More Than Witnesses... Martyrs

I have two great things to share with you today!  1) All the amazing things God has shown me while studying Acts and 2) a great breakfast recipe.  So stick with me even though this might get a little long.

After returning from our honeymoon to Colorado, God laid it on my heart to reread and study the book of Acts.  So I have been reading through the book and studying chapter one.  A great friend of mine lent me a Bible study book on Acts (by Kevin J. Conner) which includes early church history and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  It is such an in-depth and detailed study that I have only been able to make it through the introduction and chapter one!  I hope you will gain as much from it as I have.

We start with an introduction to Acts.  First of all, know that the title of this particular book of the Bible is not simply "Acts."  It is actually titled, "The Acts of the Apostles;" however, it could also be appropriately titled, "The Acs of the Holy Spirit in the Church."  The entire beginning of the book centers around the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit was and is a promise from the Father for those who accept Christ as Savior.  It seals us to the Father for eternity.  The book of Acts explains quite well how the apostles received the Holy Spirit as a gift from God.  Jesus said in Acts 1:4 "...Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."  You see, the Holy Spirit is a GIFT from GOD!  That alone is an amazing thing.  But what does this Holy Spirit do for us?  What makes it so special?  We see later on (verse 8) that we "will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us; and we will be Christ's witnesses..."

When we receive the Holy Spirit, we are given power to be Christ's witnesses.  There are two Greek words meaning "power."  The Greek form of "power" being used in verse 8 is "Dunamis" which means "power, strength, or ability."  Let's insert these new words into verse 8:  "But you will receive strength and ability when the Holy Spirit comes on you..."  We see this same Greek word (Dunamis) being used in Luke 4:14.  Don't just take my word for it; go look it up.  Jesus receives ability from the Holy Spirit.

So the same Holy Spirit that empowers and strengthens Jesus in Luke 4:14 is strengthening us according to Acts 1:8.  That is awesome!  But what are receiving power for?  "...and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."  We are being given the power, ability and strength to be witnesses for Christ wherever we go!  That seems so awesome, but it gets a little scary.  Here's why: The Greek word for "witnesses" is "martus" ...meaning "martyr."  So, it's by no mistake that God has given us the Holy Spirit for strength, ability and power.  He knew we would need it to be His witnesses and martyrs.  He knew we would need it when we face persecution, opposition and accusations for the sake of Christ.  He knew...

My final point about the book of Acts is that this book of the Bible has not yet been completed by its divine author.  Acts also tells of the accounts of Peter and Paul and their work to establish God's church.  When I say God's church I do not mean a silly building.  The Church of God is all of His people...all who have accepted Christ as their Savior.  But God is not done building His church.  We were put here as part of that very purpose...to share His truth and bring people into His church.  We are God's witnesses after all.  So, the book of Acts is still being written.  Yes, there will be an end to this book.  But will you help build God's church before that end comes?  Will you be a witness and martyr for the cause of Christ?  Our story, our legacy of sharing Christ with this world is still unwritten...

Finally, here is my pinned it, made it Monday.  It is Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread.  It is very easy and fun.  Making breakfast dishes like this really helps make early mornings run much more smoothly.  Check out this link for the exact recipe:  http://matkonation.com/en/sweets/cinnamon-pull-apart-bread/#.U6iYCPldVpo




One thing I would change:  I would add a caramel sauce drizzled over the top to enhance the taste just a bit.

Make sure to leave your comments!  Have a blessed day!

Comments

  1. Hey Kassy! Great thoughts - I also like the way the red text makes your blog look 3-D :) I like your point about the book of Acts still being written...I think that can also apply to the entire Bible as well. One of my professors once said that the story of the Israelites is our story right now. We read the Bible and we notice all the things the Israelites are doing and think to ourselves - "you know that is wrong! God told you NOT to do that!" Yet, we do the exact same thing. Getting perspective is kind of amazing. The story of God's people will not be finished until the very end. Thanks for the challenge of being God's witness - and, by extension, a martyr :)

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  2. Hi Kassy, while I knew a lot of what you said, to be reminded of it was very encouraging in light of the circumstances I find myself in and the challenges I face daily. So thank you very much!
    If you have time I would recommend this web sight. http://marshill.com/search/results?q=acts
    mars hill church did a series on acts not that long ago. While i haven't actually watched that specific series i found the one over Ephesians to be very helpful.

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