Dear Grace Family,
The more ground we cover in Genesis and Acts, the more the similarities are rising to the surface between the earliest stages of the “proto” Church of the patriarchs and the infant Church in Acts. People called to drop everything they were doing and reexamine everything they thought for the sake of the Triune God. For most of us, even if we haven’t been Christians from our earliest memories, we’ve at least had a close acquaintance with the culture of Christianity. At first reading, that makes it difficult for us to sympathize with our forebearers whom we are being introduced to in the text each week. However, I think with some intentionality, we can place ourselves closer to them and closer to their stories than we might realize. Here’s what I mean. It’s true we haven’t lived through a pivotal, earth-shattering moment in redemptive history in the way the Bible characters do in Genesis and Acts. However, we are still a people who are being called to die to self and live wholeheartedly for the glory of God in all of life. My friends, there will never be a day on this side of heaven where dying to self is not a radical concept to the world around us. Just like our family in the text each week, we have been granted citizenship in a kingdom not of this earth. A kingdom with its own ruler and rules. I know our lives might not seem as dramatic as those in the Bible. However, each day that we are enabled by the Spirit to live faithful lives amid an unfaithful generation, we get to see the promises made to Abraham and in Acts still being fulfilled as God is at work in our lives. The Reformers insisted that the Church be “always reforming.” A clear application of this, then, is that we view every day of our lives as a new opportunity to keep bringing all that we are and everything we have under the Lordship of Christ. It’ll seem like a daunting task at times. It certainly was for Abraham and the saints in Acts. However, their vision of what the fulfillment of God’s promises meant for their lives spurred them on. May our vision of what God has promised to do for us in Christ spur us on as well.