The Book of Acts provides the historical background to the epistles of the New Testament writers. It is inspired by God, and it is selective in the material included. Here we see the expansion of the message of Jesus Christ, the good news. The movement of the followers of Christ and their preaching of the gospel begins first in Jerusalem and radiates out into the surrounding Judean areas, then to Samaria, and to the Gentile world.
The author, Luke, isn’t recording dry history; he includes intrigue at various levels. In many ways the book reads like a suspense novel: it highlights conflict within the church and among the godly leaders, persecution, and murder, to be sure. But we also see commitment to the cause of Christ, personal sacrifice, love, and faithfulness. It is truly an amazing story about the birth of the church and how it coped with the physical absence of its founder, Jesus Christ; how the message related to the Old Testament; and the transitions involved.
The book of Acts is not only a history but also an example for believers of all generations to consider. We can learn many lessons from the first followers of Jesus Christ, who were willing to sacrifice everything—even their lives—in order to spread the gospel and continue being faithful to Him.
A few notes are in order:
1. The reader will notice that in this devotional commentary we capitalize pronouns and other direct references to Deity, being consistent with the custom of the NASB. However, it should be noted that the original Greek in which the New Testament was written does not make this distinction.
2. Why just five days per week? Our experience is that for most people, routines of life revolve around a five-day work week, so it is often easier to schedule devotional readings in that framework. This, of course, leaves the weekends free for alternate readings—which provides variety. We might suggest on the weekends, the reader read one chapter of Proverbs and three chapters of Psalms each day. In this way, in one year the entire book of Proverbs will be read three times, and the book of Psalms twice—with a few days to spare!
3. We suggest taking 15 minutes each workday morning: one minute to pray, asking the Lord to open your mind and heart to His voice; ten minutes for reading and musing on the meditation; and four minutes for prayer based on devotional for the day. The more specific you can be in your prayer, the better. Remember, the Lord wants to hear from you. Feel free, of course, to keep a log of your prayer concerns so that you can be consistent.
I pray the Lord will use these brief daily meditations to encourage you in your walk with Him.
NOTE: To begin this series, click here. After reading each E-Med, click on the link to the next one found at the end of the current reading.