I marvel at the way Scripture is living and active.
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1.7-8, NIV)
I understand that an Apostle is a specific individual who laid human eyes on the man Jesus. I don’t know the Greek word for “witnesses” in the above passage, but I’d guess it’s a form of the noun apostolos. If I’m wrong it won’t be the last time. Certainly not the first. Humor me.
The thing that stood out to me as I read these two verses this morning is that I am a witness “to the ends of the earth.” I received the gift of the Holy Spirit many years ago, and that Spirit continues to amaze me in the reading and meditation of Scripture as I spread the Gospel message in my little corner of the earth.
In many ways Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday we celebrate here in North America. We don’t have to rush around finding gifts to wrap and get to someone’s house to put them under the Christmas tree.
Thanksgiving is self-explanatory. I’ve seen many church marquees that have something to the effect that for Christians everyday is thanksgiving, and I agree whole heartedly, but I’m glad we have a national holiday that is reserved for this purpose.
I for one thank my Savior for sending this Holy Spirit talked about in the above passage, and even though I’ve been reading those two verses my entire life they jumped out at me like dressing inside the turkey. Wow is all I can express, and that’s enough, but it’s not because I’m still moved to write.
As you know I grew up in California, Kansas, South Dakota, Arkansas, Tennessee, Michigan, Florida and Guam. Most of the places I lived I was able to spend a couple of years, but some of those places were only for one year. Church was the common denominator. “Ends of the earth” has a different connotation for me. I know what it is to be a domestic missionary, but now that I’ve experienced the good and bad of the Bible Belt buckle I’m amazed how God works in “Jerusalem” as well as in “Rome.”
I’m thankful for the stability and consistency I’ve created as an adult, but I’m also thankful for the adventure that was my childhood. Jesus did not have a place to lay his head as we learn from Scripture, but nonetheless the Father provided for Him. His trust in the Father was unwavering, and his short thirty-three years on the planet are referred to every time we write the date.
I don’t know what you’ve been through, and I don’t know what you’re up against to create what you’re trying to create.
I do know we share a Savior who is larger than life, and His love alone is worth kneeling in thanks for the endless gifts He brings.
The beauty in this world is astounding, and there is literally nothing impossible because God is for us.
Thank you for that Father.