Acts 1:1-2 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
It’s been quite a few years now since I was first struck with one little word in this passage: began. Luke never saw Jesus with his natural eyes. He researched the facts of his Gospel and the first part of Acts while Paul was in prison in Caesarea, (Acts 24:27) and he was with Paul for the rest of Acts, from Acts 16 on. That said, he was absolutely convinced that Jesus continued to act and to teach, even though He was not physically visible. That’s an awareness we all need to have! We give lip service to “Jesus in me,” but we seldom act like we really believe it. Paul put it this way: “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27) When you think about it, if Christ is in us, then we can have the hope that He will do anything at all in and through us, and that is glorious indeed. Luke was emphasizing that what he had recorded in his Gospel was just the beginning, that Jesus was alive and active in and through each of the people who had accepted His Lordship by faith.
This is extremely applicable to this morning’s message, which is on being like Jesus. Since He is in me, the way to be more like Him is to get me more out of the way! I have that “treasure” in an “earthen vessel,” (2 Corinthians 4:7) so the way to show people more of Jesus is for me to become more transparent. A common theme in fantasy fiction, as well as some mythology, is the “cloak of invisibility,” or power, or wisdom, or whatever. I don’t remember how old I was when I read a particular science fiction book that used that trope, but I did a lot of fantasizing about it, imagining myself as an “agent of justice,” or something of the sort. That’s a little silly, when I’ve got the real thing! I’ve got to remember that at this point it’s neither constant nor automatic, but it is still very real. I have experienced Christ speaking and acting through me numbers of times, and I certainly want that to continue and increase. However, I’m never to think for a moment it’s because of me, or that I am special. He is the Lord of Glory, and I am to be grateful any time I am useful to Him.
Father, thank You for this reminder. If I’m to include it in this morning’s message, show me where and how. May I be available and useful to You all the time, so that Your purposes may be accomplished in and through me for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!