Why? I have a 3-year-old grandson who is in the “why” stage. He responds to everything that is said to him with the question, “why?” It is a normal stage of development for a child and a normal source of exasperation for a parent. (As a grandparent, I think it is funny!)
Why do we do all this mission stuff? It is what it means to serve as a witness for Jesus. It represents Jesus’ compassion and grace. Here are several passages about the early church in fulfilling Jesus’ mission.
Lord Jesus, as you have cared for and provided for me, so use my hands, my feet, and my heart to care for others in your loving name. Amen.
Monday – Acts 1:1-8
Any survey of the early church begins with this mission from Jesus. What does Jesus command them to do? Where are they to do it? By what power are they to do it? Why are they to do it? How have you and I benefitted from their faithfulness to this mission?
Tuesday – Acts 2:41-47
Peter preaches about Jesus’ death and resurrection. Thousands are drawn to the hope of Jesus Christ in these ragtag disciples. In this passage we see the results. What are they doing? Where are they doing it? By what power? And why?
Wednesday – Acts 8:4-8, 26-40
Things were going so well in the Samaritan revival, something few people expected a few months earlier. Then Philip ends up somewhere else. What does he do? Where does he do it? By what power? And why? Did you know that the Ethiopian Christian Church today traces their beginnings back to this story?
Thursday – Acts 10:1-48
Long passage, but fascinating story. Peter, the Jewish disciple of Jesus, witnessing to Cornelius, Roman officer. Can you name all the barriers that had to be breached for these two to come together? Jew vs Gentile, Conquered vs Conqueror, Clean vs Unclean… Both of them were at risk for this meeting. Why did they do it? What did God do because of it? How have you and I benefitted from it?
Friday – Acts 13:1-5, 42-51
It was in Antioch that Jesus’ followers were first called Christians. It was not meant as a compliment. What happens to Paul and Barnabas? Who initiates this action? Why? What is the result in the second section? How have you and I benefitted from their faithfulness to the mission?
Saturday – Acts 16:1-10
Mysterious vision…why was Paul prevented from sharing the gospel in Bithynia (part of modern day Turkey), but has a vision of a man from Macedonia (part of modern day Greece) begging him to come there. Some scholars have pondered that if Paul had not followed that vision, would the gospel have made it to Greece, Rome, and the rest of the western world? Where would you and I be today, if it were not for the faithful commitment of Paul and others to the mission of Jesus Christ? Who is depending on you to bring the gospel to them?