Category Archives: Reaching the Lost

Thankful Thursday

Wow!  I really have alot to be thankful for this week…

  1. God, who loves me beyond measure.
  2. Tears spilt for a soul, a reminder that His cause is still deep in my heart.
  3. The look on the boys faces when Daddy came home for lunch yesterday.  (He is working mostly in our town now, instead of driving the 140 mile round trip each day)
  4. Rain.
  5. A sweet, loving dog who so appreciates being let inside during cold and wet weather.
  6. A great first overnight sleepover for my son.
  7. Seeing my son and his friend do their bible study together.
  8. Whatever Wednesday — it made me laugh, really hard, for the first time in a while!
  9. The ladies of our church family who minister and seek God together.
  10. Donna – for the time and effort she has made for the Father/Daughter Banquet.  What a great testimony for Cornerstone to encourage building that relationship.
  11. My Daddy and the time I had with him…sure wish he was here to take me to the banquet {{sniff, sniff}}.
  12. The opportunity to take pictures for all the little girls and Dads as they enjoy their unforgettable evening.
  13. My daughter’s comments on the Life’s Work post.  
  14. God’s financial provision.
  15. The opportunity for the boys to play at the park this week with other homeschoolers.
  16. Seeing the dad of those homeschoolers take his four children to the park alone.  You could tell he truly enjoyed the time with them.
  17. This blog — there’s been over 25,000 hits now.  Wow! — Truly amazing that there are that many people who want to know what I have to say, lol!
  18. Anoop is still on AI — for Noah.
  19. Pam has begun to blog again.
  20. Kenya got home before midnight last night 🙂 
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Acts, Chapter 4.

Persecution.  Have you faced any?  Do you think persecution still exists? 

Acts, chapter four, shows Peter and John as they face the courts over the healing of the lame man in chapter three.  Actually, it wasn’t the healing that got them in trouble with the court, it was the credit given to Jesus.  The court did not want them to speak “in the name of Jesus”.  They were even released after an overnight stay in jail, but were told to not speak in that name again.

Little did the court know what would happen….

Enter the Holy Spirit again! 

Encouraging, uplifting, pointing the way to Christ and all He is, and giving boldness…boldness that quickly multiplied among the believers and jump started a whole new movement for the Lord.

These are the basic details of chapter four.  I don’t feel like I can expound on them in any better way than to explain the details of yesterday’s gathering at Cornerstone.

Continue reading

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Acts, Chapter 2.

Verse 1

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”  Acts 2:1

There’s several things that jump out at me about this verse:  1)  The “Day of Pentecost”, 2) the words “fully come”, and 3) that they were all with “one accord”.

What was the “Day of Pentecost”?  From what I have read, it took place 50 days after the Feast of the Firsfruits.  According to J. Vernon McGee, the Feast of the Firstfruits speaks of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.   “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  But each one is his own order:  Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.  Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”  1 Corinthians 20-26 

The Passover speaks of the death of Jesus Christ:  “…For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”  1Corinthians 5:7-8

The words “fully come”, again according to Dr. McGee, could be translated to mean “fulfilled”.  The Passover was fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ.  The Feast of Firstfruits was fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Now, the Day of Pentecost, being “fully come” (aka fulfilled) means that it represented the fulfillment of something — the birth of the church, the day the church came into existence.

So, in order to understand the timeline…..

  1. Jesus was crucified.
  2. 3 days later, He was resurrected.
  3. For 40 days, He walked upon the earth, resurrected.  (Acts 1:3)
  4. He then ascended into heaven. (Acts. 1:9)
  5. 10 more days passed.
  6. On the 50th day (Pentecost) the church was born and the Holy Spirit arrived.

  Continue reading

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Acts, Chapter 1

Wow!  I didn’t realize that I was going to write four posts before even getting to the first Chapter!  Thanks for sticking with me so far :0)

Now’s the part where I make observations, ask questions, and depend on all of you to help me with the answers.  This past Sunday’s message by Bro. Mike spoke of a warning.  He made a statement about many people taking verses of scripture out of context, and I really pondered on that for a bit.  My earnest intention is to not do that, but if I should stray, please help bring me back on the right track.  I am by no means an educated theologian, and many times rely on information that I have picked up by reading commentaries or hearing the opinions of others.  I’m just a normal gal, desiring to further my walk with the Lord as I study through Acts, and if by some way I am able to share it with any of you in writing these posts, I pray that God will use this blog as a tool for your growth and walk with the Lord to deepen.  So, please forgive me if I make a mistake, or miss something in the “big picture”. 

Chapter 1 – The “Who”

As I understand it, Luke, the physician, supposedly wrote the book of Acts.  He is writing to a Gentile believer named Theophilus an account of the information he had gathered about Jesus.  Luke, apparently, was not an eye-witness to the events but gathered undisputable evidence of all that had happened.  Continue reading

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Act as Witnesses.

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  Acts. 1:8

Where is Jerusalem?  Our hometown, our community

Where is Samaria?  The “other side of the tracks”…people we don’t usually associate with on a day-to-day basis.

Where is the end of the earth?  I like the bible translation that says the “uttermost” part of the earth.  It is from one pole to the other pole….from east around the globe to the furthest west…every people, every nation, every tribe, every human on the earth — the uttermost furthest distance you can imagine on the planet earth.

I have never been one to skip to the ending of the book without reading through it first, but in this case, I want to point out something.  Having read several commentaries, it seems that the end of the book of Acts has no proper ending.  It ends with Paul in his own rented house in Rome. 

I just picture Paul, sitting at a table in his room, reading the scriptures and preparing for his next mission.  He is studying, and praying and interceding for the lost people that he, himself persecuted.  He hardly sleeps, is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and very attentive to God’s voice.

The camera pulls back, ending the scene with this image.  You just know that Paul is about to run out the door to his next adventure, when the ending credits starting scrolling and the symphony starts playing…

Ugh! …..want more?!  Yes!  Bring on the sequel!!!

If we watched a movie with this scene at the end of it, there would no doubt be a feeling of incompleteness.  It’s like one of those really, really, good movies that just leaves you hanging at the end!  

In this case, however, there is no proper ending.  Why?  Because the mission of God’s people is incomplete.  It is a continuing story.  We are to continue in the same work as Paul — into Judea, Samaria, and the Uttermost.

The work, as Acts 1:8 points out, is to be a witness of “Me”.  The “me” is Jesus Christ, but what message is it that He wants us to convey?  A witness of what? 

The research I have done tells me that He is speaking of the resurrection.  It is the center and heart of the message.  Without the resurrection, all work and miracles Jesus had performed would have been in vain.  Without renewed life, the testimonies and accounts of Jesus’ life would mean nothing.  He would have been just another man. 

However, He was not a man. 

“I and My Father are one.”  John 10:30

He was God, in flesh, who experienced all the guilt of our sins, endured a torcherous death, but then fulfilled the greatest feat no man has ever been able to do….he came back to life!  He was resurrected, just as the prophecies of old had described!  He is alive — even today!  Now THAT’s something to get excited about 🙂

We are to be witnesses of THAT GREAT MIRACLE…the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is the center and heart of the church’s message.

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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”?   

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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?

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