Recently I’ve been writing about the book of Acts and Christianity’s tendency to treat it like a history book and not a roadmap. A brother stopped by and asked a great question: How has the book of Acts informed how you live your life? It’s a really important question because we can spend so much time talking about the book but not really living out what it’s instructing us. So in no particular order, here are some ways the book of Acts has informed my life and practice.

Miracles Didn’t End with Jesus or the Apostles- This is an easy one to understand. Miracles and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are found on nearly every page of this book. In fact, the more I read it, the more stunned I am that the supernatural ministry of Jesus was really continued in the Early Church instead of ending with Jesus. Now most people are okay with believing that the apostles did miracles, but we see all throughout Acts that other people did them as well.  Stephen, Phillip, Ananias, and Agabus are all non-apostolic figures who where powerfully moved upon by the Holy Spirit. Some of the people who the Holy Spirit moved through were so ordinary, we don’t even know their names. Peter’s promise at the beginning of the book of Acts is as true today as it was then: “This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.”

For me, seeing the continued activity of the Holy Spirit working in the life of the church and for the expansion of the Gospel constantly pushes me to believe God wants to do more miraculous things through me. God will still heal, deliver, and speak into situations in order to encourage the church and point the lost towards Christ. I’ve seen these things happen with my eyes, but Acts always forces me to believe for them to be a reality in my own life.

Apostolic Passion- I don’t know about you, but when I read through the book of Acts, I feel my heart rekindled in the area of apostolic passion. What is apostolic passion, you ask? It’s being gripped by God for the things He called you to, specifically in the areas of reaching the lost, making disciples, and planting churches. Obviously the greatest example of this in the book of Acts is the apostle Paul. I always marvel at this man because he would go into a city, preach the Gospel, lead many people to Christ, and then, after doing so would get stoned by the other half of the city. Most people wouldn’t survive this, but Paul not only survived: He went back in to the town that stoned him. While he left the next day, he would return and his missionary activity would speed up, not slow down. There was a passion in Paul to be faithful to what Christ had called him to even in the face of difficulty. We, especially as Americans, have a lot to learn from that.

In my life, I remember early on being taught about Paul from the book of Acts. The teaching wasn’t from his apostolic travels, but from his defense before Felix and Festus where Paul would tell the story of his conversion.  When he was completely done, Paul would say “I obeyed that vision from heaven,” (Acts 26:19). I remember older believers encouraging me to model my life after Paul and give myself completely to being able to say at the end of my life “I obeyed the vision Christ gave me for my life.” More specifically, as I began to understand Christ’s call to reach the lost, make disciples, and plant churches, Paul’s persistence has taught me much about enduring for the sake of the Gospel. Reading Acts again and again has in a sense been like having a brother from another age cheering me on to be faithful in the same way he was.

That’s enough for today. Tomorrow I’ll write a bit more. Until then, what has the book of Acts taught you about following Christ?

Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash
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About traviskolder

Travis Kolder is a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father of five, an organic church planter, and a writer. He lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he serves as part of the Cedar Rapids House Church Network.

4 responses to “”

  1. phillipspartyof5 says :

    I could spend days writing what the book of acts has taught me and how it has shaped my life and every aspect of the ministry God calls me to. However, since I don’t have time for days of endless typing, I’ll share what God has been showing me lately. The first thing is unity. I’ve been praying for unity in the “Church” for a year now, fervently praying. Reading John 17, I know Jesus has prayed for us to be one as Him and the Father are one. It takes much faith to believe that. Admiringly at first I felt that would be impossible…. but this is God I’m talking about. He spoke light and life into existence. It is possible. So I started praying how to reach that unity and I open up the book of acts one day and He shows me. Before they go make disciples Jesus says, “wait until the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”

    Maybe a crazy analogy but here is what came to my mind, a football team inside of a locker room. The game is about to start but their coach hasn’t told them, “lets go!” You know what happens in locker rooms many times? Some teammates fight and argue, some rest, and others good off.

    But when the coach comes in and says, “let’s go”, they all of a sudden become united. Why is that?

    Because they have a mission.

    As we look at the storms and wildfires in the U.S. right now, do you k is what I see? I see people of every color, sex and denomination in unity. There is a mission at hand. Let’s help people, let’s fix things, let’s save lives!

    Imagine if as followers we ALL believed what we say we believe, that the world is in midst of destruction and there are people who are being destroyed and needing saved from death. If we saw through those spiritual eyes, the Church would be in Unity on a mission for Christ to proclaim the good news. You’re debt has been paid, your dirtiness has been made clean, all things have become new.

    I pray for God to open our eyes and to wake us out of sleep to truly see the mission.

    • Tim Aagard says :

      I’ve been thinking a lot about what is needed for believers to throw off their divisive addiction to institution, each with a brand name to differentiate between other believers. Institution enlargement is their mission but they use words claiming Jesus is their mission. The singular body of Christ demonstrating to the world that we are perfectly one so the world can recognize Jesus is sent by the Father is the farthest from their practice.

      • phillipspartyof5 says :

        Amen to that. I’ve spent the past 6 months or longer trying to call “the church” (institution) back to the basics. It’s a hard road and there is much opposition, but that’s what Jesus said would happen. Just like the New Testament church, we are more persecuted by the Pharisees than we are unbelievers and it hurts but I know God is changing hearts of many of the church leaders in our area (North Mississippi). There is a movement of God, a stirring of the church and it’s changing hearts and lives. What a crazy thing we fail in to believing we could institutionalize the King of kings.

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