Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- November 20, 2013
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… They all joined together constantly in prayer. Acts 1:8, 14
The very last words Jesus spoke to His followers before He ascended to Heaven focused on the Spirit’s power, not man’s power. Human power builds kingdoms on earth, while the Spirit’s power builds God’s kingdom in surrendered hearts. Issues out of our control defer to trust in God’s timing and do not distract us from being a witness for Jesus Christ. The Lord will come back to establish His kingdom on earth, in the meantime we are to be His Spirit-filled witnesses.
A witness for Jesus can strive in their own strength or thrive in the Spirit’s strength. So, how do we know if we are witnesses empowered by the Holy Spirit? Prayer precedes power. Prayer positions us in humble expectation to receive the Spirit’s fullness. By faith, we confess and repent of sin and embrace our Heavenly Father’s love and forgiveness. The Holy Spirit fills our hearts once we have emptied ourselves of dependence on our gifts, abilities and experiences.
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:31
Once we experience the Spirit’s fullness, we are compelled to speak God’s word with boldness. Indeed, witnessing is a supernatural exchange with the Trinity: the Father loves the lost to Himself, the Spirit convicts a heart of sin and the Son freely forgives a soul in salvation. Our part is surrender and submission, the Holy Spirit’s part is fullness and power. Yes, it is necessary to both live the gospel and speak the gospel. Faith comes by hearing the spoken word of God.
Furthermore, look for ways in your church to champion evangelistic training and teaching. Witnesses of Jesus need to know what they believe and why they believe what they believe. Perhaps you enroll in an apologetics class and be prepared to equip others. Just be wise not to substitute the Holy Spirit’s power with superior arguments. Most of all, moment by moment pray for opportunities to speak boldly about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a Spirit empowered witness of Christ, you can’t help but help others understand the good news of Jesus!
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. Romans 1:16
Prayer: Heavenly Father fill me with Your Spirit, so I can be a bold witness for Jesus.
Post/Tweet today: A witness for Jesus can strive in their own strength or thrive in the Spirit’s strength. #spiritempoweredwitness
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