Category Archives: Witness

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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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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Duct Tape Doesn’t Stick.

” When you pass and come back to let me know that I am not on the list to get into heaven then I will have a problem with my life and do some things differently

Such heartbreaking words.  Heartbreaking because they were received by a sister in Christ, from her sister in the world.  Such bitter, angry, words…from the unknowing, from the natural, and the carnal.

We are all called to tell of the love of Christ.  We are to make concentrated, purposeful efforts to reach those around us. — Our friends, our neighbors, our daily contacts, but perhaps the hardest ears to hear continue to be our blood relatives.  Continue reading

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In Her Eyes.

k-eye.jpg

God knows both the happiness and grief a teenager can bring to a mother’s heart.  When I became a parent, and through the last twenty years, I have been concerned about my children and what it will be like when they reach those delicate teenage years.   Will they be “boy crazy”?  Will they strive to succeed?  Will they be respectful of others?  Will they listen to God’s call on their life?  Will they remember the things that I have tried to teach them?  Will they ignore and learn from my own failures?  Or…possibly the greatest concern….will they be different from the way I was as a teenager?  Oh how I have hoped so!  Like many parents, I have wanted to spare them so much of what has been learned the “hard way”.

Fortunately, God has blessed us twice so far in this area.  My oldest is now 20 years old!  We are so proud of her and the decisions she has made.  She seeks God often, and serves Him faithfully.  She has served as a positive role model for other young girls.  She worked diligently to achieve in high school, and now in college.  She loves her family, and is not ashamed to admit it.  She doesn’t mind giving her Mom a hug.  She recognizes that we continue to learn in life, making mistakes along the way, but leaning on God to pull us through. 

With Kenya, I have not had to face what many parents face.   She has not been in the “party” crowd, done drugs or alcohol.  She has stayed committed to be pure for her future spouse.  Most importantly, though, she is wanting to be what God would have her be, before anything or anyone else.   

We are so proud and look forward to watching her be blessed due to all the good decisions she has made early in life. 

This summer, she has served as an associational missionary.  You can read all about it on her blog, the Uncomfort Zone.  

I have heard it said that, “Becoming a parent is making a decision to wear your heart on the outside of your body forever”.  — Because of Kenya, my heart has moved from a heavy load on my shoulders, to the inside of my arms, where I rocked her as a baby.

…Way to go, daughter!!  Keep up the Lord’s work!!

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth”  3 John 4 

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VBS’ng.

 

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What a great week we’ve had in VBS!  Our church has not held a VBS in what some estimate to be 15 years.  Being very small in numbers, and wishing to use the VBS as an opportunity to grow the church, we set out Saturday to visit area homes.  We met many people, some with children, some without, and found them to be very friendly and excited to hear about the church.  As a result of the visits, we had guests who brought children to VBS and look forward to getting to know them better.

Our totals for the week:  Continue reading

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Half Full.

half full or half empty? 

I found aNOTHER gray hair this morning!  It is a new one.  I know it because it was located further back than the other four I have found.

I’m in a “pickle” because I have always blamed each of the other four gray hairs on my children — one for each of them! 

Now…I guess I can name this one “Kenneth”.  (love you, dear!!)

Continue reading

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