The Bible Read-a-Thon has been a truly exciting journey. There are so, so many things to share, but I’ve selected just a few impressions from the dramatic final chapters of the Book of Acts.
- Paul repeatedly states, as other apostles and Jesus Himself did, that he “declared the kingdom of God and…Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets” (28:23). After reading through the Law and Prophets in the last two weeks, this is quite an affirmation. Jesus and the salvation plan of God ARE found in the entire Bible!
- Paul was given a specific assignment when God knocked him off his horse on the Damascus Road. He kept repeating that assignment (Acts 22; 26) and it became like an anchor for his life. He declares in 26:19 that he was not disobedient to that vision. Do I know the reason for which God created me? The specific assignment He has for my life?
- Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem had been predicted, but he went to Jerusalem anyway, not fearing death. More important to him than life itself was to finish the work God had assigned to him (20:24). Wow. Do I want to live just for the sake of it, in order to avoid death? Or, do I only want to live if I am really and truly fulfilling my God-given purpose?
- Although Paul himself prophesied “disaster, damage, and loss of life” if they set out for Rome, he must have been praying a lot in that ship! Because later, an angel appeared to him and promised that there would be no loss of life (Acts 27). We learn that even when destruction is prophesied, there is still a place for intercession. God sometimes shows us things in a negative state so that we will appeal, in prayer, for a positive outcome instead.
- Faith, or works? “Paul’s gospel” or “James’ gospel?” One simple statement can settle the whole debate: “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds” (26:20).
The Word of God is so rich. It is alive! Reading the Bible out loud causes me to notice things that I have missed before. It has more and more and more to teach us every time we give ourselves to read, study and OBEY.