Actually, It's Underrated
So, friends, I wrote more than a couple hundred cohesive words again. Call it whatever you want: devotional, study, weird-PDF-read-along. Either way, it exists now and I’m excited it’s written down even if no one cares to read. But… in the chance you do feel like looking at it, I wanted to a little more deeply explain my heart behind the writing. For context, each day of this study focuses on a “small” character in the book of Acts—someone who doesn’t have much “air-time” or is rarely discussed.
I recently began to read through Acts again. For the first time, I realized the significance of the book. I know it’s essentially the whole point, but I had never properly taken the time to stop and think about how powerful the spreading of the Good News was during that time. The Church grew from dozens of people to thousands of people in just a handful of years. People were witnessing miracles and healings. People were risking their lives and livelihoods to share about the Resurrection. People were meeting in homes without “real” pastors or leaders, but with a simple understanding of grace and the blood shed for them.
It was upon this newfound understanding that I finally stopped to ask myself how each individual could be an important part of a movement being that large and powerful. I began to start combing through the text to ask why seemingly insignificant characters were, in fact, significant enough to be forever written into God’s Holy Word…especially regarding the building of the Church. Around the same time, I read The 4 Loves by C.S. Lewis, in which he says,
“In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting--any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.”
This quote stuck when I read it. It made me reflect on how many marvelous people have been “coincidentally” put into my life. But it also made me stop to think about how many of those people forever changed the course of my life, and therefore my relationship with Christ, and therefore all ministry and personal interactions there-forward. And I must say, this revelation blew my mind. Easily, I could name a select handful of people who, without exaggeration, changed nearly my entire life trajectory.
And finally, everything converged. While reading Acts again, I started seeing the importance of each character on the life trajectory of others. I began to stop and analyze why the Lord made each character—however small—“coincidentally” a part of the larger story. I started asking questions about each person’s unique influence on the Church as a whole. Why is a young servant girl answering the door something worth remembering and writing down decades later? Why is the man who wasn’t chosen to be one of the twelve still worth mentioning?
And I believe they were all worth mentioning because these people, with their small actions, words, or personality, largely pointed people back to the person of Christ. And I believe that they are worth studying because they are reminders to us that our small actions, words, or personalities can point people significantly to or away from the Good News of the Gospel.
I am just one. You are just one. But we have been strategically placed throughout our dark world to reflect light. So, as you read about these people, I hope that you first and foremost see the person of Jesus. But I hope also that you would see yourself and your unique life story woven throughout them all.
Thanks for joining me friends… Here we go: HEAD TO THE DEVO
Always from my heart,