For those who pastor or are in a church leadership role – Christmas is a time to make a memorable and influential ministry impact. Yes, Christmas is a time of “good tidings and joy to all people.” The beginning of the incarnation happened at Bethlehem.
At the same time, while your kids or grandkids are having a wonderful time, there are others who can benefit from a simple ministering word from their shepherd. Let me give you four suggestions.
The eleven had received direct instruction. They were to “wait and then go.” In obedience they came to this place to “wait.” Their waiting was not sitting quietly and folding their hands. Instead they took spiritual action. They prayed.
The book of Acts covers approximately thirty years. Understanding the time involved gives a sense of the time in Paul becoming a convert, a disciple, and then a student of the scripture. It helps see the development of Peter as the apostle preaching the first gospel message to the Jews and nine years later to a Gentile.
Acts contains an experiential theology of salvation whether dealing with those who conspired to commit murder (Acts 2); a prayerful and honest-hearted Roman military official (Acts 10), or an Ethiopian who had traveled to Jerusalem to worship (Acts 8). How to be saved is found in the book of Acts!
Step by step the gospel message moves from Jerusalem to Rome. The missionary effort was not easy. Persecution, personal disagreements among leaders, and people backsliding did not stop the missionary effort.
Personal devotion best begins with a quiet spirit. Anyone's spirit can be agitated. Often, to calm our human spirit requires divine intervention. If your spirit is restless. Rolling and tumbling moving about like the sea during a storm, start your personal devotion by taking your disquiet to Jesus.
Doesn’t His word advise you to: Be careful (worrying) for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. (Philippians 4:6)