We continue from yesterday in the books of Acts. Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to be His empowered witnesses to the ends of the earth. Right after Jesus said these things, He was lifted up and ascended to heaven.
Acts 1:10-11 says, “And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 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.’
In other words, stop starting at the empty sky. Yes, Jesus went up to heaven but He is certainly coming back! Now go and do what you’ve been given to do!
Believers today live in an unparalleled time in church history. We are actually living in the concluding sequel to God’s eternal love story. We are living in what the Bible calls the “last days:”
“But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy…And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” (Acts 2:16-18,21)
Peter preached this on the day of Pentecost, on the day God poured out His Spirit onto His disciples. Since then, we have been living in the last days. And the reason God poured out His Spirit on you was for the exact same reason He did so on the day of Pentecost: so that you would be “witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). God’s Spirit indwells you in order to empower you in a special way to lead people to call upon the name of the Lord and be saved.
Are you getting this? The reason the Holy Spirit resides in you is ultimately to empower you to go do what our Lord has commissioned us to do: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
What have you believed is the reason God’s Spirit was given to you?
Does this belief about the Holy Spirit in you have more to do with your own needs or the salvation of others?
Does your answer above reveal anything important about your experience with the power of God’s Spirit in your life?
While living on earth Jesus said it very clearly, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
We are living in the last days, and we eagerly wait for Jesus’ return. But we wait not by staring blankly into the sky. We wait in the same manner as the disciples waited back then; we carry forward the work that was given to us, specially empowered by the Spirit of God to lead people to call upon the name of the Lord and be saved.
Take some time to reflect and enter into prayer with these questions:
How truly aligned is your life to what Jesus has commissioned you to do (Matthew 28:19)?
Are you aware of how God has empowered you in a special way to accomplish His will at this time? Pray and read through 1 Corinthians 12 today.
Then meditate on this instruction from God’s Word:
“Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit]….Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties; throw yourself wholly into them [as your ministry], so that your progress may be evident to everybody.” 1 Timothy 4:14-15 AMP