This morning I finished Acts in my Bible reading plan. As I reflect back on Acts, there are obviously many themes that emerge. But if I were to boil it down to one main theme that dominates Acts, it would be summed up into one word: conversion.
Conversion, i.e. the new birth, is central to Acts. The apostles preached with the goal of conversion. Paul's conversion is a major hinge in the book and it is mentioned three times. Whether Paul is preaching to straight-laced Jews or godless pagans, his preaching is aimed at their conversion (compare the accounts in Acts 17).
The beauty of the conversion stories are diverse: the great numbers early in Acts (ch 2), a man who persecuted Christians (Paul in ch 9), a Gentile (Cornelius in ch 10) and a business woman and suicidal prison guard (both in ch 16) just to name a few.
So finishing Acts today has pricked me by asking: where are your priorities Ryan? Do you labor in prayer for true conversions? Do you share the gospel regularly, clearly and compellingly? Are you praying and trusting the Holy Spirit to bring about genuine, even radical conversions in the lives of people you have an influence on?
These are some good questions to ask ourselves. Quite possibly, if I were to have coffee today with the Apostle Paul, he would ask me some of the same ones.
"But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."
--Paul the Apostle in Acts 20:24