The Bible In a Minute!
Loving Lord, reign in my heart. Open my eyes, quiet anger, dispel worry, and spread Your light in my spirit.
Read Acts 13:13-25
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The Bible offers to us a way of understanding the world in a fresh perspective, a perspective that leads to life, joy, and wholeness” (Walter Brueggemann).
Luke has only given us notes of what Paul says. The Old Testament is raced through in a few paragraphs as a people are called, rescued, given a king and then provided with a Savior. Yet his outline fits perfectly with earlier sermons: Peter’s focus on the Davidic King in Acts 2 and Stephen’s more extensive Old Testament overview in Acts 7. There is little evidence that Paul was a latecomer rewriting the Christ story. It is still the very same Gospel!
It is God’s story that we read. Notice how all the initiative lies with him. He chose … led out … endured … overthrew … gave. A people are formed and protected, and their leadership comes from God, too: “he gave them Saul … he made David their king” (21,22). We must keep learning and remembering the centrality of what God has done. The constant temptation is to put ourselves back in the center. What is more, it is the story of what God has done in spite of both enemies and the people themselves.
It is ultimately Jesus’ story. Prophets give way to kings and finally to the Christ in this whistle-stop tour of leaders of God’s people. “People of Israel” (16) … “the God of the people of Israel” (17) … “has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised” (23). Israel’s Scriptures are designed to lead us to Jesus. John the Baptist insists, too, that I must not stop my journey short of Jesus himself (25). We need to remember that the Old Testament, as much as the New, is the Christian’s story. The Messiah did not appear without warning or promise. Do I know my Scriptures? Could I start by studying some characters in the Old Testament and arrive at Jesus?
“If you have a word of encouragement for the people, please speak” (Acts 13:15). What an invitation! How are you ready to do just that for someone?
Spirit of God, sensitize me to faith-sharing opportunities. Embolden me to point others to Christ when You give me the opportunity. Use me for Your glory.
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