“But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1.8
These are the last words of Jesus to His disciples. In the very next verse they watch as He ascends to heaven. So, since these are His LAST words to them, they must be significant – both to them AND to us.
Jesus is not stuttering here when He say, “Ye shall receive power … “ The work of God can never be done in the power of the flesh. All the flesh wants to do is make itself look good. But Jesus tells us: “ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you … ” When you and I received Christ as our personal Savior, we IMMEDIATELY received a part of God Himself. He gave us His Holy Spirit to be our guide and our teacher. Holy Spirit power is ours … all we need to do is release our lives to God and claim the power the Holy Spirit is offering us.
What is this Holy Spirit power for anyway? Jesus answers that question for us: “ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” I learned in English class when in school that when the word “shall” is used in the second or third person (ye/you), it has the effect of being a command. Jesus is not SUGGESTING here that we be witnesses. He is giving us a command AND these are the last words that He spoke while here on earth.
As members of a local congregation, we owe it to our church and our community to be witnesses where we live and work. But there is another dimension here. When we help plant churches in other communities, we are helping to reach our Judea. When we enable missionaries to go to a foreign field and carry the gospel, we are helping to reach “the uttermost part of the earth.”
How about this week, we ask God to open a door for us to share our life in Christ with someone, and how about if we make it possible through our giving to help plant churches in areas where there are no gospel preaching churches. And how about responding to God’s call if He wants us to go “to the uttermost part”? Finally, let’s participate in giving to missions to enable those whom God has already called to be able to go where God has called them. Just my thoughts …