Monday, December 11, 2017

A Spirit of Power

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Our electricity has been off for a couple of days, intentionally shut off by the power company due to high wind and fire conditions. I set up a portable generator to run a few things in our house, but having partial power is just not the same as having full power. 

Of course, there is a sermon in there somewhere!

My mind raced back to a rather hectic month and a half in the lives of the disciples. Jesus had been arrested, crucified, and resurrected. Their emotions were like a wild roller coaster ride, from extreme sorrow to sheer joy. What would follow? Would Jesus now restore the kingdom to Israel? After all, they had been under Roman rule for about 100 years. Perhaps now was their time for freedom.

They didn’t get the answer they were looking for. In fact, it seems like Jesus just brushed them off. “It’s not for you to know those things,” He told them [Acts 1.7]. There was a more pressing need: Power to witness for Christ. That power would come in just a few days as they “tarried” in Jerusalem. 

Not only would the Holy Spirit comfort them, as Jesus explained in John 14, but He would also give them a power supply; power to be His witnesses. A witness is someone who can give a firsthand account of something they have experienced, seen, or heard. In other words, they furnish evidence. The disciples were empowered to furnish their amazing experience with Jesus; to present it in such a ways as to make it believable and desirable. 

I think they did a really good job of it. Those early Christ followers, few in number and empowered by the Holy Spirit, set the world on fire. Everywhere they went, people turned to God. Obviously, that didn’t please everyone. A group of disgruntled businessmen and religious leaders brought some Christ followers to the city rulers for discipline. At the meeting they said, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too” [Acts 17.6]. That’s pretty powerful, isn't it!

Regardless of what you've been told, we have that same power available today. Power to witness for Christ. I hope future generations can say of us that we did a good job of representing God in our day. That’s a legacy I’d like to leave behind.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1.7

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