Sunday, March 02, 2008

Day 28 - 28 Day Challenge

Hostage for Hope

We come to the end of our 28 day journey through the book of Acts. For us we have had a comfortable ringside seat at the birth of this thing called church which many of us are part of nearly 2000 years later. We have been introduced to the major characters and seen God's plan unfolded through Jesus to the world. We look back over 2 millennia of history but to these early disciples in places like Jerusalem & Antioch (the first mega churches) there was no example to follow only Jesus.

We have travelled through despair at Jesus death, the dynamic difference of the Holy Spirit, mass conversions, incredible persecution, doctrinal debates, missionary journeys, martyrdom, generous giving and much more. Yet somehow through these human but godly leaders the church remained on mission, Jesus mission, to see people far from God become fully devoted, addicted followers of Jesus.

Even here in the last chapter of the book we see a setback turned into a God opportunity. Paul did not intend to visit Malta and didn't even know where he was when washed up there. But it didn't matter how he got there he just brought Jesus. There was no discussion as to was its God's will to be there, was this an attack of the enemy he just lived his life and brought Jesus where he was in every situation.

In V20 Paul tells the Jewish leaders in Rome, "I’m a hostage here for hope, not doom". That was the message of Paul's life, that was the message of Jesus to a world desperate for hope. It is our message as followers of Jesus today 2000 years later.

God is for people and not against them. Jesus brings hope. As a followers of Jesus we are hostages to hope.

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