The Book of Acts records the events that made the gospel burst out of its confines in Judaism and the city of Jerusalem
to reach out to the limits of the then-known world -- all in just one generation's time.
A devotion introduction for July
The thirteenth chapter is a turning point in the book of Acts. It is what Winston Churchill would have called one of the hinges of history. It marks the beginning of the third phase of our Lord's great commission. In the opening chapter of this book, before he ascended into the heavens, he said to his disciples,
You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you, and you will be witnesses of me... (Acts 1:8a RSV). Then he outlined geographically how that witness should proceed, beginning in Jerusalem, then in Judea and Samaria, and finally unto the uttermost parts of the earth. In Chapter 13 we meet the beginning of the last phase, the going unto the uttermost parts of the earth. It is also the beginning of the apostleship of Paul. Up to this time, though he was called to be an apostle when he was first converted on the Damascus road, he has never acted as an apostle. Now, some eleven or twelve years after his conversion, he begins to fulfill the ministry to which he was called as an apostle of Jesus Christ. Perhaps the most important thing about this section is that here is found a revelation of the manner of the leading of the Spirit, how the Spirit of God guides his people.