September 6, 2019

Do Something, Part 1

By: Larry Shaffer

Luke 1.1-4 

1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us,  

2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word,  

3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus;  

4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught. 

These opening verses form one long sentence, written by Luke, in polished and literary classical Greek. The rest of the book is written in the basic Greek language of the common people. This is the opening line of a two-volume set, Luke and Acts, that chronicles the sweeping history of the founding of Christianity.  

Luke is writing to the most excellent Theophilus. This title indicates Theophilus was a Roman dignitary. Who was Theophilus? We’re not sure, but it may be one of the Roman officials who were converted to Christ through Paul’s ministry, (Philippians 4.22). Whether Theophilus commissioned Luke to write the two-volume set or Luke choose to send it to him, is unsure. I lean toward the later. Perhaps he sent it to Theophilus to establish credibility, but I suspect he envisioned his writings would go well beyond one person and reach and influence many. However, He undoubtedly had no idea the scope of the influence his writings would ultimately have. 

It seemed fitting… 

Luke acknowledges that others have compiled various accounts of the life of Christ. Nevertheless, he sensed a calling to use his relationships, his experiences, and his skills of research and writing to produce a carefully documented body of work as well. 

  • Relationships and experiences: he spent thousands of hours with the Apostle Paul and no doubt, took notes on the words Paul spoke, both private and public. Luke also, no doubt, had a close relationship with some of the other apostles and personal eyewitnesses of the life and times of Jesus. 
  • Skills: he was educated and obviously skilled and diligent in research and writing. 

It seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order. 

Luke was compelled to take action 

Luke was compelled to use his relationships, his opportunities, and skills to serve and minister to others. He doesn’t say that God spoke to him and told him to do this. God compelled him, and Luke was sensitive to the leading of God.  

What about you?  

Are you faithfully serving God by serving others with the relationships, opportunities, and skills that God has given you? There is a calling upon your life as well! Luke was faithful to obey and considered himself a steward of what God had given him. What about your calling? 

We are going to dig into this a little further next time as I share my stubbornness to take action and serve God with the gifts He has given me. I might challenge you with your calling, as well. 

Father, You have given us much. May we be faithful and diligent to use the relationships, resources, and skills that you have given us to serve You and serve others. This is the hallmark of one who has a noble heart! Cause us to love You with all our heart, soul, and mind. And in loving You, may we love our neighbor as ourselves. Amen.