Dear Hope Family,
Between the turn of the New Year and Easter Sunday, we devoted our attention to the continuing ministry of Jesus by his Spirit through his people in the New Testament book of Acts. We experienced the beginning chapters of God’s show-and-tell of how Jesus, the resurrected, exalted, and coming-again-King, reigns and is actively building His church. We witnessed the maturing and expanding mission of God’s people in the face of persecution from without, corruption from within, and distraction at every turn. We marveled at how God’s grace triumphed over entrenched enemies outside of the church and reconciled divided races within the church. And that was only the first 9 chapters!
This fall we are returning to the book of Acts to form the backbone of our worship services and sermon series, and while we will not exhaust every last verse nor cover every passage, I am excited to survey the “greatest hits” in the remaining chapters of Acts between now and Advent in December.
The last word of Acts (which we will eventually work our way towards in the coming months) is the Greek word akolutos, “unhindered”. Luke uses this word to describe the ministry of the Gospel that has reached all the way to Rome, the capital of the known world, the end of the earth, at that time. The irony is that Paul is in chains under house arrest awaiting trial and eventual execution while he is in Rome, and yet the ministry of the Gospel, the spread of the good news of Jesus the rightful King and Redeemer, gets traction and lurches forward without obstacle, unhindered, even in the midst of such circumstances.
My prayer for our church is that we would more eagerly embrace and give ourselves to this “unhindered” ministry of the Gospel, that we would witness the power of the Spirit equipping us for participation in the mission God is carrying out, and that we would be able to witness to the grace of God drawing people to Himself to know Him and trust Him as King and Redeemer.
Pray with me that the ministry of the Word through the book of Acts would captivate us and equip us to engage the world by the power of the Spirit!
Grace and peace,