28 Weeks Acts Devotion Week 4
WEEK 4 - ACTS 4 - September 3, 2018
Written by Glenda, Oklahoma Conference United Methodist Women President
This chapter has several meditation points but I’m going to focus on being boldly called by the Holy Spirit to share the good news.
The Holy Spirit gives courage to every believer so they can witness for Jesus. Just like “the fruits of the spirit”, we each have a calling as a believer, and to rephrase, we each are required as a believer to “do something”. We are part of the family of God, just like it says in the Gaither song: “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God – I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by his blood.” Could it be that unity is the key to reaching the world for Christ? Unity does not need to be created; it simply needs to be protected. We are one flock.
Let me share the background on a 17 year old optional weekly school lunch program for junior high and high school students in a community of about 2,000 in Oklahoma. Our high school is a 2A classification. Our school has an open lunch hour and four churches within two blocks of the schools. The students have the option to come to our church for pizza and devotion every Monday of the school year. We fill their tummies and they hear the good news and also we the community have the opportunity to build relationships with these young men and women in the school. God’s servants shower them with love and support. This is a laity driven local ministry with pastoral support providing most of the devotions. The purpose is to shower these students with God’s love and to plant seeds of love and hope into the younger generation. This was not our original idea. Another church started the program and then their situation changed and the pastor asked our pastor, if we might be interested in continuing the program.
Our pastor brought it up in conversation and two women of the church looked at each other and “said I’ll co-chair if you will”. Thank you, Holy Spirit for the nudge and thank you pastor for being our “Barnabas.” This is how it became a Methodist church ministry. The attendee numbers have grown over the years, and five of the original women servants are still active in the ministry. I would say at least 95 percent of the church families participate in some way with the program at least once a year. It has become such a “community ministry” that one business the students eat lunch at is not even open on the day we have the program. They encourage the students to attend and they are not even Methodists. The price has stayed the same, still under what a school lunch costs. I use the term servant not volunteer because we, who participate, feel it is our calling to serve in this program and it makes us take care of all aspects of the program.Josh Wilson’s song “I Refuse” was written after the historical flooding in his hometown of Nashville. He wanted to do more than pray. “ … But I refuse ‘cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care I don’t want to say another empty prayer Oh, I refuse…To sit around and wait for someone else to do what God has called me to do myself Oh, I could choose Not to move but I refuse” My personal anthem, what is yours?
I believe this local mission program has survived and thrived because of the trusting and faithfulness of many, many believers and seekers. This book of Acts reveals the Holy Spirit as a driving force behind all meaningful ministries in Jesus’ name.
Suggested reading schedule
• Monday Acts 4
• Tuesday Acts 4:1-4
• Wednesday Acts 4:5-22
• Thursday Acts 4:1-22
• Friday Acts 4:23-31
• Saturday Acts 4:32-37
• Sunday Acts 4
Reflection question: To whom could you be a bold encourager? What situations could use bold encouragement?
Prayer focus: Oklahoma Conference United Methodist Women and Men organizations and their district counterparts.