Meridian Avenue Baptist Church

Good Monday Morning!

 Well, looks like I will begin this edition of the MMR by encouraging you to be safe again!  Heat index for today and tomorrow look to be in the 105 degree range.  Stay hydrated and choose your time wisely for outdoor activities.

 I am so excited to dig in to the Book of Acts.  It has everything in it you could think of…history, drama, intrigue, political machinations and on and on.  Although those things make for great story telling, the most important focus is the theme.   Luke isn’t looking to give us any kind of model to follow.  Acts isn’t a leadership organizational model for us to copy nor is it an evangelism program that we can cut and paste for MABC.  Luke intends to show us how God worked in and through the early church to bring about his plan of redemption for all of mankind. Along the way we will see that the early church was pretty much powerless according to worldly standards but because of the Holy Spirit, they had revolutionary power.  That same revolutionary power is available to us if we are willing to commit ourselves to the “cause” and make ourselves available.

The Book of Acts appears to be a standalone account if we just go by its location in the Bible.  However, if we dig in a little deeper, we can see that it is really a continuation of Luke’s gospel. In the opening chapter of the gospel we are told that Luke is writing to Theophilus so that he may know that the things he – Theophilus – has been taught about Jesus’ life and ministry were true.  In Acts, Luke addresses Theophilus once again but this time to show how Jesus’ life and ministry affected the Christian church.   We will look at the revolutionary message of Jesus and how the early church carried out Jesus’ command to take it to all nations.   Along the way, there will be opposition from religious factions, especially the Jews, and local governments as well as  the Roman government.

 We live in a world that is very divisive in just about everything you can think of…politics, religion, ethnicity, immigration, and economics. You name it and there seems to be very little that people can agree on. As a result, people are feeling hopeless. Good news is that we have the message of hope.  One of the things important to note in Luke’s gospel is that he identifies many of the people Jesus connected with.  Luke gives more attention to children than the other gospel writers and he addresses Jesus’ relationships with the poor and oppressed.  Luke portrays Jesus as an actual person concerned with “seeking and saving” those who had no hope. He wants to tell the story of Jesus and the Church because of the joy, hope and salvation found in him.  We have a sure hope and his name is Jesus (Heb. 6:19-20).  Let’s share that hope.

 Prepare yourself!  Let’s reclaim our part in the revolution.

Pastor Rick