Ending or Beginning

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, teach me how to wait on You today.

 

Read: ACTS 1:1–11

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

 

Reflect: HOW DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT HELP AND EQUIP YOU TO WITNESS?

Beginnings and endings can be confusing—especially in this case! As far as many people in Jerusalem were concerned, whatever it was that Jesus was doing had ended—he was dead. But to the apostles and several hundred others (1 Corin.15:3–8), this was only the beginning. Jesus was very much alive and planning for the future (4). Before his followers did anything else, however, there were two things for them to grasp. First, they were to stay where they were in Jerusalem and wait (4). Very soon they would receive the Gift, which had been promised to them (Luke 3:16; John 15:26—16:15). But just as important was that they were then to go (8). Staying and going were equally important, but the order mattered. To go to the world before they had waited for God’s power would leave them powerless. To stay where they were without ever going would leave the world hopeless. They weren’t taking over from Jesus; he was continuing his ministry through them. And, amazingly, his ministry continues through us today!

 

APPLY

Do you naturally prefer going or staying? Think about where God might want you to be his witness in the future.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Spirit of God, give me power to be Your witness today.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

Terry Schneider