Is there any greater display of power than the power it takes to raise the dead to life? For the earliest believers, it had to be a jolt just to be close to the power displayed in Jesus.

That mighty "lightning bolt" has been seen and heard through the centuries and can be seen and heard still in the lives of Jesus-followers today.

That's good news; especially if you're in need of a jolt of God's power today.

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In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

Acts 1:1-3

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Hollywood loves sequels. If a movie proves to be a blockbuster, you can almost guarantee that the studio will follow with another like it after a couple of years.

In many ways, Acts is the “sequel” to the Gospels, particularly Luke. The two books share a common author, and Acts resumes right where Luke ended. Its opening verses recap Jesus’ interlude with his disciples between his resurrection and ascension. Acts makes clear that Jesus really rose from the dead, explaining how he proved his resurrection even to skeptics. This interlude was about more than just proof, though. Jesus also spent time teaching about the kingdom of God, the reign of God’s Spirit in the lives of people from all nations.

A Hollywood sequel almost always tries to outdo the original, upping the action, effects, and drama. While no story could top the life of Christ, Acts does not disappoint. The kingdom of God that began quietly in the Gospels soon explodes, turning the world upside down as disciples empowered by the Spirit multiply the kingdom.

Joshua Hays

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God of surprises, thank you that your message of love expanded in ways that no one could expect! Thank you that the same resurrection power that worked among the disciples remains at work today. Help me to join in this work, spreading the message of your reign of justice and love. Amen.

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Feel the power that rises beneath you,
Raising you up to embrace the life
That God intends for you to know.

Carry yourself, then, with humble confidence,
Aware that it is the very hand of God
That holds you upright and alive.

Joshua Hays

Joshua Hays recently graduated from divinity school with his Master of Divinity degree. He currently works at the Passport national office in Birmingham, Alabama, and has served churches there and in Tennessee.

The Old Rugged Cross

Clay Mottley

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