Well, Oakwood family, you've had a couple extra days to wrap up your reading of Acts. It is always exciting to look through the pages of Scripture and find new things even in passages we know so well. I hope God shared a few things with you as you read about the early church.
One thing that struck me powerfully was in chapter 23:11. Paul has been pulled out of a dispute by the troops. What was supposed to be a presentation of the charges against Paul became a brawl between different factions. Paul, in the custody of the commander, no doubt wondering where all this was going, had an experience with God. 'The Lord drew close and stood near him and said, "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.'"
God didn't tell Paul it would be easy. He said "as you have testified about me in Jerusalem." That's what landed him in this trouble in the first place! Nevertheless, God comforted Paul, assured him that there was more to this story. This would not be the end, not yet, no, God had a bigger purpose in mind!
Take heart, beloved! God has a bigger purpose in mind in this season too!
As we continue to read the Scriptures together, let's turn to some of the Psalms of Lament and cry out to God as we seek His face, His will, His strength, His deliverance, His hope in this season.
My prayer is that our church and believers across the globe would turn to God's agenda in this season and leave their own agendas behind so that we can be one. The very body of Christ in this world.
Here are some Psalms to read as we pray for God's deliverance and healing in this season of waiting:
Psalm 7, 13, 44, 51, 74, 90
May God bless the reading of His word to our lives and our community!
Pastor Kevin Heeres