Jesus of Nazareth—a worker of indisputably mighty works, wonders, and signs—had been crucified outside Jerusalem. Three days later, his grave had been found empty. Over the course of the next forty days he had appeared to hundreds—eyewitnesses of his majesty.
He had told his closest followers to remain in Jerusalem. They had watched as he ascended into the heavens. Two angels had promised that Jesus would come again, “in the same way as you saw him go.”
Shortly thereafter, on the Jewish day of Pentecost, they had been all together in one place. A sound like a mighty rushing wind had filled the entire house and they had all been filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
A crowd of thousands gathered at the sound of that mighty rushing wind and Peter, standing with the eleven, led them to the most important conclusion of all: “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). Three thousand souls responded in submissive obedience.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)
Day by day. That’s our congregational focus for 2016. To be “of Christ.” Every day. Everywhere. To follow in the footsteps of these earliest Christians—men and women whose lives were powerfully changed because of their conviction, devotion, awe, fellowship, and efforts to spread the good news.
We aim to use this booklet as a practical guide for the year. Perhaps there is something included therein that would be useful to you as well.
May the Lord bless us all as we seek to know him, glorify him, and share our knowledge of him with others in 2016. “To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Pet 3:18).