant he will not. The Ethiopian, left alone praising a God he had longed to know.
“There are non repeatable events in Acts, as well as some transitional happenings; but the basic spiritual principles are the same today as when Peter and Paul ministered.
We need to look beyond the accidentals to the essentials and discover afresh the spiritual dynamics of the Word of God and prayer, love and fellowship, persecution, and personal witness for Christ.” ~Warren W. Wiersbe from Be Dynamic: Experience the Power of God’s People (NT Commentary)
We will witness first hand the conversion of Saul as he meets Jesus on the Damascus road. He will be struck blind before our very eyes. When we first meet Saul, he rides a high horse, persecuting believers, while believing he is doing God a service.
We will watch as Saul is transformed, his name changed to Paul, encountering God and learning of his way. He will risk life and limb to proclaim The Gospel. To share The Gift. Suffer beatings, and imprisonment. And yet, he never gives up.
With Paul, and Barnabas, and Timothy, we will visit exotic ports of call along our journey.
We will watch as they are called to action. Watch as they answer the call.
Peter, Philip, Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy; these are men I long to sit with. Wear their ears tired with questions. Listen in awe as they retell these stories, a faraway look in their eyes.
They have weaved their way into my heart and I pray they will yours as well.
I hope you will join me for the journey. The Journey to Action.
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I love this book, the concept, the stories, and the cover. The fact that I was invited to be tucked among the pages is an honor.
“If you only have one hour in the day to write, don’t spend it frustrated. Spend it writing.” ~@lisajobaker, #FMFbook
Gifts of Grace