Spirit-filled lives and churches

The young man was sitting in his van at the shore of the lake, gazing into the distance as I drew up on my bicycle. I was out bird watching, and I asked him if he had seen any of the great blue herons that I had been told were nesting in the area.

As I looked into the open window of the van, I saw that the book open on his lap was the Bible, and it was open at "The Acts of the Apostles." "Oh," I said, "you are reading my favorite book!" And I apologized for disturbing him. He smiled and seemed happy to talk. He explained that he was trying to learn by heart what he was reading so that he could remember what Jesus had counseled his disciples to do.

I told him I admired his tenacity and his love of God's Word. Yet for me, I explained, the appeal of this particular book was not so much in the words of the text but in the extraordinary vitality of the disciples' deeds after they had witnessed firsthand their Master's resurrection. We get a picture of the infant Christian Church in all its simplicity and single-heartedness—a body of men and women giving themselves wholly to carrying forward Christ Jesus' teachings and actually doing the marvelous healing works he had instructed them to do.

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The armor of good thoughts
February 5, 1990

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