John 21:17a,19b 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” … 19bAnd after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
Matthew 28:19 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, …
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Acts 1:14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women …
Acts 2:46 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, …
Acts 5:42 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.
Is the Book of Acts a mere aberration or is it to be the benchmark, the gold standard, as it were, of Christianity and the church? What should characterize the church in our day, in any time of history? James Boice says that the church today rarely understands the far-reaching impact of the early church, how they had taken the gospel to the farthest reaches of the Roman Empire, if not further, within two hundred years of Pentecost. Acts records the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy where the promised Holy Spirit was to come upon the covenant community and empowers her to fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord to ‘go and make disciples’. I suggest the Acts of the Apostles is normative for the church in any age. I am not speaking of tongues and miracles. These are not the focus of Luke’s writing. The unmistakable theme is the expansion of the gospel to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the utter most parts of the earth; (and their disciple-making method included ‘in their homes’ or ‘house to house’ visits…in other words, relational contact with people life-to-life.)
So, what characterized the church in Acts and what ought to characterize us today? What would revival look like in our day? There seem to be … clear marks of revival present in Acts, and there is an order to them. …. First … there is unmistakable evidence of mighty prayer. (The trained ones Jesus had poured himself into life-to-life were) the one hundred and twenty gathered together in the upper room for ten days of prayer, …For what were they praying? No doubt they were praising God for the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus. Surely, they were giving thanks to God for opening their eyes to see the truth as it is in Jesus, … they were asking for the promised Spirit to come upon them in order to empower them for His Great Commission: (to go and make disciples). Mighty prayer, … induces an indomitable hunger to follow and obey Christ. …adapted from an article by Rev. Al Baker.
“1 Corinthians 4:15-16 15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me.” Why did Paul use the term ‘father in Christ’? Could it be that we are to imitate Paul by establishing a level of life-to-life intimacy with those whom we would disciple like that of a father?
Today is VBS for Adults Day!