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Jesus said the Spirit's power is essential to mission

July 19, 2022

Daily Scripture

Acts 1:2-8

2 Before he was taken up, working in the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus instructed the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he showed them that he was alive with many convincing proofs. He appeared to them over a period of forty days, speaking to them about God’s kingdom. 4 While they were eating together, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised. He said, “This is what you heard from me: 5 John baptized with water, but in only a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

6 As a result, those who had gathered together asked Jesus, “Lord, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now?”

7 Jesus replied, “It isn’t for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 Rather, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Before leaving earth, Jesus charged his followers to witness to him. But he didn’t urge them to trust in their own courage or cleverness. He said they were to wait for the Holy Spirit’s power to make them effective in carrying out their mission. Some have even suggested that instead of “Acts of the Apostles” we might better call Luke’s second book something like “the Acts of the Holy Spirit (through the apostles).”

  • Acts 1:15 said “the family of believers” included about 120 people. What a vast, ever-expanding task Jesus gave that little group: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” How did Jesus’ vision and seriousness about that mission-driven, outward life focus make it essential that those first 120 (and all who came after them) trust the Holy Spirit’s power rather than their own?
  • Jesus “ordered” (not “requested”) that his followers “…wait for what the Father had promised…in only a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4-5). Especially when there is a big, important job to do, most of us want to “get on with it,” not “wait.” Have you ever had to wait for God to clarify or empower some worthy activity? What spiritual risks does running ahead of God pose for a Christ-follower?

Jesus, I love your audacity (120 people in a backwater Roman province will reach “to the end of the earth”?). I’m thankful the Holy Spirit’s power made that mission a reality. Fill me with your vision and power today. Amen

GPS Insights

Picture of Lydia Kim

Lydia Kim

Lydia Kim serves as one of the pastors of Connection and Care at Resurrection Leawood. An avid believer that growing in faith pairs well with fellowship and food, she is always ready for recommendations on local restaurants and coffee shops.

Pastor Adam reminded us in worship last weekend that just as a tractor allows us to harvest more wheat than a single person with a sickle (a lot more!), the Holy Spirit empowers us to do much more than we alone can do ourselves. The same example is given in our Scripture passage today. Jesus promised a group of misfits, ragtag individuals from all walks of life, that the Holy Spirit would empower them to share the Good News to the end of the earth.

In Acts 2, what Jesus foretold starts to come true. The Holy Spirit empowers those gathered, resulting in 3,000 people coming to Christ in one day!

I’m always amazed by how the Holy Spirit worked in the disciples gathered at Pentecost. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes think that could never be me. However, what I have come to realize over time is that the Holy Spirit CAN and DOES work in each of us.

Each time I answer the Spirit’s nudging to purchase extra groceries for Hunger Stoppers, volunteer for VBC or Matthew’s Ministry, stop and pray with someone, and so on, I see God’s power at work. First, the Spirit gives me the strength to do what I’m called to do; it can be a burst of energy, a creative idea that I never thought of, or the right words to say when I feel led to pray with someone. Second, when all of us in the church combine our collective “yes” to the Holy Spirit’s calling, it creates an abundance that no one of us could accomplish on our own!

So what is the Holy Spirit saying to you today? Are you being called to do something that pushes you out of your comfort zone? I pray that you remember that you are not alone. May God’s Spirit give you all the power you need to make a difference. I’m counting on it!

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.