The book of Acts has always read like a great adventure story to me. There’s the explosive beginning, rich character development, surprising plot twists and epic journeys. And just when it seems the narrative should reach its crest, it continues to swell.
This book unfolds an infant faith that starts so small, all its Jewish adherents can fit into an upper room. But that eventually explodes into a phenomenon that encompasses countless multiethnic people spread all over the known world.
It’s an addicting account. What makes it even better is that it’s true—and that God is telling it. All of these miracles, all of this vibrant faith, all of those transformed lives—it’s fantastic. When I finish chapter 28, I want to turn the page and find out what comes next.
So I turn the page, but the story is already over. If I were reading this for the first time, I would wonder if there was a misprint in my Bible; I’d think something must have been left out!
And even though I’m fully aware it will end, I still seem to be taken off guard. This brilliant story stops abruptly without a final climax or resolution. Paul is just hanging out in Rome under house arrest. End of story!
Or is it?
Many of us in the Foursquare family have been reading the whole book of Acts together every month this year, one chapter a day. As I write this, it’s the 29th of the month, and already there is a gap in my daily pattern.
I want to read Acts 29. I want to find out what happens to Paul next. More than that, I want to see the continuation of the Spirit-filled proclamation of the gospel to even more of the world.
And then I remember what I learned way back in high school drama class. There are some plays and stories that suddenly end before we are ready for them to be done. It’s a device that is used when the writer wants the audience or reader to feel the moral weight of what might come next.
The questions hang in the air: What would you do if you were these characters? How might God use you to spread this life-changing message?
Well, we are those characters. When a young church-planting network chose Acts 29 as their name, they got it exactly right. There is an Acts 29, and it is discovered among us.
We write Acts 29 when our lives are fueled by the high-octane life of the Spirit, and when we allow that reality to impact the world around us. We live Acts 29 when we single-mindedly function as citizens of another kingdom.
Ultimately, I believe the book of Acts is not as much a prescriptive model for church life as it is a descriptive account of what spontaneously happens to people and congregations when they are fully immersed in the Spirit.
People want to know the rest of the story. Let’s live it and write it together.
By: Tim Clark, district supervisor of the Greater Los Angeles District. This article was adapted from his blog, www.pastortimclark.com. Used with permission.
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