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Summary: This is our challenge. To offer a new beginning to others in Christ.

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NEW BEGINNINGS

THE STORY CHAPTER 28 / ACTS 1-12

INTRODUCTION

There is a book only 100 pages long, published by the Department of Justice, that can easily be downloaded and is a book that no parent wants to read. The title is “When Your Child is Missing.” Key bullet points and action steps are on the cover of the book, like, “You’re not alone,” “Hope is essential,” “Trust your feelings and share them with law enforcement officials,” “Distribute pictures,” “Keep your focus,” “Exercise caution,” and the final exhortation is “Never stop looking.” The book tells the stories of four year old Shelby Marie Cox and six year old Colleen Nick and the parents of Jacob Wetterling have been searching for him since 1989. They post messages saying, “We’re still searching for you and we will never quit.” Parents will spare no expense as with resolute passion they search for their missing children.

So does God. God has lost children, who have gone the wrong direction, lost their bearings, lost their place in this life, and lost their vision of the next life. God initiated a massive, three-phase search and rescue strategy to find His lost children. The first phase was Israel. We saw in the Old Testament that God wanted a nation through whom to show His character and to call people back to Himself. The second and very critical phase, which is the point of the Four Gospels in the beginning of the New Testament, was Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ declared, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). We are lost and Jesus is the way back home. By his death on the cross and His resurrection, we can be reunited to our Heavenly Father. The third phase is in The Story today in chapter 28—the church. We will be looking at the Book of Acts, beginning with Acts 1:8 which is a powerful theme for the entire third phase of God’s plan: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

READ ACTS 2:2-8

“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?”

We see with the burst of the Holy Spirit on the scene that the new beginning promised in the church began.


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