Monthly Archives: February 2008

Acts, the Gospel Funnel.

Here we go with the definitions again :)…

funnel – A conical utensil with a small hole or narrow tube at the apex used to channel the flow of a substance into a container.

The book of Acts, as J. Vernon McGee points out, is like a funnel.  Prior to Acts, we see the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  All four of these books end with a significant aspect of Christianity which, together, flow into the funnel of Acts where we see God’s plan for the church. 

The last recorded fact in Matthew is the Resurrection.  Mark ends with the Ascension.  Luke closes with the promise of the Holy Spirit, and John proclaims the second coming of Jesus Christ. 

Like the above definition, the book of Acts serves as the funnel used to channel the flow of these four events into one container, the church.  It is in Acts when the church receives birth, then direction and life instruction from our Lord.  The container –the vessel used to reach the lost, lies within the church, God’s people.

It’s like getting bits and pieces of information, and then deciding what to do with them.  We’ve been given the gifts of the Resurrection, Ascension, Holy Spirit, and Promise of Christ’s return.  What are we going to do with them?  Or better yet….what does God want us to do?

The answer is found in Acts 1:8:

“…you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

We are instructed to be a witness, just as the original apostles were, of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This is undoubtedly the purpose of the church as found in the book of Acts.

It is my overall understanding that the book of Acts was written by Luke, the physician, although I did read one opinion that said it wasn’t conclusively Luke. 

I have also read that Luke wasn’t an actual witness to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, but must have extensively compiled research and evidence of the things he wrote about in the book of Luke and Acts. 

What do you think?  Was Luke the author? Also, what does being an apostle mean?  Is an “apostle” the same as a “disciple”?   

8 Comments

Filed under Acts, Bible, Bible Study, Christ, Church, Evangelism, Faith, Family, God, Reaching the Lost, Witness

Laughing 11.

Maybe it’s time to cut back on the use of technology in our house….

After telling the 4 year old that I was concerned because I couldn’t talk to Daddy since the instant messenger system was down, he walks over to the phone, picks it up, puts it in my hand, and very casually says, “Here”!

3 Comments

Filed under Children, Family, Gifts, God, Humor, Joy, Life

Acts is a Verb.

The word, acts, is defined as:

  1. To play the part of; assume the dramatic role of.
  2. To perform on the stage
  3. To behave like or pose as; impersonate
  4. To behave as suitable for.

These definitions could assume a lot about the typical church goer.  Definition #1 often describes those who “play” church.  Unfortunately, many people make a point to go to church, but fail to truly connect.  They play the part of a dedicated Christian on worship day, they might even assume the dramatic role of a dedicated church member by fulfilling a needed task here or there.  However, “playing” church does not a church member make!  As for drama, there’s quite a bit of that evident in today’s churches as well.

Definition #2 could be compared to worship ministries in many churches.  Sadly, there are many men and women today who stand before the congregation, performing to the audience, rather than for God.  Speaking personally, I can relate with this one because there was a time in my life that God spoke abruptly and directly about leading worship.  Prior to that direction, the Sunday “specials” were only special to me, because I looked for the pat on the back or the praise from the congregation in order to boost my self confidence and reputation.  I realized that I wasn’t looking to lead others into worship toward God, but to show off the talents that God has so graciously given me.  What an eye opener it was for me!  In response to His direction, I forcefully pulled myself away from the music ministry all together until I could get the “big picture”.  Worship is for God, to be directed to God, and should be displayed in such a way as to only lead others to God.   Performances  should be left outside the church.

To impersonate, as definition #3 says, would say that the action is not real.  Need I say more?  God knows those who impersonate real Christianity.  He knows the very hearts of every man, woman, and child.  Appearing at church on Sunday, then living life without God during the week is nothing but impersonation.  I pray for all the impersonators who try to trick themselves into believing that they can do good for a day, and then share in eternal happiness.  They just don’t get it. 

Finally, definition #4 leads us to exhibit true Christianity in the church.  When we behave as suitable for a Christian, we are following the example of Christ.  The word, Christian, which even has His own name in it, means “Christ-like”.  We cannot BE a Christian without Christ.  A personal relationship with Him is the only way that we can be a true member of the church.  The only membership directory is that of the Lamb’s book of life.  The meeting place is the world in which He placed us.  The services are held 24/7, right in front of our faces where we encounter lost people day in and day out.  The mission is to tell them about Him.  When we are practicing these aspects of church membership, we are truly a church member.

Acts is a verb, requiring act-ion on the very ideas we proclaimed to believe when we said that we accepted Christ as Lord of our life.  It’s a verb.  What actions do you have planned for today?

5 Comments

Filed under Acts, Attitude, Bible, Bible Study, Christ, Church, Commitment, Evangelism, Faith, God, Grace, Missions, Priorities, Reaching the Lost, Worship

Act-ing.

Recently, I was led to begin an in-depth study of the book of Acts.  I am challenged to question all that I know and have grown up knowing about the church and its’ purpose. 

The questions I will ask are the “Who, What, When, Where, and How’s”?  Who is the church?  What is the church doing?  When is the church doing it?  Where is the true work of Christ being performed?   How does the church fulfill its’ purpose?

Having experienced different doctrines and denominations through the years of my life, I have seen these questions answered in many different ways — many of which seemed to be erroneously set “in stone” as the only possible view of the godly church.

Now, as I continue to mature in the Lord, I know I must constantly examine myself.  Even though resolved in my faith and personal relationship with the Lord, I imagine that some of my ideas of Christianity and the church are just that — ideas, not specific instructions from the bible, but little “nudges” and suggestions that seemed to appear godly.   

Our circumstances and surroundings throughout life often mold and shape our beliefs.  If we don’t continually test those beliefs with the very Word of God, we end up with misconceived notions that the way we know is the way it should beHowever, it could be quite the contrary.

So…join me if you’re interested in challenging your own “churchy notions”, or if you would like to help me challenge mine.  (Just be nice, ok?) 

1 Comment

Filed under Acts, Bible, Bible Study, Christ, Church, Faith, God

What to say?

Okay, I’ve removed the Christmas lights and redecorated a little, now I’m left with the question, “What do I blog about?” 

Hmmm……random thoughts:

I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. just to read through and comment on my favorite blogs.  Hopefully this will get easier (and quicker). 

I’ve spent an hour and a half just scrolling through header photos and blog themes this morning, and I’m still not sure I like what I picked out?!

My boys are enjoying the fact that I’m attempting to blog again, especially since my effort has delayed school this morning 😉

Oh well, I tried.    Until next time…..

1 Comment

Filed under Blogging, Children, Homeschool, Random Thoughts

Rising Again.

Whew!  We’re back!  It’s been a long vacation, but well worth the visit.  Refocusing on priorities, revisiting purpose, and spending some much needed time with family — a break worth taking!!

 I’m so glad that you all have given me grace to be gone for a while.  Thank you for the encouragement to return to blogging. 

I promise to take down the Christmas decorations soon, redecorate, and return to some inspiring (and some not-so-inspiring!) written words.  However, until then, I leave you with a link to one of my favorite praise bands, Common Saints. 

(Click Here)

….or (Here)…

…wow, it’s not working?!…..

Ok, try (Here)…..

or, (HERE).

….

Sorry, I can’t find the link 😦  It was working before I went on vacation….I don’t know what happened to it?

But here’s a good site. (Click Here) 

3 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Friends, God, Humor, Links