Mick’s Memo – The Spiritual Big Bang (Part 2)
Last week’s memo focused on the launching of the church found in the record of Acts. I’d like to continue that discussion a bit this week. What additional catalysts can we see in the historical record Luke transmitted?
We touched upon one catalyst last week, but I think there is more to consider—the transformation of Peter, the Apostle! In the narratives of Jesus life found in the gospels, Peter is a bit erratic. One moment he’s insightful and courageous, the next moment he seems foolish and fearful. For example, when he sees Jesus walking on water in a storm Peter requests permission to get out of the boat and walk to Jesus. Jesus grants the permission and for a moment, Peter shows “floating faith”! But almost immediately he loses focus on Jesus, gets distracted by the storm and starts sinking.
On another occasion, Jesus tests the disciples understanding of who He really is. Peter rises to the occasion and gets it right proclaiming that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” Jesus pronounces him blessed to have received this important revelation from God. Before Peter can add this commendation to his resume, Jesus confides in the disciples that He is on His way to Jerusalem where He must be killed and then rise on the third day. Peter impulsively and ignorantly declares, “Never Lord, this shall never happen to You!” Jesus’ rebuke had to be crushing, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” You probably know about Peter cutting off a servants ear as Jesus was being arrested and soon after being intimidated into denial of Jesus by a servant girl.
But the Peter of Acts is a changed man. He has seen the risen Jesus. He now knows that the grave has no power over Jesus and no power over him. He has been empowered by the Holy Spirit exactly as Jesus promised. He no longer has to worry about what to say; the message is simple—”Jesus of Nazareth was divinity in human flesh; you killed Him; God raised Him and you need to change your mind about Him and your need for Him!”
God will change us. We need not fear our own flaws, we need not fear the grave, nor do we need to fear what to say. God will make us useable and will put us in the situations where we can be of service to Him and the people He brings to our path.
Ask God for those opportunities this week and for the boldness to prayerfully and humbly engage in those opportunities!
This weekend we will continue our series “What is God Really Like?” considering God as “Beyond Brilliant”. As part of the message a future med school student will explain an amazing facet of God’s design of our physiology!
Looking forward to seeing you!