If you haven’t been following along with us, it’s a great time to jump right in to our daily Bible reading program. We’re beginning a walk today through the New Testament book of Acts, and during this season where most all of us have had our everyday lives turned upside down, now is a great opportunity to look with fresh eyes at Luke’s historical account of the early church…
What really mattered to them? What did they treasure as most important? How did they take care of each other? How were they organized? What was their worship like? How did they describe “the gospel,” and how did the good news about Jesus spread from Jerusalem all the way to Rome? If someone wanted to become a disciple of the Christ, what did they do? How did they come to be a part of the kingdom of heaven, and what did life look like for these heaven-bound people on an ordinary Friday?
As you dig into Acts 1, here are three principles worth thinking about today.
Our Father in heaven has fixed times and seasons by his own authority (1:7). Disciples will address him in Acts 4 as the “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them.” Hear how they prayed:
“…for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” (Acts 4:27-28)
In Acts 17, Paul will describe our Father as the One who “gives to all mankind life and breath and everything… having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.” Our Father in heaven reigns.
Some things are not for us to know. “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority” (Acts 1:7). That’s just the way he has created his universe, our world, and our very lives to work. Some Whys and Whats and Hows and Whens aren’t for us to know, which means we need to take seriously the call to…
Wait on the Lord. “Wait for the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4). He keeps his word. He never forgets his promises, and while the specific promise to the apostles in Acts 1 is realized in Acts 2, certain promises from the same heavenly Father remain.
“This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” (Acts 2:38-39)
“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)
I invite you to launch into this study of Acts with me. Our schedule can be downloaded here. Let’s study it like a newborn picture of the Lord’s church. Let’s approach it with hungry hearts and fresh eyes. For today, and as we head into the weekend, let’s use Acts 1 as a lens that helps us see:
- Our Father in heaven has fixed times and seasons by his own authority.
- Some things are not for us to know.
- The Father, whose promises are the bedrock of our faith, is faithful.
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! (Psa 27:14)