Acts 1:6-8 (click to view Scripture below)
Jesus’ last discussion with his disciples must have been a bit disappointing for him. After more than three years with the disciples, they still seem to be rather unsure of what Jesus had really come to do. They ask him questions about when Israel would be rid of their invaders and finally experience the long anticipated promise of God’s Kingdom rule. (v.6) Jesus is quite gracious in His response to them as He focuses on the next phase of the plan He has come to fulfill. Jesus’ promise to His disciples is that they will be given “power” to be “witnesses” to the Gospel story wrapped up and fulfilled in Jesus’ life. We make a huge mistake when we disconnect the power of this promise from the purposes of this promise.
In the Midwest part of the US, this is tornado season. These forces can destroy entire towns in a short time. Often power lines are knocked down, but still have power running through them. You can see these lines bouncing around as they arc and spark. The power is useless except to destroy anything it its path. The same is true with the power promised at Pentecost: disconnect the power from its purpose (to be witnesses) and you have a powerful but destructive force. Power not connected to its primary purpose inevitably turns destructive.
The power of the Spirit is not to fulfill our personal vision nor dabble in novel spiritual experience. Remember Jesus tells us specifically that He has not come to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45) The empowerment of the Spirit is valid when we keep it connected to bearing witness to the Good News that Jesus saves!
Vice President, ChildHope
Prayer: Thank you for the promise of the Spirit that falls on women and men; young and old. Empower me to be your witness and represent You today, empowered by your Holy Spirit.
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.