The Story So Far, Week 11

We’ve now gone through almost half of Deuteronomy and half of Acts, and we’re getting ever closer to the end of our first quarter. We’ve read in Deuteronomy how Moses is making final preparations for the people before they (and not he) enter into the promised land. He is restating the law making bold reminders that they are not entering into the land as people deserving, nor as a righteous people. God has done the work and it is by his grace that they will receive what is coming their way.

God, too, is doing the work through Acts by the Holy Spirit. Men and women are being taken up in service to the church of Jesus Christ, and by his name are doing great works and preaching the good news to both Jews and Gentiles.

Deuteronomy 8 also is the original location of the words that Jesus quotes when he is in the desert, tempted by Satan, “Man does not live by bread alone.” The Israelites are reminded by this that their needs are greater than food, more than the food they had in Egypt. They have a great need and reliance upon the Lord our God.We learn this lesson as well in Acts as all that is done is done by the power God gives and it is for God’s glory. The Spirit comes and gives the disciples the ability to work miracles, these signs are done in Jesus name, and it is all in God’s plan. The needs of the disciples move beyond bread alone, as they give up their material goods to serve others and support the new found community. If it were all about bread, or stuff, they would horde and keep to themselves, instead they sell their possessions and give to those who have need.

They do, as we read earlier in Acts, spend time breaking bread, but the church is more than that and they are devoted as well to the teachings of God. The church of Acts demonstrates well the second half of that line from Deuteronomy 8, “but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”

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