October Reading Plan: The Book of Acts
October Memory Verse: Isaiah 60:1-2
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"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”" Acts 1:8
As I read the book of Acts, I keep imagining the man who wrote it, Luke.
Luke was a travelling companion of Paul. Luke was not privy to being among the 12 disciples of Jesus. However, Luke, soon became a devout and devoted follower of Christ.
As Luke traveled with Paul on his many missionary journeys, Luke took notes. He studied Paul's preaching. He probably would eat and sleep the teachings that he was first-hand privy to being with the great apostle Paul.
Can you imagine? Oh, what I would give to be on that journey with them!
Luke was meticulous in his writing. He researched, and researched some more when it came to the life of Jesus. He detailed and scrutinized the lives of the disciples who were with Jesus. His writing proves this. He aimed for accuracy, and with the power of the Holy Spirit, he delivered.
Luke paid attention to details. They were important to him. The details string together the events and the history that he was conveying to us, the readers.
God is in the details, even the tiniest.
Recently, I was at a familiar place. It has come to be one of my favorite times of the day and week because I get a chance to sit in peace, drink a cup of coffee, return texts or emails, catch up on my calendar, and just breathe. My children are taking lessons, so they are occupied as well. So, everyone is happy.
As we got to this place, I happily sipped my coffee, let the outside breeze hit my face, grabbed my calendar and phone and was ready for my hour of peace.
Minutes later, still swallowing the first few drops of my liquid heaven, I hear a voice.
I look up and see an older lady in front of me.
She is asking me something, not really sure what.
I answer her question with a short and rushed tone, and try to get my mind back to my peaceful little spot.
She asks me something again.
Oh good grief.
I answer her, again.
She's not going away. Seriously, I just don't want to be bothered right now.
For a moment, I thought about going to sit in my car so I could be alone in my happy place.
The Lord convicted my heart.
"Talk to her, Jill. Just talk to her."
In my heart I answered Him back, "Okay, but only for a minute. I have things to do. You KNOW this is my quiet place. Please, Lord, let this be quick!"
An hour later the lady and I were still talking.
We had the best conversation. I listened as she told me about her children, grandchildren, and the hard life she had been given. My eyes brimmed over with tears more times than I can count as we sat and shared our stories.
I was not expecting this that day. I didn't really have time to waste an hour chit-chatting for the fun of if. Oh, but God was in this, y'all. Every detail of it.
As I talked to her, I wondered if she knew Jesus. I included Him in our conversation several times as her eyes stared back blankly. If she knew Jesus, she didn't let on.
I imagined her life. She was important. She was a human being with a great story to tell.
Who was I to think that she was not worth sitting and talking to? I repented to the Lord for my prideful and detached heart. I was ashamed.
She had something to say. Everyone has something to say.
As I think about Luke, as he wrote the book of Acts, I think about the fact that he listened...intently.
I doubt he ever thought his letter to his friend, Theophilus, would still be being taught 2000 years later across and around the world. But, God knew.
God put Luke in situations, in the form of a companion, because He knew he would listen. God knew Luke would hear all the details and take note of them with precision. Thank goodness Luke didn't demand alone time or quiet time to have some space. He would have missed a heck of a lot if he would have.
Luke was given the great honor of writing 2 books of our New Testament.
I wonder what we miss when we don't take the time to notice others? Could it be that God has put them in our path for such a time as this? To hear their story, to listen to them, to care about them.
Lord, let our eyes be open to others. Let us look to the interest and needs of others before our own. Gently lead us each day. Inconvenience us, Father. Put us in places that seem to not really matter. We want to be listeners, just like Luke. You have a purpose in the tiniest of details, Father. Your Presence surrounds us. In Jesus Name, amen.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4
Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
becoming a listener,