January 6, 2019

Alan Robinson – National Director, BIC U.S.

The book of Acts (overview, spread of the gospel)

In Genesis, God creates a six-stage process to bring into existence the world. The six-stage progression — accented by evening and morning — culminates with humankind, the whole of creation being very good, intended for humankind’s flourishing and enjoyment. And God instructs people to “be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28).

Is it merely coincidental the book of Acts recounts the beginning of the Church’s creation through a six-stage process, too? Whether or not intentionally parallel to the creation account, six times the book is accented by a repeated “progress report” (6:7; 9:31; 12:24; 16:5; 19:20; 28:30-31), relating the growth of the Church — from Jews in Jerusalem (Acts 1:1-6:7), to Hellenists and Samaritans (6:8-9:31), to Gentiles and individuals in Antioch (9:32-12:24), later targeting those in Asia Minor (12:25-16:5), Europe (16:6-19:20), and, finally, Rome (19:21-28:31). As in Genesis, here God clearly communicates his heart for his people to be fruitful and increase in number — to be a means by which all of humanity is blessed.

I encourage you to read the whole story as it is told in Acts and to ask how we can continue the work of God in our world. As his ambassadors, God is making his appeal through us (2 Cor. 5:20). Thus, God’s heart and desire for humanity becomes our call: Let’s pray for our hearts to reflect his heart and his desires to become our desires — so that we can continue to be instruments through which God is recreating his people.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for recreating us. Help us to be alert to the way you are creating the world anew, so that through your life in us, we can be instruments for your work in the world.