God has a plan! He is on a mission to proclaim His love to everyone, everywhere and He wants us to be a part of it. Before we were born God loved us and created us to be his own. Each one of us is His masterpiece, designed and fashioned for a unique purpose. God gave each of us gifts, abilities, talents and experiences to enable us to fulfill the destiny He envisions for us. He wants us to learn to hear His voice and to follow His leading. His heart for each of us is that we would be fully alive in Christ and walk in the fullness of who he has created us to be as we represent Him to the world.
Jesus’ followers received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost and became filled and equipped to spread the good news that would restore God’s kingdom over the world. Through persecution, the believers were scattered. They continued to preach, and the church at Antioch was born.
It grew into the first multi-ethnic, international church from which missionaries were sent throughout the world to preach about Jesus, the messianic Messiah and risen king of all nations. Paul even continued to preach despite imprisonment and wrote important letters to the churches.
- When the spirit came onto Peter he was able to stand before thousands and testify about Jesus: his life, his crucifixion, and resurrection.
- The Holy Spirit helps Peter witness fearlessly. We need the Holy Spirit to not only live in peace (the opposite of fear is peace) but also be fruitful (When Peter spoke the Holy Spirit worked in peoples’ hearts helping them believe).
- The Jewish court were so worried about the spread of the Word that they decided to execute the Apostles (5:36)…but a Pharisee intercedes on their behalf convincing the court to let them go.
- The Greeks felt discriminated against, so in response, the community of disciples elected seven leaders to account for the needs of the Greeks.
- Stephen is falsely accused and stoned to death while he preaches to the religious leaders. As Stephen was dying, he prayed to Jesus Christ, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” (7:59).
- It is important to recognize that God never intends us to “go it alone.” Being in a relationship with God and with people that are commonly bonded in Jesus Christ, encourages us all to head in the same direction towards Him.
- The book reveals, as with a light from heaven, that the one aim and purpose of the descent of the Spirit from our glorified Lord in heaven to His disciples – to reveal in them His presence, His guidance, and His power – was to equip them to be His witnesses to the uttermost parts of the earth. Mission to the lost is the ultimate goal of the Spirit.
- Miracles are for His Glory…the only acceptable reaction is giving him Praise. Miracles should minister to people showing them the goodness of God.
Talk About It
- How is what the believers are doing in Acts a reflection of God’s Kingdom?
- How can we prepare the altar and sacrifice in our lives so that God can send the fire?
- Have you been falsely accused? How did you handle yourself?
- What does the Spirit-filled life look like walking down the street?
- What does it mean to have the Holy Spirit in you?
- Would you consider it an honor if you were persecuted in the name of Jesus Christ?
- Would you even stand up for Him in all situations?
- Are you a witness in your school, work or home?
The Bible Project: The Book of Acts
Acts Tuesday: Summary of Acts 1-7