A car without gas. A lamp without a lightbulb. A hair dryer without electricity. Power matters. More importantly, tapping into the power source changes everything. The same is true for living out the Christian life and having impact as a credible witness of Jesus. We need the power source that God richly supplies. Today’s passage points us to life-altering truths about that power source.
- How have you been tempted to slip into the futile thinking that “It’s up to me!” to represent Jesus?
READ THE WORD: ACTS 1:6-11 (ESV)
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.” 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- In verse 8, the word “But” introduces a sharp contrast to what the followers of Jesus were focused on. How did Jesus redirect their attention and efforts?
- List three important things that Jesus taught about the power source that he described (vs. 8).
- What happened just after Jesus spoke?
- This passage is primarily focused on reaching those who have yet to place their faith in Jesus. Pause for an undistracted moment and ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit so that you are not full of yourselves, in order that you can represent the cause of Jesus.
RESPOND TO GOD
The disciples were commanded to devote their attention and efforts towards something significant. They were to yield to the power of the Holy Spirit, representing Christ as ambassadors where they were (Jerusalem), moving out to the surrounding region (Judea), crossing into the area where the most marginalized and discarded lived (Samaria), and then going beyond (the end of the earth). We—like the disciples, as frail, flawed, finite individuals—are ultimately powerless on our own to be an effective witness for the cause of Christ. But if we yield to the Spirit, God will empower us to be bold, faithful, and Spirit-filled witnesses to spread the grace and truth of Jesus and to build his church. The Holy Spirit is the infinite power source that enables Christ followers to represent the cause of Jesus.
- Pause for a moment and sincerely ask the Lord to teach you in a fresh way how you can live out the Christian life so that those outside the faith can personally experience the full and free life of Jesus.