The Lord called me to the book of Acts. I don’t know why (yet). It’s a book that I admittedly don’t reference or read much. It always seemed kind of cold and sterile to me. Historical, like the Old Testament. Good to have as head knowledge, but not a huge heart changer. I was reluctant when I felt the nudge to dig into it. Ugh. Why not Romans or something?
The writings of Paul have always, from the day I first picked up a Bible almost a decade ago, been the most accessible to me.
There’s two things I know pretty well: literature and Jesus. When I read the books written by Paul, I know this was written by someone who has been transformed. Someone who had lived a long time, and quite successfully from the world’s standards, without Jesus. That was me too. But the power in his words regarding his heart change, his embracing of his new purpose, and the reflection upon his old self and his new self are things I can very, very much relate to. Paul gets me. My husband knows I’m slightly obsessed with him (not an idol or anything, I just feel like he’s my Biblical Bestie, ya know?)
So anyway, the call to read Acts. But…but…but…I don’t wanna! I already know the basics, come on! But I’m called to be obedient, and so I’m giving it a shot.
And let me just tell you, I’ve been letting a gem slip though my grasp. I’ve been reading in this book every chance I’ve had since last Thursday and I’ve only gotten to chapter 5 because I cannot stop rereading the first few chapters. I’m obsessed. I feel this changing and molding me already, much more so than I could put into words in one post and much more than I thought it ever could.
I’m suddenly fascinated by the early church and captivated by the accounts of what God can do through normal, everyday people. You and me. Peter and John. Nobody special besides the fact that they too said yes when Jesus called. I’m thirsting to read more, but I can’t stop rereading what I’ve already read. And I’m not even to my bff’s conversion yet! I’m absorbing so much about Christ’s power in us, repentance, effective compassion, uncoerced generosity, and PRAYER! These are things for another day, though.
There’s so much to say, I feel like my spirit is almost literally overflowing and I’m not sure yet how to contain it or make sense of it. But I will leave you with a verse that I’ve been reading over and over and meditating on. It’s haunting me in a way because it’s describing the early church.
Man, they got it! Can you even imagine?? Where did we go wrong in this? When did dispassionate, lukewarm Christianity become the norm? When did we forget that one of the last things Jesus called us to was unity with one another (John 17) and love towards the non-believing world? Has the world changed so much now that His words have become obsolete? Can we pick and choose the commands that work for us? Obviously not. Jesus himself said, “if you love me, you will obey my commands.” The commands Jesus left us with are not easy, but if we can be focused on unity and love, man we could turn this thing around!
This isn’t meant to be harsh or condemning, but just a wake up call. A chance for all of us to take a look in the mirror and yank the planks out of our eyes. Where’s the fire in our bellies? Where’s the compassion, the fruits of the Spirit, the boldness of Peter and John? After all, don’t we want to be a bride worth marrying?