Biblical Text of the Day, Explanation and Encouragement - Acts
Jesus told the disciples in Acts 1:4 to wait for what the Father had promised them. He was referring to the power they would receive "when the Holy Spirit comes upon you" Acts 1:8. It was as if Jesus were saying, "Do not try to do any powerful work after you have received this power from on high." The disciples knew that if they did not wait, they would have no power. They did as Jesus had instructed and waited for the Holy Spirit to come.
Jesus' recommendation to wait is not just for the disciples of that time. It is a truth that applies to us today. I encourage you to "actively" wait for God's promises by listening to what He is saying to do instead of running ahead of the Lord and doing something after the flesh. Wait for God's word and his promises.
YOU WILL BE WITNESSES TO ME
This makes the matter a little more personal. Our witness to Christ is both subjective, based on experience, and objective, based on observation.
The apostles were to be witnesses for Christ, first of all, in Jerusalem, as soon as they received the Holy Spirit there. Then they were to leave the capital and confine themselves throughout Judea - Directly north of Jerusalem is Samaria, inhabited by people who were part Jew and part Gentile. The Samaritans were a type of mixed race, looked down upon by the Jews. But Jesus commanded the serious Jewish disciples to evangelize them.
The final limit of the task was to the ends of the earth. Can a church, which remains in its place and is content to minister simply to those who come to it, claim to be true to its command?
Verse 3 continued. Then something like flames or tongues of fire came up and rested on each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues.
The importance of these two symbols - wind and fire - is too obvious to be missed. Fire, like the wind, was symbolic of the divine presence (Ex 3:2) and of the Spirit that purifies and sanctifies (Ezek 1:13, Mal 3:2-3). Wind and fire were an accepted symbology of the powerful and purifying operation of the Spirit of God. That is, when the Holy Spirit fills the believer's heart, He imparts both power and purity. No one can have one thing without having the other. To receive the Holy Spirit in its entirety is to experience both things simultaneously.
In the Old Testament, only those called or anointed by God received the Holy Spirit.
But according to the New Covenant, every believer has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and it is up to the believer to make active use of the Holy Spirit.
It is through this activity of the fullness of the Spirit in the life of every believer that Christ's ministry continues in his Church.
But you will receive POWER, when the Holy Spirit descends upon you, and you will be MY WITNESSES both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth Acts 1:8.
- BELIEVE that the power of God comes only through the Holy Spirit. Do nOt try to live without the Holy Spirit or ignore it.
- SEARCH and RECEIVE the activity in the Holy Spirit. Be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit to regularly renew your life and ministry.
- EXERCISE THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AS PART OF THE SPIRIT FLOW IN YOUR LIFE.
- Expect your Spirit-filled relationship to help you speak with confidence, courage, and spiritual understanding.
I want to share with you a story about the power of the name of Jesus (see Acts 2:21). One day a man was driving through an intersection, and his three or four year old son was in the car with him. Not noticing that the passenger-side vehicle door had not been closed properly, he made a sharp turn. This was before the seat belt laws were passed, and the child was not wearing a seat belt at the time. The car door opened all the way and the little boy rolled out, right into the middle of cars coming from four directions! The last thing this man saw was a pair of wheels that were about to run over his son. This car was going at high speed. All the man could do was scream, "JESUS!"
As soon as he managed to stop the car, he jumped out of the vehicle and ran to his son, who was perfectly fine. But the man driving the car that almost hit the child, was absolutely hysterical. The man went to him and started trying to comfort him.
Do not be like that, my friend! he said. "Everything is fine with my son. He is fine. Do not worry about ithim anymore. Just thank God you were able to stop!"
"You do not understand!" The man replied, "I did not touch the brake!"
There was a crisis situation. There was no time for anyone to do anything, not even to think or plan or reason. Though none of the men could stop any action, the name of Jesus prevailed. The power to work miracles came into play and the boy's life was spared.
We need to have more confidence in the name of Jesus and less confidence in ourselves or anyone else to solve our problems.
There is power in the name of Jesus!