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The risen Savior's parting words

July 5, 2023
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Daily Scripture

Acts 1:3-8

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

Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would give his followers power to bear witness to God’s work in the world. The Spirit still gives us guidance, courage, strength, alertness, and passion to share the person and work of Jesus. The mighty wind that is the Holy Spirit (cf. John 3:7-8) empowers Christians to tell the story of God’s great love for the world. God calls us to radiate hope, to live with a confident expectation that God’s work is real and present in the world today.

  • God did not leave us on our own to radiate hope. Through the Holy Spirit, God grants us power to be living extensions of Jesus’ ministry in today’s world. It’s often said that we have as much power from the Holy Spirt as we ask for. Are you asking for the Holy Spirit’s power? In what ways, as a God-powered messenger, can you share Jesus’ story with others?
  • The “end of the earth” could be anywhere—your office, your favorite restaurant, your health club or your cul de sac. Where are the one or two settings where you can most effectively share your faith story with others? Which one of your friends, family members, or co-workers might be able to join you in this mission?
Prayer

God, give me chances to share my faith story with others. Show me where you are already at work around me so I can join you in your work. Help me remember that my power comes from the Holy Spirit. Amen.

GPS Insights

Bill Gepford

Bill Gepford

Bill Gepford serves as the location pastor for the Resurrection West location. He has served churches in three states, in roles as a youth pastor, associate pastor, solo pastor, lead pastor, and location pastor. Bill loves to create spaces where emerging generations can experience authentic joy. He is the husband to Melissa, the daddy to Finn, and a huge fan of the K-State Wildcats and the Kansas City Chiefs. Some of his favorite hobbies are powerlifting, hiking, and camping with his family.

About 15 years ago, I was helping three other guys move a cast iron radiator. It was a huge hunk of twisted cast iron, way more than any of us could budge by ourselves. We had to carry it down a hallway, down a flight of stairs, and out the front door to the dumpster. Even with four of us, and even with lots of breaks, it got heavy.

When we hit the landing for the stairwell, one guy slipped, the other two dropped their side…and I found out the hard way that there are some things you just can’t do by yourself. Trying to do it alone didn’t work (and neither did my hand for the next two months).

If something isn’t supposed to be done alone… why do we try to do it alone?

That’s why I love today’s passage. Jesus is talking to his disciples. He sets a high bar for them–“you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The only problem? Just a few weeks earlier, these same disciples had struggled with the whole ‘witness’ part. Most of them hid when Jesus was arrested. Even Peter, who found the courage to follow, ended up denying Jesus three times. If they can’t even talk about their faith in the High Priest’s courtyard, how are they going to take it ‘to the ends of the earth’?

But Jesus says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses.”

You won’t do it alone. I love that Jesus sends us help. A lot of us get intimidated by the concept of sharing our faith–and if we did it alone, that makes sense. But Jesus says we are never alone.

It worked. At the time of this Scripture, people in Jerusalem thought the world ended at the Atlantic… and yet here I sit, impacted by their witness–beyond the boundaries of the earth.

Share your faith. But remember, you don’t do it alone.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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