in the first book, o theophilus, i have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. [acts 1:1-2]
as with the gospel of luke, the book of acts was written to theophilus, of whom we know little. luke does not list himself as the author in the book, but evidence from the second century makes it clear that luke, the traveling companion of paul, is our author.
in this introduction, luke skips straight past himself, and barely mentions the person he’s writing this to, before making it clear that Christ is the subject of this book. the apostles, the sent ones, are a part of God’s story, God’s work—not the other way around.
our lives aren’t our own, and our stories aren’t our own. we serve but a small role in God’s story, play but a fleeting note in the symphony of God’s sovereign plan. luke doesn’t mention himself, but he spends a lot of time talking about God. when we talk about ourselves, we put us in the center: when we talk about God, we put him in the center. do you see God’s glory? have you basked in his splendor? have you felt the weight of his wrath for your sin stayed at the word of his Son? have you abided in his fatherly steadfast love? i promise you, the daily ambitions and pleasures take a back seat when God shines through the windshield.
forgive us for making our lives about us. show us your glory and teach us to shoot your praise! may your glory drown out our personal ambitions and leave us with nothing but obedience to your perfect will. we are your servants: have your way in us, and do not relent until you have captured our whole heart.
~ stephen hall