Nuggets of Truth
When the Lord first redeemed me, I had a little bookshelf in my room with about 20 theological works on it. I carried around those 20 or so books throughout all the years of my rebellion. My parents had given them to me--hoping that I would read them--long before I was converted. After I was converted, I would wake up in the morning, pick up one of those books and begin working through it. I now have somewhere close to 10,000 volumes in my library (Needless to say, I went a little book crazy after I was converted). When people come to my office for the first time, they frequently ask me if I've read all the books in my library. Sometimes I jokingly respond by saying, "Shoot, I've read some of these twice!" More often than not, however, I explain that I view my library as one enormous table of contents. I have spent countless hours picking through most of the books in my library and can tell you what each book is about and what you should expect to find in any given volume. If someone asks me about a particular book in which I have spent a more substantial amount of time, I like to share with them some of what I consider to be "the gold nuggets." I learned very early on as a Christian that every theological book and every sermon has gold nuggets in it; and, the goal of the wise man or woman should be to find the nuggets of truth and share them with others. Life is so very short and we only have so much time to spend searching. As Solomon once said, " Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh" (Eccl. 12:12). In the short time that we have in life, we must learn to search for the gold nuggets of truth that will benefit our own souls and the souls of others.
I am currently preaching a series on the Gospel of Luke on Sunday mornings at New Covenant and working through the book of Acts at home in family worship during the week. Doing so has reminded me that Luke was a master of finding the gold nuggets of truth about Christ and his Church. In both Luke and Acts, the beloved physician gives us what he believed to have been the most wondrous details about the ministry of the Savior and about his ministry through his disciples. In both books, Luke gives us repeated nuggets of truth captured in somewhat pithy statements. Consider the following nuggets of truth just from the first 20 chapters of the book of Acts:
- "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1:8).
- "This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11).
- "This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it" (Acts 2:23-24).
- "David...being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption" (Acts 2:30).
- "Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36).
- "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (Acts 2:42).
- "The Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved" (Acts 2:47).
- "Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago" (Acts 3:19-21).
- "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
- "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13).
- "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:18-20).
- "Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit...You have not lied to man but to God” (Acts 5:3-4).
- "The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins" (Acts 5:30-31).
- "They left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name" (Acts 5:41).
- “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:2-4).
- "As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them' (Acts 7:59-60).
- “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money" (Acts 8:20).
- "Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, 'Do you understand what you are reading?' And he said, 'How can I, unless someone guides me...Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus" (Acts 8:30-35).
- "He is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name'” (Acts 9:11-16).
- “What God has made clean, do not call common” (Acts 10:15; 11:9).
- "God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 11:17).
- "When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose" (Acts 11:23).
- "The people were shouting, 'The voice of a god, and not of a man!' Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last" (Acts 12:22-23).
- "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles'" (Acts 13:46).
- "As many as were appointed to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48).
- "When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:21-22).
- "Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will" (Acts 15:10-11).
- "They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia" (Acts 16:6).
- "One who heard us was a woman named Lydia...The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul" (Acts 16:14).
- "About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them" (Acts 16:25).
- "The Jailor...brought them out and said, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' And they said, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household'" (Acts 16:30-31).
- "He rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God" (Acts 16:34).
- "Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, 'This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ'" (Acts 17:2-3).
- “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also...they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus." (Acts 17:6-7).
- "Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so" (Acts 17:11).
- "Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new" (Acts 17:21).
- "The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything" (Acts 17:24-25).
- "He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him--he is actually not far from each one of us, for 'In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we are indeed his offspring’" (Acts 17:26-28).
- "We ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man" (Acts 17:29).
- "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead" (Acts 17:30-31).
- "Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people" (Acts 18:9-10).
- "A number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily" (Acts 19:19-20).
- "Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood" (Acts 20:28).
- "Now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified" (Acts 20:32).
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