Friday, December 2, 2011

Acts 11:19-26

          Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13      Jeremiah 1:4-10      Acts 11:19-26

          I hope your week has gone well and that your weekend is filled with a plan for worship with your friends, time in conversation with your family, and overflowing with a spirit of restoration.

          Today we will visit the early days of the church from the first century as we discover our faith reflected in the Book of Acts.

          Did you notice the reference to John the Baptist in Peter’s conversation? John often shows up during Advent since he is one of the key biblical figures who provides a straight road to the identity of the Messiah. In this situation Peter is remembering a reality that had apparently gone unnoticed until now. That reality was that John came to baptize with water but the Messiah would baptize with the Holy Spirit. In fact, that reality arrives at Peter’s memory because he is experiencing the power of the Spirit.

          Have you remembered and experienced the power of the Spirit in this last week? God uses that kind of ‘memory experience’ to refresh our spirits and to teach us about new things that are on the horizon. We see it in Peter’s life and in the journey of the early church.

          The church was born with serious labor pains. Some were from within but most were from the serious oppression and persecution from the culture that was being challenged by the teachings of Jesus. I am thankful that the early Christ followers were faithful in the face of persecution. I am grateful that a handful of folks gathered in a community called Antioch. For it was from that location that they set off to change the world. They were made alive with the Spirit of God and were spiritually commissioned as full time missionaries. Check the close of verse: they not only became missionaries, they became known as Christians.

          Christ follower, is that your name and your identity as we walk together on The Road to the Manger?

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