Acts, Volume 1 has demonstrated that Jesus is alive and active. He has empowered a people for himself, gathered them into intentional community, and sent them on mission to the ends of the earth. The first part of Act served as a unique chapter in the Grand Story of God’s Gospel spreading throughout the whole earth. His glory will cover the earth like water covers the seas. We see the beginning of that in our previous devotional, Acts, Volume 1.
We’ve also seen some unlikely leaders emerge. Peter, who was once cowering in a courtyard denying Jesus, is now leading God’s people on mission and will give his life for the name and glory of Jesus. Servants like Stephen and Philip have been faithful, not just to serve, but to preach and evangelize.
Perhaps the most unlikely leader to emerge in Acts 1-12 is the apostle Paul. Once a hater of the Way, bent on destroying this new upstart faith, Paul has now been radically saved, changed, and sent on a mission to take the gospel to the nations. Acts, Volume 2 (chapters 13-28) will focus primarily on his mission to share the gospel, make disciples, and plant churches in all corners of the world.
Our tendency when we read the book of Acts is to elevate guys like Peter and Paul to a heroic status. To be sure, they deserve honor and gratitude. We are here today because of their faithfulness. But, as Paul says in Acts 14, they are simply “men, of like nature” with us. In other words, they are just ordinary men being used by an extraordinary God to make disciples and plant churches that take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Alongside men like Peter and Paul, we’ll see other ordinary men and women like Barnabas, John Mark, Lydia, Priscilla, and Aquilla. We see companions like Luke, Timothy, and Titus, as well as a myriad of men and women who are not named, in other words “Normal People”. All of these are used by the Lord for his mission.
Our hope for Acts, Volume 2 is that we would link arms with them, as ordinary men and women in the hands of an extraordinary God called and sent on God’s mission to make disciples and plant churches to the ends of the earth.