My HopeStreamRadio program, called “The Spirit Acts,” traces the expansion of the early church. As we reflect on that, we find five motivations for ourselves.
Sadly, in our culture, truth is not the most important thing. Yet, the reason the book of Acts was written and the reason why the apostles were so motivated to do what they were doing was because they were convinced about who Jesus was and what He did, this truth became the motivating force behind their activities, their words, their very lives. Jesus intervened in history so that we might come to God.
I think the best definition of love is “giving the best you have to give.” That’s the gospel, isn’t it. God showed His love for us by giving Himself because He is the best He has to give. Throughout the book of Acts, we see evidence of love. Love was why they had everything in common in the early days of the church; it was why they cared for one another and met together daily. That love was what was so attractive throughout the Roman empire. It was entirely new to everybody. How else could you explain Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, sitting down together like family. It had never been seen before!
Paul was intentional about where to preach and plant churches. He went to key cities like Ephesus, Corinth, Thessalonica, Athens and, ultimately, Rome. As I read the book of Acts, I see Paul using whatever technology was available, travelling on ships, using the 1st Century’s famous Roman roads, writing letters, visiting both synagogues and marketplaces, even renting the school of Tyrannus. I think if the apostle Paul were alive today, he would be using the internet.
4. The Church
The Church is God’s embassy on earth and it is what He uses to do everything. Moving from the 1st to the 21st Century, we need to emphasize that media ministry is not a substitute for the church; it is a tool and a resource for the church. We create content so that people will want to go to church and hear more of what we’re talking about. God is building His church all over the world and we want to be a part of that and media is one way we, as the church, can carry out the commission that was assigned to it.
5. God Wins
In the book of Acts we see that, though sometimes it looks like things are out of control, in the end, God wins. At the beginning of Acts 12, Herod kills the apostle James, puts Peter into prison, and is set to wipe out this new little movement of the Spirit. By the end of that chapter, Peter is free, Herod is dead, and “the word of God increased and multiplied.” That’s just one illustration of God’s purposes being played out in spite of all demonic and human opposition.
When we are motivated by these five things, we can be sure that we have everything to win and nothing to lose. This assurance gives us boldness to obey though we face much opposition and leads us to ask God to give us the privilege of having a part in advancing His kingdom.
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