One of my favorite classes when I was studying for ministry was Acts of the Holy Spirit. It was a class all about the book of Acts. I thoroughly enjoyed it. As I started the class, many commentaries I was using and the author of the text book all had the same opinion. The title of the book of Acts should have been Acts of the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts is an amazing book. It is the chronicles of the 1st century church. We read how Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father and sent the Holy Spirit to empower us and equip us for day to day ministry, that is service.
We read great passages like Acts 2:14-39 where Peter, once a fisherman and now an apostle and minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, stood up in front of a crowd and explained what the crowd had just experienced and shared the truth about Jesus and His ministry so plainly and succinctly that many people were saved that day. I believe this is the best sermon ever preached, other than Jesus's teachings of course. Peter was a simple man and had been filled with the Holy Spirit, and he acted. He stood up and spoke out.
We read in Acts 3:1-10 how Peter and John reached out and brought a healing touch to a lame man outside the temple courts. The man was doing what he always did, sit outside the gates to the temple and beg. Peter and John didn't have money, but they gave what they did have freely, a healing touch by the power of the Holy Spirit. They didn't ignore the man. They didn't say, "Sorry sir, we don't have any money, but we'll say a prayer for you inside." They reached down and took him by the hand and let the Holy Spirit do what He does. They acted! They stood out from the norm. They stayed away from the status quo.
Then there is Paul. He was locked up in an inner cell in a prison with Silas in Acts 16:16-40. They had freed a girl from the demons that possessed her and they were arrested and thrown in prison. Did that stop them? No. We read how they were singing hymns while being shackled to the wall. They were praising God even though they were chained to a wall! What does the Holy Spirit do? Earthquake. Prison doors all open, but everyone stays instead of escaping. This allows Paul to share the gospel with the jailer and many people get saved that day. Paul and Silas were faced with an impossible situation. What did they do? They acted! They stood up. They allowed the Holy Spirit to work through them.
These are just a few stories from Acts, the chronicles of the Holy Spirit and the early church. Every chapter of Acts is filled with amazing miracles and actions by disciples of Jesus Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit. Acts is only 28 chapters long and it covers quite a bit of time. If you ever get a chance to read the New Testament chronologically, I highly recommend it. It will open the scripture to you from a new and fresh perspective.
But what about now? What's the church doing today? You see, the book of Acts was completed by Luke and is part of our Bible, but that doesn't mean the church stopped doing anything. As a matter of fact, the church continues to thrive around the world. The church is growing in places we never expected it to. We are still writing the chronicles of the church of Jesus Christ. We are still celebrating the power and equipping of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the lives of every follower of Jesus Christ around the world.
What do your chronicles look like? How is the Holy Spirit working in and through you? How are you standing up and speaking out? How are you ministering, that is serving people around you? Act now! Our time is falling short.