Faith on Fire – Week 1
Whoever you are, wherever you come from, however you are finding being a mum, you are so welcome here at Mummy Meditations! And welcome to the first summary post from our new series – FAITH ON FIRE – an inspiring journey through the book of Acts.
The past couple of months whilst in lockdown for COVID-19, we have been sharing daily encouragements over on our Facebook group, but now we are back into our normal format. This means we will study just one verse a week from the bible and really dig in to it. Why just one verse? Because it is manageable and means that we can stay connected to God and learning from His word without feeling guilty that as mums we can’t do more. Check out the video on our home page to find out more.
THIS WEEKS VERSE
We kicked off the series with this verse from the start of the book of Acts:
“After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” Acts 1:3
The first detail of this verse that jumped out at me was the phrase “convincing proofs”. I mean, these 11 guys had spent the last three years travelling around with Jesus, hearing him teach, watching him perform miracle after miracle, seeing him come back from the dead, and YET STILL THEY NEEDED MORE PROOF!! I find this oddly comforting. It reminds me of the verse where it says blessed are those who believe but haven’t seen. We are those people who believe and yet haven’t seen with our own eyes. We have faith in something that we’ve read about and see that there is convincing proof for, but if these guys had doubts after all that then its OK if we have doubts sometimes! If we forget what the convincing proof was that brought us to faith all those years ago. It is human to doubt and to forget and to need help remembering.
I loved what one mum shared as a comment this week. “I was wondering about what convincing proofs the disciples had from Jesus. It says that Jesus ate with them and taught them but I also wondered whether they talked about things they had done together during the last 3 years and shared some in-jokes? I think for me one of the convincing proofs is that God knows me and he’s a personal God which he shows by Bible verses that he brings to mind at the perfect moment, or little signs of his love and provision on a daily basis (especially when I take time to chat to him and give him time to chat back).”. Yes perhaps they needed proof that this wasn’t an imposter, a convincing fake or Jesus’ twin! They needed to know it was the same guy they had spent all that time with, that he really KNEW them.
I guess the takeaway from this part of the verse is that don’t beat yourself up when you have doubts or a crisis of faith, but instead press in and get personal with God. Remember that relationship you had with him and still have with him and remind yourself of the time when he was a personal God. Find the convincing proofs that you need to restore your faith, just like the disciples did.
Forty days is a long time and yet its also not!! I guess from lockdown we can feel that even more. The days are long and it seems like we’ll be in this situation for ever, but when I think back to March before this all happened it seems like a blink of the eye ago. Have you noticed that 40 is often used in the bible? It is used to represent a “significant period of time”. So perhaps we can read not so literally into this part of the verse. Jesus was there for a significant period of time, the amount of time needed to convince the disciples about himself and remind them of the real mission. He then ascends into heaven and leaves them for another unknown period of time before the Holy Spirit joins them.
Another mum in our Facebook Group put it like this “What we can imagine behind the words is the questions, deep emotions and uncertainty of the disciples. I am sure that every one of those 40 days was needed for Jesus to reassure and explain things to them.”.
Did they know if was going to be 40 days? We can sense the unknown in these verse, the waiting and watching and seeing what is going to happen next. It had been a whirlwind of a few months for the disciples (I guess as the last few months have been for us too), and they are exhausted but also ready for more storms ahead. Lots of us mused on the word “uncertainty” as a good way to describe how they would be feeling. Their routines and lives had changed over night since Jesus’ arrest, and they would have been confused and unsure as to what their future held.
Let us take hope from this that Jesus is with us in our uncertainty, as we look to the future with no idea what it will be like. Let us enjoy the extra time we get to spend with God during lockdown (if we are!), and strengthen ourselves for whatever comes next.
KINGDOM OF GOD
The final detail that kept spinning round in my head this week was the topic of what Jesus told them about, his number 1 priority to get right with them before he left. It says he spoke about the Kingdom of God. Why? Why this topic and nothing else? Why not “how to survive crucifixion” or “how to perform miracles”??! I guess he might have talked about those too, but maybe, just maybe, he knew that if their eyes were fixed on the incredible goal of the Kingdom of God, then everything else would come naturally or wouldn’t be such a big barrier.
One mum put it like this “I think he talked about the Kingdom of God because they were so focused on the Kingdom of Israel (v6) and if he left them without them fully understanding that his kingdom was different to the one that the Jews thought he came to restore then they might question whether he really was the prophesied messiah. They needed to be able to teach and breakdown misunderstandings about the kind of Kingdom he came to restore.” How true is this!
If we understand what God has in store for us, then we can survive anything. The disciples will definitely show us that over the next few weeks! So lets fix our eyes on what Jesus was fighting to achieve for us, and remember that even in lockdown with uncertainty in our minds, we have a hope in heaven.
Well I hope you’ve all enjoyed the first week of our new series! I already feel inspired and more on fire than before we started. Our verse to meditate on next week will be:
“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:2-4
Our amazing Mummy Meditations Champion, Sarah, will be writing up the summary post next Sunday so make sure you watch out for that. I will be back LIVE over in the Facebook Group on Monday night at 8pm to catch up with you all and start off the discussion. See you then!