Awhile back I mentioned a 700-page book I was reading that discussed the various books of the Bible. I've been reading on it for some time and here lately a bit more regularly. The other day I was reading about Acts and how it was misnamed in most Bibles as "Acts of the Apostles" when in reality it's Acts of the Holy Spirit through the apostles. The Spirit was given to the believers in Acts and it is evident how He changed their lives when you read this wonderful account of the spread of the gospel among the known world.
Last year I felt for the first time that I really appreciated the Holy Spirit of God and His role in my life. I'd always had a deep appreciation for Jesus. What good little Baptist girl doesn't grow up loving the One who healed the sick, raised the dead, forgave sins, saw the goodness of child-like faith and loved children being in His presence? Not to mention the incredible died-on-the-cross-for-my-sins thing that Jesus did! What love and selflessness!
But I'd never given much thought to the Person of the Holy Spirit until last year when God started making His Spirit more wonderful in my heart and life. I still remember my pastor spoke a series of messages on the Spirit and how I thought for the first time I really had been missing out by ignoring His work all these years.
Back to my book and how this relates ... the chapter on Acts deals with the Spirit and how He worked through Peter, Paul, Philip, Barnabas, Stephen and others. And at the conclusion of this chapter, the author writes,
Acts is the only unfinished book in the Bible. Notice how abruptly it closes! How else could it close? How could there be a complete account of a Person's lifework as long as He lives? Our risen and ascended Lord still lives. From the center, Christ, the lines are still proceeding in every direction, but "the uttermost part of the earth" is not yet reached. The book is evidently a fragment. The gospel of Christ moves on! You are still living the Acts! (pg. 455 -- What the Bible is All About by Dr. Henrietta C. Mears)
For some reason that caught my attention. And I liked that. It rang true and I found it truly exciting! We read Acts and are amazed at how God worked through dedicated followers. Why can we not experience the same things today? Perhaps some are and I am just missing out because I lack faith and am not walking in the Spirit on a consistent basis. (Perhaps my fear and worry have much to do with that?)
God is at work in the world today! While He doesn't need my help, He has chosen to work through His followers. I want to be yielded to Him. I want God to use me for His glory.
How can I live "The Acts"?
* Last year when my preacher spoke on the Holy Spirit, he said in the Bible the Spirit was often represented by a few different elements like fire, wind, oil and wine. I remember praying for God to send that "wind" to Damascus. Remember that Syria is overwhelmingly a Muslim nation and often a crescent is used to symbolize Islam. So when I saw this picture ... the one thing looking like a presence moving somewhere and then noticed the crescent ... maybe I'm just weird, but I liked this picture and decided to put it here. :-)