I finished the book of Acts today. I learn something every time I read through it. I love seeing how the Church began. It's also interesting that even in the earliest days of the Church, problems arose. Some doctrinal. Some with people. Isn't that true of the Church today? There are so many different denominations because we all can't agree on every point. And how many church splits have you seen happen because some people didn't agree with another group? My own family has been affected by stuff like this. We know some people whom I would classify as "professional church hoppers." They move from church to church, always searching, always hoping to find that "perfect" church. I have news for them. There is no such thing. Don't believe me? Read Acts.
One thing that really popped out at me as I read through the book are the many times the author, Luke, uses the plural terms 'we' and 'us'. That tells us that Luke, who was an educated doctor, was writing this book from first-hand knowledge. He traveled with Paul. He saw it all with his own eyes. The shipwreck. The prison. The miracles.
On the last page of the book, I have some notes I've made over the years. One in particular brought tears to my eyes:
Acts ends in 61 AD. Paul would be dead five years later. So would Peter.
I don't know why their deaths nearly 2,000 years ago touched me so deeply today, but I felt such a loss when I read that note. Dear Peter. He's my favorite disciple. I can relate so well to him. And Paul. Paul is truly a hero to me.
The other notation I have written says:
Maybe God allowed Paul to go to prison so he would "be still" and write the 4 letters (Philippians, Ephesians, Philemon and Colossians). It was all about what GOD wanted to accomplish.
I find it comforting to know that men like Paul and Peter and Stephen ran the same race I'm running. They crossed the finish line and won!
Is that your goal? I know it's mine!