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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Acts 2

Read Acts Chapter 2

Key Verse: 2: 25-28
I saw God before me for all time.
Nothing can shake me; he's right by my side.
I'm glad from the inside out, ecstatic;
I've pitched my tent in the land of hope.
I know you'll never dump me in Hades;
I'll never even smell the stench of death.
You've got my feet on the life-path,
with your face shining sun-joy all around. (Message Translation)

My Reflection: This chapter was full of great stuff. The above verses jumped out because we have a friend who is dealing with major cancer and the prognosis isn't good. I'm reminded that these bodies are temporary and we have such hope because of Christ and His death and resurrection. I love the way the Message translates these verses, I'm ecstatic, I've pitched my tent in the land of hope. How often do I not do that? How often am I gloomy or moody (as my husband would say)? Too often. I want my face shining sun-joy all around. Another cool part of this chapter was the end, where it talked about the fellowship of the believers. They stayed together, encouraged each other, sold their possessions and gave to those in need, they ate together. It sounds like the original church plant to me. It's what the body of Christ is supposed to be for each other and our communities. The last line says, "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." What they were doing was working, they were loving people. I want that and I want to do that. You get out of your box and love. It definitely takes thought and intentional behavior changes. I've really been challenged to love those who aren't like me, to love those who don't like me, to love those who hurt others. It's hard. I can truly say that God has worked in my heart in the past year to offer forgiveness and to grant me forgiveness. It's hard to forgive but you don't only have to forgive, you have to forgive and love. It is a process and for me, it has taken a long time but if your heart is open to His heart and if you're truly a Christ follower and want to love and live like God, it is possible. I'm still not completey there and I catch myself reliving moments and having to reforgive. I'm glad God is patient.

My Prayer: Dear God, thanks for your love, ultimate healing, and grace. Help us to freely receive and freely give it. Help me to live like those early day believers lived, loving those around me. Help me to stay out of my box and right where want me to be. Help me to have sun-joy all the time no matter my circumstances.

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