To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” …. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:3-5, 8
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Today’s Scripture is in many ways uniquely about the Apostles, but at the same time there are some important applications for us today. It was to the apostles that he presented himself alive and offered convincing proofs. It was to the apostles that he appeared over a period of forty days and spoke of the things concerning the kingdom of God. Even the specifics given for how the promise of the Holy Spirit would first come about were unique to the apostles. And finally, they would be Jesus Christ’s witnesses in ways that were unique to them.
The apostles were with Christ during the three years he ministered publicly here on earth, they were around for his crucifixion, and they were repeatedly involved with him after the resurrection and on up to his ascension back to heaven. In other words, they were first-hand witnesses of his life, his death, his resurrection, and his initial sending of the Holy Spirit. While so much of this was unique to the apostles, the promise of the Holy Spirit and the role of being witnesses of Jesus Christ carries forward to all true disciples of Jesus Christ.
For us today, at the very same moment we become disciples of Jesus by trusting in him for the forgiveness of sins, we are given the Holy Spirit of promise. As a result, we become witnesses of the impact of the death and resurrection of Christ in our lives, and our relationship with him through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. We truly are ones who have been cleansed and forgiven. We truly are ones who are being transformed by Christ through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. We truly are witnesses of Jesus Christ, our forever Savior and Lord.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I am not a first-hand witness of you in the ways the apostles encountered you, but I am a first-hand witness of you in the ways I have encountered you. You came to me and offered me the gift of eternal salvation and I entrusted myself to you and your amazing provision of grace. Through the Holy Spirit of promise, you are wonderfully alive and at work in my life. I am a witness of you and all that means for me. I go forward as such in the confidence and power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me. Amen!
Posted on Wed, April 6, 2016
by Alan Porter