Acts 1-3: Saturday Bible Study, Week Uno.

Man, I am refreshed and excited and thankful for this Saturday Bible study, and we’ve only just begun. It all started with Rachel, a little fireball for Jesus, who felt called to put together a group of people who study the Scriptures together and share and discuss. When should this Bible Study start? Clearly in the leisurely, relaxed month of December… well, I’m glad it’s in December because if I can stay faithful in a weekly Bible study during the most wonderfull time of the year, then.. I’ll be good to go.

This is how it goes. Each week (on Saturday!), someone hosts the Bible Study. That is, they start the conversation with their own reflections on the Scripture. Over the course of the week, everyone writes (on their own blog) a response/reflections of their own, and then we all link up to read each other’s thoughts. Pretty cool, right? Next week I’ll host it, so that’s… cool. and intimidating, I’m not going to lie.

But here we go. The first three chapters of Acts.

If you are too lazy to click on this permalink to Rachel’s post, I will summarize what she wrote so quickly that if you blink and scroll at the same time, you might miss it. Here it is. The Holy Spirit is a gift, and he provides us 3 forms of power for witnessing; boldness, fellowship & miraculous acts.

When I first decided to read these Scriptures, I went to my room to get my Holy Bible.. the one with all of my notes in it {which ironically cannot be mistaken for my Note takers Bible, because I have yet to finish transferring my notes} but realized I’d left it in my car. When I got out of my car I looked at my Bible and thought “I’ll be right back out here, I’ll keep it in my car.” Sigh. The good news is that I’m not going to be able to be lazy and just post things I’ve heard or thought before. The bad news is that you now know that I was originally going to.

Three chapters of Scripture is a lot to reflect on, and so I’m going to share with you the verse from these chapters that I couldn’t stop thinking about even as I continued to read.

Acts 1:11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

You know what that verse just did to me? Convicted me, right at my heart. Here are the disciples, having been reconnected with their risen Savior, and then he floats {my interpretation!} back up to Heaven and they’re standing there watching. Then these guys are like “hey, what are you doing? He’ll be back, don’t worry.”

Sometimes I feel stuck there, like I am just staring at the sky and sometimes stomping my foot, hoping that my frustration or urgency will make Jesus come back. In fact, just this morning as I was making breakfast and meditating on the Lord I thought “today will be a great day, and the one thing that will make it better is if Jesus comes back.” No joke!

This is how that verse translated to me, 25-year-old Stephanie Orefice currently living in apartment 307 in Covina, California.

“Why are you preoccupied with Christ’s return? It will happen, be sure of that. Where else could your attention be focused?”

You know where? Witnessing or evangelizing or whatever it is that we are supposed to do to get people ready for that day. Oh man, you know what I do all of the time? If I know someone is over and my mom says “Stephanie you need to clean your room”.. I will clean my room, but it will be so difficult because I will constantly be going to the window and looking out. If I hear a car door slam, I run to the window. Or the sound of an engine. I drop what I’m doing. So pointless and unproductive.

That’s what I do with Christ’s return, though. I know there are things to work on; people to love and forgive, injustices to stand up against, sicknesses to pray for, food and drink to enjoy, laughs to be had, babies to hold.. and yet I continually stop in the middle of this and have a day where I drive around aimlessly in my car, watching the sun set, pretending like something is about to light up the sky and stop the madness.

Christ’s coming back, one way or the other. But he’s left us with the task of cleaning our room before he returns but has not told us what time he’ll be here. Which means I should be working diligently and with urgency in everything I do. Spreading the good news of Christ’s love should be at the forefront of  my mind, mouth, motions and motives. and Jesus is awesome. He didn’t just leave us here with a pile of dirty laundry and empty wrappers all over, trying to figure out where things go or how do you get glue out of a carpet? The Holy Spirit is alongside us, with sleeves pulled up and the same urgency.

So not only is it: Why are you just standing there? but it’s also the Holy Spirit saying Why aren’t your hands dirty?

That’s where Rachel’s post comes in. The things that the Holy Spirit gives us to clean, the tools to help us try to tackle whatever is under that pile of clothes or get rid of the smell in that corner.

It is my prayer that we are expectantly awaiting the return of our Lord, but that we are not growing lazy or unsatisfied in cleaning up for his arrival. so here’s a question. What kind of grime is on your hands? 🙂

ps the picture I chose to use for my blog complements Rachel's very well, and that was unintentional but awesome.

Click for more information on how to join the Bible Study.

3 thoughts on “Acts 1-3: Saturday Bible Study, Week Uno.

  1. Love, love, love this post (and you!). Staring up at the sky, wondering what’s going to happen… these men are just like us. Or, rather, we’re just like them. It isn’t easy to stop staring out the window, but it’s so important.

    I’m so glad we’re doing this. I don’t care if anyone else does it, but I definitely needed this Bible study at THIS time of the year. With all the stress of school and holidays, I have felt myself tugged away from everything, but especially from God. Thanks for joining in on this 🙂

  2. I’m so excited to have read your notes. I am also doing this Bible study (and a few of my friends are doing it as well even though they don’t have blogs).
    I find it so interesting that the Bible is for people as a whole, but then again for individuals. What one person gets out of Scripture, may not always be what the person sitting next to them gets out of it. And if you read the same passage 50 times, it always seems new and fresh and alive. Because that’s exactly what it is: Alive!
    I’m so thankful that we have God’s Word today!
    God bless!
    ~ Heather Joy

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