Suggested readings for week of March 13th
Hello all. We are in list 10 this week, and our suggested reading is Acts 2, one of the best know and most powerful passages in the bible. In this chapter two ideas really stood out for me. The first is the true and essential connection between the gospel and true reality, both in practice and in proclamation. So many professing Christians that I have talked to, who claim to believe the word of God and who claim to have a relationship with God that is meaningful to them, seem to keep that faith and that relationship stored away in a little box that they can take out when it’s profitable and convenient to them. It reminds me of a lyric from an old Steve Taylor song (for those of you old enough to remember him) called “It’s a Personal Thing.” One line says “I believe for the benefit of all mankind, in the total separation of church and mind.” I’m ashamed of how many times that line has described me personally. But the true Christian message not only should not be separated from our everyday life it CAN NOT be separated from our everyday life. If we have been saved the truth of the gospel should soak into and permeate every aspect of our life.
But this chapter does more than show believers, and especially Peter, living out his faith. It shows a connection between that faith and real historical events. Those who heard Peter speak first saw the gift of the Holy Spirit poured out on believers, and Peter appealed to this when he spoke to them. Peter didn’t just share a personal belief or feeling, he talked about actual facts that he had witnessed. He had seen the crucified and risen Christ. Now, even though those who hear us read the word and preach may not have seen miracles as the crowds around Peter did, they are, none the less, fully aware of the truth of the gospel. They may suppress it, but the word says they are without excuse, and we should appeal to that. Preach the truth of Christ in history as well as our heart. And, of course, use the law of God to spark people’s conscience and show them their need of the savior.
Secondly, although Peter saw God do a mighty work through his preaching, the bible does not show a man with delusions of grandeur. He was a simple man, a blue-collar worker, who was called by God and obeyed. If God chose to use a simple fisherman, he can certainly use any of us, and that should be a source of encouragement. We don’t have to be a theologian or pastor or gifted public speaker, although those are all good things. We simply need to be obedient to his call, to be a ready and useful tool in his hands, and watch to see the wonderful things he will do through us for his glory.
On another topic, I will be working with our local evangelism team, Norcal Seedsowers, with Calvary Chapel San Jose and with the Living Waters and Wretched Radio teams this weekend on the Transformed conference. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated. If you are unfamiliar with the conference, check out the links below and consider hosting one at your church.
All for His glory!