Wednesday, August 7, 2013

DAY 445 - Paul's End Is Our Beginning (請按此處收聼廣東話Cantonese podcast click here)

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Today's Reading: Acts 28:23-31

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Please click this link to read Acts 28:23-31

Bible Study

      Today's passage is the end of Acts, but it seems not the end. Read the last verse of this chapter, it does not look like the end, right?  As we read the last chapter, we need to know that Luke intentionally made the shipwreck the climax. He told us nothing about how Paul was executed in Rome. Why? Let's hear what bishop N.T. Wright's says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N._T._Wright):

     The real hero of the whole book is of course the Jesus who was enthroned as the world's Lord at the beginning, and is now proclaimed, at the end, 'openly and unhindered', that is, with all 'boldness'  and with nobody stopping him...And here, for once, Luke gives a full 'Pauline' title to Jesus: 'the Lord Jesus, the Messiah'.  King of the Jews; Lord of the World: Jesus of Nazareth, continuing to do and to teach, continuing to announce the kingdom of God which has been decisively inaugurated on earth as in heaven. Jesus of Nazareth, Messiah and Lord: through his servants, through their journeys and their trials, through their pains and their puzzles and their sufferings and their shipwrecks, still reaching out into the future...The journey is ours, the trials and vindications are ours, the sovereign presence of Jesus is ours, the story is ours to pick up and carry on Luke's writing, like Paul's journey, has reached its end, but in his end is our beginning.

N.T. Wright. Acts for Everyone, Part 2. Louisville,KY:Westminster John Knox Press, 2008, p.248-249.

    Yes, well said by bishop Wright, Paul's end is our beginning. Are you going to take up Paul's baton in this relay race to make every Jesus' disciples' end a beginning?   
                                    
Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe"



Spiritual Journal

     What I heard from Jesus today is: Paul's end is our beginning

    What I got today from Jesus is a powerful message and call. The end of Acts never looks like the end. Yes, it is just the passing on a baton to those who decide to take the baton and finish his or her part of the race for Jesus, and then pass the baton on. Wow! That is a powerful message and calling indeed!
That is your choice, to reject taking up the baton as those Jews did leaving Paul or to take up Paul's baton.

    Paul's end is our beginning! Do you want to begin this journey? Have you begun already? 

Dear Lord Jesus,
Lead us to be willing to take up Paul's baton to run a good race for you.  In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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