MONDAY, JANUARY 1, 2018
Series: The Mvmnt Message: The Acts of the Exalted Jesus Preacher: Jeff Wood Reflection: Andre Wang
Refresh: Open with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Acts 1:1–11; 28:11–24, 30–31 in the New Living Translation (NLT). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a theologian. I am a lawyer. For a living, I parse statutes, regulations, and case law to render a proper interpretation to advise my clients on how the law applies to their real-world scenario or problem. Legal interpretation takes two basic forms: strict construction and liberal construction. Strict construction adheres to the “letter of the law” while liberal construction surveys the “spirit of the law.”
Words have specific meanings. Yesterday we reflected on Jesus’ “order” to His disciples to stay in Jerusalem. He instructed them to wait “until the Father sends you the gift He promised . . .” (verse 4, NLT).
There’s an important word there: promised. In legal nomenclature, the word “promise” is a significant word. In contract law, a promise creates a legal obligation to a party to render performance for whatever was promised—either a good, service, or payment.
In Acts 1, a promise has been made by God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The disciples were beneficiaries of that promise and were instructed to remain in Jerusalem to await fulfillment of the promised performance.
Likewise, just as the disciples were, we are also the intended beneficiaries of God’s promise of an outpouring of the Spirit. And God doesn’t break promises. The proper legal term for breaking a promise is “breach of contract.”
I rest gratefully in the assurance that all of God’s contracts are ironclad.
Recalibrate: God often makes us wait. Sometimes at great lengths. Why doesn’t God fulfill His promises with rapid speed?
Respond: Reflect on the times when you claimed a promise in Scripture and God rendered performance in a manner you did not expect. Pray a prayer of thanksgiving for the fulfillment of those promises.
Research: See if you can spot how emotions and logic play a role in your decision making today.
LIVE WONDER (Ages 0-4)
Dream about all the great adventures you and your child are going to experience together. Your first steps together, amazing crayon art works that you will hang on the fridge, your first camping trip. Know that God’s plans for you are good and they are worth waiting for. Dream big.
LIVE ADVENTURE (Ages 5-11)
Draw a picture of something you are waiting for. Is it something that will happen soon or is it a long time away—like maybe learning to drive a car? God wants to be in your picture. He wants to be what you are waiting for. Can you draw Him in?
LIVE PURPOSE (Ages 12-16)
If you could choose one super power, what would it be? Jesus reminds His friends that they don’t have the super power of seeing the future. Do you think that helped or hurt their relationship with Jesus?