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 apostles carried out Jesus’ instructions. They did not scatter, but went at once to the upper room where they abode. It seems this was a temporary residence that had been used when Jesus and His closest followers were in Jerusalem.
Imagine them thinking and talking among themselves, ”You know that resurrection was a pretty neat trick, but I wonder when He is going to take care of the ‘main’ thing, the business of restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
The main difference between John and the book of Acts disciples was that the disciples had experienced a personal Pentecost – they had been filled with the Holy Ghost. Empowered by the Holy Ghost, the disciples could exclaim, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
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!