Acts 22:14-15: “’The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard”.
This was Paul’s assignment: Go share Hope!
How? By being Christ’s witness telling people what he has seen and knows of Christ.
As I meditated on these verses the week I went on the retreat in November. Thinking about the simplicity and enormity of what Paul was called to do. And looking at the outcome of this marvelous commission. I came to the conclusion that it was not a unique assignment at all.
In fact it was the same assignment the rest of Christ’s disciples received in Acts 1:8, “And you will be my witnesses…” It was in keeping with Christ’s Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, … teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
Make disciples who are making disciples who are making disciples! This is the call from Acts 22:15. This is “all that” ( found in Acts 22:10) that Paul was assigned to do. All that the Apostles were assigned to do. ‘All that’ the disciples in Acts were assigned to do. And it is ‘all that’ you and I are assigned by God to do almost 2000 years later. Like Paul, Jesus has chosen you to know His will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the words that are from His mouth.
Is that awesome or what? You are chosen. You are a part of the chain that began with God, in the beginning and continues beyond our days “to the very end of the age”. But how can we continue that chain and not not be a broken link?
How can we make His disciples and make sure that they are not simply becoming our disciples? How can we begin and carry on to fulfillment, “all that” God has assigned us to do?
For some Christians the question is: where do we even start?
It’s seems a simple assignment on the surface.
“Be His witnesses…” OK? But how do we do that? Well we could do what Paul and the early church disciples did. They accurately and honestly told people what they have seen and heard about what Jesus has done. In essence we communicate about the past to help bring people hope for the future. We talk about His story in our lives and those that came before us.
As I prayed and hashed this out with Jesus a thought came to me. Do the people even know Your Story? You know the one that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation? Do people know that Jesus truly is the Alpha and the Omega the beginning of the Bible straight through to the end?
And then another thought came to me. In preparing for this last mission trip I took a course from the Biblical Training Institute that I put on SD cards and actually left with the Pastors and church people over in Kenya. That course looked at 52 stories from Genesis to Revelation. It is History but it is also your story and my story as we become part of HIStory!
When I came back from that retreat I was so excited! I told the Leadership team here at church how I felt God was giving us an assignment. Read the Word, tell someone the story, and soon you’ll know your place in HIS Story.
One story at a time. Can you and I tell one Bible story a week? Help one other person or perhaps many others to learn what God has said and done? One Bible story at a time. It’s our story but really it’s HIStory.
Here’s what I think God wants us to do for 2016. One story a week told and simplified from his Word through our lips to ears that hear or at least may be listening.
Logistically it will begin with reading a Scripture Portion on Sunday morning. Hearing about that story from whoever is bringing the message that day. This can help solidify HIS story in our minds.
Then it’s your turn. Throughout the week as opportunity arises, read the story again and then tell someone the story in your own words and in time you will know that you part of HIS story.
We can do this one on one, and also for those of us equipped to do so using social media and the web.
So you can have a coffee, tell this week’s story in your own words, with perhaps some of my words and perhaps some of the words that I heard but most importantly always begin with HIS Word.
What I believe God is calling us to do in 2016 will see 52 weeks of boosting our level of biblical understanding and helping our remembrance of HIStory while we continue to do ‘all that’ God has assigned for us to do.
Namely Acts 22:14-15. This is true of every believer of Christ and every disciple who is called to go and make disciples who will go and make disciples that make Disciples of Christ.
“The God of our fathers has appointed you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth and to be a witness for Him to everyone you will tell of what you have seen and heard” (Acts 22:14-15).
One year…52 weeks… 52 stories from Genesis to Revelations of Christ. His lips, through your mouths, to their ears.
Can you try? Will you accept the assignment He has given you and help people to know and follow Christ?