New BeginningsWednesday, 22 October 2014 14:41:00
I love new beginnings. The starting over, the hint of fresh, is always exciting. And I’m excited about this new series which really isn’t a series at all but a bit of potpourri. What I plan to do is go through the Book of Acts, some of the Epistles, then Revelation. Sprinkled in between will be comments on news articles I find interesting or relevant.
I so enjoyed following the footsteps of Jesus, seeing what He did and said. Believe me, I learned a lot as I went. I now look forward to learning even more as I follow some of the apostles. I think the Book of Acts is a great place to start.
Imagine you’re in an upper room full of frightened men and some women, too. They had seen Jesus’ miracles, heard His preaching, touched His wounds after His resurrection and interacted with Him for 40 days then watched Him ascend into heaven. And they had come to know He was no ordinary man but the very Son of God. Even so, most of them had to be depressed and confused. They had given up everything—family, friends, jobs—to follow someone they believed would overthrow the harsh Roman yoke from their nation and lead them to freedom and into another golden age like that of King David and Solomon’s time. With Jesus’ ascension these hopes were dashed. Now what? Should they go back to their communities and jobs? No. Jesus had told them to tarry in Jerusalem and “wait for the promise of the Father,” the Holy Spirit. But how could it possibly change anything since they no longer had Jesus with them? And how could they ever obey Jesus’ great commission and share the gospel of good news to the world? They were outcasts, even hounded men. Their futures looked bleak. But to their credit they stood together and prayed and even appointed, by lot, another apostle to take the traitor Judas’s place.
And then everything changed. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit came upon them like a mighty rushing wind and as tongues of fire, and filled them. Now instead of being frightened and confused, they became fearless, bold, and more sure of the path they should and would take. When they went outside, crowds gathered and Peter boldly proclaimed the message of salvation. Three thousand souls became Christ-followers that day. Pastor Joseph Prince does a wonderful teaching about how three thousand lost their lives at Mount Sinai when the Law was given to Moses, illustrating that the law kills but that God’s grace saves as shown by the three thousand that obtained the promised of eternal life at Pentecost. Something new had happened. It was a totally new beginning, the beginning of the Church Age.
And something new happens every time someone accepts Jesus for the first time. He becomes a new creature, with possibilities stretching out before him never thought likely. And for those who know Jesus, every day is a new beginning. A chance to start over, to let the Holy Spirit take more control of their lives than He had the day before.
Yes, I sure do love new beginnings.
Until next time,