I am not sure about you but when I am nearing the end of a book that I have been reading a sense of sadness fills my heart. The book and I have enjoyed some special moments and in some ways the book has been a constant companion for a period of time. This is how I am feeling now as we come to the end of our time in this most marvelous book. I have so much enjoyed the time we have spent in the Book of Acts. So much to witness, savor and take in as I witnessed God commence His unstoppable mission to bring both Jew and Gentile to Himself through Jesus. And He commenced this mission with a pretty motley crew who were taking refuge in a home in Jerusalem trying to piece together what had just happened with the brutal death of their leader and friend Jesus.
This book has it all – intrigue, miraculous signs and wonders, adventure and travel, murder, riots, legal court battles, bravery and the list goes on. I have marveled again and again at who God calls to be His witnesses and servants. Who would have expected that Peter would be used to be the frontrunner in building Christ’s church. But the biggest shock to me was how Jesus decided that it would be the great Christian antagonist Saul to be the great evangelist and church planter. Yes, it has been a book full of surprises and even though I have read it, studied and preached from it on numerous occasions, I continue to be ever so moved and thrilled reading it again. God’s word is like that isn’t it?
I am not sure what lasting impressions this series will have on you. Perhaps none! As for me, this is not the case. I think this final sortie into the last two chapters of Acts sum it up for me. God is Sovereign! God’s will is God’s will and nothing will prevent it coming to fruition. The Lord says to Paul at the most difficult time in his entire life, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” Take courage! Wow! I find this such a blessing! I say to myself quite often – “Take courage Steve and battle on!” I know that God has called me to be His servant and messenger. I know that He has called me here to Grace CCC to testify about Him and to encourage each one of you to understand that you too have a responsibility to be part of God’s unstoppable mission here in Kogarah! There will be ups and downs. There will be opposition from without, and sadly, from within. But the message of the gospel is of great importance and our multi-cultural community must hear about Jesus because He is the Saviour and His love is supreme! Be blessed! Take courage and testify!