Week 1 of The Way: a new series on the Book of Acts
Acts 1:1-11 (You can listen to Tim's Sunday Sermon HERE)
Go Deeper Passage:
Today, we remember Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday 50 years after his assassination. The night before he was killed, he gave his "I have been to the mountain top" speech. He proclaimed a vision he had seen. A future worth pursuing though he may not get to enjoy it, like Moses looking upon the promised land. Many of us revere the power Dr. King exhibited in taking courage against the ills of racism, white supremacy, and injustice. Yet, many of us don't live as if we have the same power at work within our bones. We don't act as if the same Spirit of Jesus who opened the eyes of our great American hero is the one at work within us. I believe the Spirit desires to help us see the promised land of awakening before us. To be awake to a life of gospel urgency. To live with eyes open to God, each other, and our neighbors. A life of experiencing God's kingdom come today and everyday. Yet, sometimes we are content to keep our eyes closed.
On Sunday, Tim preached that the awakening we also admire in the book of Acts is available to us right here and right now. That the source of world changing new life is within us. He shared about how Luke (the author of Acts) wrote about what Jesus "began" to do. That the gospel of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection was only the beginning. That God would do "even greater things" in our lives. The early church was only a glimpse of what God has and is doing to transform our hearts and world. Together, we marveled at the incredible work of God in our friend John Johnson's story. We said "amen" to the beauty of Christ speaking over his life and his baptism commitment to wholeheartedly follow Jesus for all the days of his life. Yet inspiration should only be the start for us. It's time to experience those "even greater things" together in Christ.
Our friend and local Seattle leader Jeff Vancil notes that the forces against our own personal awakenings are fear, guilt, and shame. They rob our courage. Dr. King experienced these very temptations too. As a 26 year old, he was asked to be the new leader of the civil rights moment with 15 minutes notice. That is not a typo. He had to decide to either accept or decline this invitation and act immediately. He went and sat in a bathroom stall, begged God for a different plan, and in the power of the Spirit got up and led the legacy we join in with today as fellow justice workers in Christ. The time for awakening is now! Will you step in to where God is calling you today? Will you let his power move in and through your life?
Are you ready? Are you awake? Have you fallen asleep? What keeps you from getting up in the power of the Spirit? How can you find your security in Christ and move in love for Him? What fears must you face?
What work has Christ begun in your life? What has gone unfinished? Why? How can you let God not only be the "pioneer" but also the "perfecter" of your faith (Hebrews 12:1-2)?
Where is God calling you to experience and participate in his kingdom awakening? In Seattle? At A Seattle Church? Your workplace? In your family? Your friendships? Your relationship with God? In you marriage or dating relationship?
Jesus: Ask Christ to awaken you to the power of His Spirit at work within you
People: Be faithful to love and serve each other by pursuing deep Jesus-centered friendships at A Seattle Church or your church
City: Say yes to God by serving the neighbors He is putting on your heart.
Please share what you experienced going through this/how God is moving in your life by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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