THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2017
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 International Version (NIV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: When I was in law school, I took a trial advocacy class. Its purpose was to train us in courtroom litigation and argumentation. I don’t remember much from the class, but I vividly remember the remonstrance the professor gave us on the last day of the term: “A good lawyer will argue the facts, argue the law, and argue his heart out.”
Persuasion is more than an scholastic exercise. When presenting a case before a jury, a lawyer will not only present an intellectual case (i.e., the facts and the law) but also appeal to the jury’s emotional side (i.e., the heart). The art of persuasion is, in many ways, a full body experience.
In Acts 28:17–24, we find Paul engaged in the masterful art of persuasion on the Exalted Jesus. His audience: the Jewish leadership; a group of the academic, theological, and political elite. And remember, Paul was in Roman custody so his “court appearance” took place with his wrists and ankles in shackles. And being the advocate that he was, Paul incorporated this into his argumentation: “It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain” (verse 20).
In this passage, Paul followed the litigation methodology of my professor, arguing not only the facts and the law, but also arguing his heart out. Verse 23 states that “from morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.”
As instruments of the continuation of Jesus’ ministry on Earth, like Paul, we are advocates. Advocates and representatives of the Exalted Jesus and the kingdom of Heaven.
Recalibrate: What characteristics and attributes make an effective advocate for the kingdom of Heaven?
Respond: Throughout your day, conscientiously remind yourself that you are a child of God (1 John 3:1) and a representative of the Kingdom of Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Research: Read The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt.
LIVE WONDER (0-3)
Play a game of sharing. Show your child what it means to share. Maybe you could share your seat. Make a drink and share it with two straws. Share some fries. Share your time and play a game and show how to lose well. Share the joy, the excitement, the pillow; share the wonder of life together.
LIVE ADVENTURE (4-11)
Choose to show your friends how much you like them without using words. Share your toys. Share your craft things. Let them go first when you are playing a game or on the playground. This might be hard to keep doing— especially if they don’t notice. Don’t worry—God sees all and He loves it when we use our actions. Know that God and all the angels are cheering you on.
LIVE PUPOSE (12-16)
Rumors can be really hurtful. Paul talks to the people in Rome about some of the rumors people have spread about Him. Make sure that you only say things that are true and that build people up!