FRIDAY, JANUARY 5, 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 English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: On my daughter’s first birthday, we held a party for her. It was a major event. After all, it was the first birthday of our first child. Our attention was focused on the success of the event itself—the food, the cake, the decorations, the games. As we immersed ourselves in the busyness of the preparations, my daughter was left crawling on the floor to play with her toys. Then it happened. She pulled herself up using the side of a chair and began to walk. It wasn’t until we conscientiously took our focus away from the birthday party itself that we noticed this milestone-of-milestones of childhood development. Needless to say, the day became a celebration of both her birthday and her mobility.
The opening scene of the book of Acts relates the familiar account of Jesus being taken up into Heaven. Often overlooked are two significant declarations made just before and just after Jesus’ ascension. In the first, Jesus’ followers, still fixated on political and governmental standing, asked Him, “Are you finally going to bring back the administrative power of Israel?” Jesus gently chastised them, saying that the time would eventually come, just not according to their timeline. He concluded with this blessing: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses. . . to the ends of the earth.”
As the disciples stood with their mouths open looking up, two heavenly beings suddenly appeared and gave the second declaration: “Why are you looking up? He’ll be back. And it will be in the same way in which you saw Him go.” So began the continuation of the ministry of the Exalted Jesus on Earth. A ministry that will be ongoing until His return; a ministry that we are all called to be a part of. You may ask “How can I know where I fit in His ministry? What am I called to do? Do I even have any spiritual gifts?” I wrestle with these questions, too. But here’s my simple response: It’s not my problem. A daily surrender to the will of God is what makes you and me beneficiaries of the declaration of Acts 1.8: “[Then] you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you . . .” So let’s do this.
Recalibrate: What guideposts and signals does God use when He calls you to do something?
Respond: Reflect on the times when God impressed you to do something or go somewhere. Think of the signs that God used and ask whether they were obvious or subtle.
Research: Identify some unique ways your spiritual gifts can help spread the Gospel.
LIVE WONDER (0-3)
Plan a treasure hunt for your child. It can be as simple as Post-it notes around the house. Show them what the note looks like, and then get them to see if they can find the next one. Always make sure that the next note can be seen from where the previous note was placed. Encourage them to find each one. Have a surprise at the end that your child will enjoy. Do it together. Have fun.
LIVE ADVENTURE (4-11)
Ask your child if they think God has posted any signs for them to follow this week. Talk about how they might follow the signs God has given.
LIVE PUPOSE (12-16)
This week, we looked at the very beginning of Acts and the very end. We found Paul at the end of Acts 28 talking about Jesus with boldness—despite being thrown in jail, having mean rumors spread about him, and even being bitten by a snake! How do you stay bold even when you might have some ups and downs during the week?