An interviewer asked a British philosopher, "What’s wrong with the world?" He replied, “I am.” He got it right. It’s been that way since the fall. But Jesus came to the fallen and made us right. And when he returns, he’ll make the broken world whole again. As you worship with other broken believers, cling to God's promise this Advent season—Christ is born for you.
What does it take to finish well? The answer to that question depends on who you are and what you're finishing: an athlete finishing a competition, a student finishing a degree, or a musician finishing a piece. Think bigger. What about your life? It's a long life. What are you going to do to finish well? The book of Acts ends with little attention to how the apostle Paul finished his life. Paul's life isn't the point of Acts. Jesus' life is. Yet, we know from letters of Paul how he finished. Today we’ll gather around God’s Word to us in 2 Timothy 4 and learn how to finish well.
If the book you're reading has drawn you in and made you feel like a part of the story, "The End" makes your heart sink. What? No! You knew it was coming. You felt the pages in your right hand getting thinner. And you vow to read the sequel or watch the next season as soon as it's available. You've held the Acts of the Apostles study book in your hands for two years. You've felt it getting heavier on the left side and lighter on the right side. Now here we are: "The End." Gather with your fellow Acts sojourners today to thank God for the gifts he's given us in this book and to find ourselves in its ending.
Whoever said, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me," was either lying or just not very bright. God doesn't lie, he's very bright, and he has said, "The tongue has the power of life and death" (Proverbs 18:21). When the apostle Paul finally made it to Italy, brothers and sisters in Christ met him and encouraged him. What do you suppose they said? We don't know, but more important is what WE say. What words do you speak that encourage others? Today, the Spirit teaches us how to encourage others that we might his "power of life." Welcome to church!