The Book of the Acts of the Apostles is a record of how the early Christian believers spoke up for Jesus in spite of many difficulties, and then challenged people to follow Him. For the rest of June and July therefore we shall read right through the book, one chapter each day. Our aim is to focus on what people said about faith and the Good News of Jesus, and how they responded to difficult circumstances.
v 19. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
An introduction to the Book of Acts. The Great Commission.
Whatever your view of church, its history, service to humanity, motivation or worship, you can be sure of this – from the very beginning, when Jesus was here on Earth, it had a moving-out kind of faith. Jesus Himself was a man on the move, always moving on to new towns to proclaim Good News, and
He taught His disciples to do the same. In Matthew 10 we find Jesus appointing the first 12 apostles, and then immediately He sent them out to announce the Good News: Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received! Later on, we find in Luke 10 ‘The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. ‘Jesus sent them out with the same brief to announce Good News, heal the sick, and so on.
After His death and Resurrection Jesus repeats this instruction to the first apostles, go and make disciples
of all the nations. This moving-out emphasis is at the heart of this book of Acts. The whole book is the story
of the faithfulness of a small band of followers of Jesus – men who felt impelled to be a moving-out people,
in their desire to tell the world what Jesus had done for them all. What a huge task Jesus gave them, all the
nations, spreads out in front of them a seemingly impossible area of responsibility. It was not for them alone
however, others like Paul and Timothy, soon joined the team – and in fact building this team still continues
Pray today for the many women and men who continue faithfully to announce the Good News of Jesus –
and reflect on what your part might be in the process.