February 28th, 2018 — IGNITE

So the other day, one of my little granddaughters wanted to play the card game Uno. She’s only three years old, so I thought to myself, “How hard can this be?” Now please understand, I have a very high competitive spirit, so being three years old has little to no effect on me. This is a game… it’s real life… get ready to go down. I pretty much figured she would have little to no strategy in playing this game, so I was very confident in winning. I told myself before we even started to be gentle and remember to help her.

At the end of the first game I knew I was in trouble. She had gone out and stuck me with a draw four as her last card. Same with the second game and the third game. The real problem was her childlike attitude at the end of each game though. After sitting there so gleefully telling me she had her last card, blurting out “Uno”, and then laying her last card, she couldn’t wait to say, “Let’s play again!” What a poor sport! 🙂

Little did she know that she had played right into my hands, because though she might not have a strategy, I did. I would let her win a few games so as not to discourage her so she would want to keep on playing. Her little three year old mind was no match for me. This game wasn’t over until… Supper! It was time to eat! Thank you, Lord!

All kidding aside, where am I going with this? Have you ever noticed that the book of Acts ends abruptly. One chapter we’re traveling with Paul from city to city, reading of people being converted to Christianity. Then we’re going to Rome with him in the last chapters where he will stand trial. And then it stops. Nothing more. We turn the page to read the rest, but the pages are all gone. It’s as if the writer deliberately stopped telling the story of the founding of the New Testament Church, leaving us to figure it out for ourselves. The last verses say…
“And he (that would be Paul) stayed two full years in his own rented quarters, and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.” Acts 28:30-31

The truth is, though there is no Acts 29, there really is. You’re it! I’m it. We are the continuation of the book of Acts. The New Testament Church is still alive – it’s alive in you. It’s still being written. What’s being written through you might be an interesting story, but it’s still being written and it won’t be done being written until Jesus comes back.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: You are the church! I am the church! We are the church together. Let’s continue to write Acts 29!

Build Your Church through me! In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen