November 28, 2019
Acts 28:23-24 (NIV)
They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.
Paul never tired of talking about the Kingdom of God and Jesus. He’s been in Rome for three days now; hardly time to spread out his knick-knacks around the cell and make himself at home. As a prisoner he can’t exactly go find the local synagogue, so he does what any Apostle worth his salt would do. He invites the synagogue over to his place. . . er. . . I mean his prison cell. (Somehow I suspect Martha Stewart did the same thing, only in a completely different way).
Friends, that’s Apostolic hospitality right there . . . inviting the entire synagogue over to your prison cell.
True to form, Paul starts his work with the Jewish community. Despite everything the Jewish community had done to him, he still loves them and wants them to believe. Get this. He witnessed to them from morning till evening. Friends– that’s all day long. He’s working his way through Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, and all the way to Malachi.
Remember when Jesus came upon those two people on the road to Emmaus? Remember what he spoke of as he walked with them along the road?
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:27
This is one of the chief ways the Holy Spirit works with the Word of God. He did it then. He does it now. But the Holy Spirit will always be looking for the Word of God in us to work with.
If per chance someone gave me all day long to witness to them about the kingdom of God I’m afraid I would have said most of what I know by around 10am, at which time we would start talking about where we were going for lunch. And you?
It’s why I’ve given myself to learning the Word of God. I’m not studying Scripture in order to master it, but to be mastered by it. I’m not looking to extract relevant life application principles to make my twenty first century life work better. I’m working from an immersion approach. I want to enter into the world of the Bible and never come out. I want to learn to see the present world in all of its brokenness through the lenses of the Word of God and the Spirit of God so that I might increasingly learn to see all the glorious possibilities of redemptive love. I want to learn to think with intellect and heart in the framework of the mind of Christ. I want to know the story of Abraham like family history. I want to remember the parting of the Red Sea like I remember the birth of my own children. I want to learn to see Jesus in the wilderness as the bread that fell from heaven every day and as the water that came gushing forth from the rock. I want to behold Jesus in the Passover Lamb of deliverance. I want for my life and my family’s life and the lives of anyone I can persuade to be swept up into the only True Story that can simultaneously make sense of our brokenness and reveal the splendor of our beauty.
In short, I want to be a person of one book. Though I have a thousand books in my library and a hundred more on my Kindle, all of which can be a blessing, I want to be governed by one book alone: The Word of God. And I want that for you too.
That’s why I write the Daily Text every day. That’s why I’ve become a publisher. That’s why week in and week out I’m working with a team to bring forth biblical resources aimed to equip us to invite people over to our cells (and homes!) to learn with us and to empower us to walk along the road with friends and strangers and share in the story of Scripture which is the story of Jesus—and all of this in the loving power of the Holy Spirit.
COME HOLY SPIRIT!
How is your love for God’s Word growing? Are you actively learning? What is the next step?
For the Awakening,