The Book of Acts is a hugely important historical document for us as Christians. It is the only document that exists that recorded firsthand accounts of the early church after Christ’s ascension. No other document about the early church gives eye witness accounts of the apostles and the early supporters of the church. In these accounts, we discover the formation of the early church, the core tenants that it implemented as its doctrine and how it spread this doctrine.
The Book of Acts is also an honest and open account of these people. Paul is shown both as a passionate minister and a persecutor. Peter is seen as charismatic and close minded. Mark, the man who wrote the gospel to which his name is ascribed, is portrayed at points as a coward and untrustworthy. The early church is in places great and benevolent and others as squabbling over tertiary issues. This is typical of a divinely inspired document as God desires honesty and openness. A person’s flaws doesn’t discredit God’s word. It only enhances it.
In the next few weeks, we will cover this historic and historical document. Here’s what you can expect on TWTL’s Compass Page:
August 16: The Genesis of a New Hope (Acts 1-2)
In Episode One, we will examine exactly how the early church got off the ground.
Big Idea: What do the events and actions that led to the first move of God in Acts mean for us today?
August 30: The Empire (& Sanhedrin) Strikes Back (Acts 3-7, 9, 12)
In Episode Two, we will examine the early trials of the first church, including multiple beatings at the hands of opponents and even a couple of people who faced martyrdom. We’ll also look at how the church responded.
Big Idea: What do the trials, tribulations and the church’s response to them teach us?
September 13: The Expanding Universe (Acts 8, 10-11)
In Episode Three, we look at the early expansion of the church to the Samaritans and Gentiles. Along the way, we look at the gospel’s reach to the Gentiles and the importance of this decision to go outside of the Jewish Culture to share Jesus.
Big Idea: What can we learn from the early church evangelism in terms of our own outreach today?
September 27: Spreading The Gospel (Acts 13-21)
In Episode Four, we will examine the spreading of the Gospel to new nations in Asia, Greece and beyond. How the message and approach to spreading the gospel was altered for these new cultures ,if at all, will be examined along with the results of these efforts.
Big Idea: What does the expansion efforts of the early church teach us today about expanding the faith into new regions, cultures and generations? Does the message stay the same or do we altar it from the canon?
October 11: Conclusion
We look back on what we learned from the series on Acts and discuss what the major takeaways are.
Big Idea: How can we implement Book of Acts thinking, acting and living in our lives today? Do all of the practices still apply or should we allow for alterations as the world has changed?
But wait...There's More!
You may notice that we take two weeks between devotions. Up until now it has been because of our scheduling and availability. With the launch of our Patreon page, though, we will now be filling those gaps with Patreon exclusive posts! Here is the sneak peak at what you can get for just donating $2 per month (or the price of a Snickers Bar. Really, they are like 1.91 after tax at my local gas station.):
August 9: Acts Facts
We throw a bunch of facts and Did You Knows about the Book of Acts at you. Want to have some cool answers when you are discussing the Word with friends or in witnessing opportunities? Want to impress your local minister? Want to stump that one person who always has the answers to Bible Trivia? We’ll arm you either way with some awesome facts about the Book of Acts!
August 23: Peter’s Message
Peter’s Message in Acts 2 is confirmed in the Old Testament and then further solidified in the Epistles. We go through these complimentary scriptures to better understand Peter’s important message.
Big Idea: God’s words through Peter are confirmed throughout scripture. How can we make sure our words are, too?
September 6: Persecution Today
We go modern by looking at how people are persecuted today and comparing it to persecution of the early church in the Book of Acts.
Big Idea: Are we responding how the church is supposed to in the face of persecution and what can we do to change our response if needed?
September 20: Evangelism Today
There are people in our communities who either don’t believe they have a right to relationship with God or we don’t think they want a relationship with God. We look at ways to debunk these false ideas and perceptions and start bringing the gospel to those who desperately need it.
Big Idea: How can we get outside of our bubble to reach the hidden lost and dying world?
October 4: Missions Minded
While there is a substantial amount of money given to missions work today, less people are invested with their time and efforts when it comes to missions than any other time in the last 200 years. Many missions trips are half vacations and sightseeing tours. We look at what true missions work is through the eyes of those who went forth the right way in this modern era.
Big Idea: How can we be true missionaries in a world that is less about the message and more about experiences?
We are excited to bring all of this great content to you and hope you join us on Patreon as we are planning to dive real deep into major issues that every Christian needs to face in this modern age.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.