The Power-Filled Promise
Day: 1 | Plan: Acts
Today's Reading: Acts 1
Acts 1:8-9 (NIV) “'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.’ After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.”
As we begin our study on the book of Acts, let’s imagine it as a braided rope tying together the story of Jesus’ life on earth with the dramatic birth and miraculous growth of the new Church.
In the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), we discover what took place during the 30+ years of Jesus’ life. In the book of Acts, we’ll learn what happened during the 30+ years immediately following.
Acts 1 opens with the retelling of a familiar story from the Gospels. The disciples had spent 40 glorious days with the resurrected Jesus, learning more about the kingdom of God as He prepared them to be His witnesses. Their faith was strengthened and they no longer were the timid men who deserted Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane the night He was arrested. (Mark 14:48-50)
As we read Jesus’ final words to the disciples before His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:8-9) we discover an outline for the book of Acts:
- “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 2)
- “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem” (Acts 1–7)
- “and in all Judea and Samaria” (Acts 8–12)
- “and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13–28)
At that time, the entire Roman Empire was considered to be “the ends of the earth.” How was it possible for the Church to be established and for the gospel to spread so quickly? Remember … no Internet, YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram.
This supernatural dispersing would only happen through the power of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus called a gift promised from the Father. (Acts 1:4) And Jesus would know better than anyone else. For it was the same power that operated through Christ during His earthly ministry. It was the same Holy Spirit who filled Jesus (Luke 4:1), led Him (Luke 4:14), and empowered Him to perform extraordinary miracles. (Matthew 12:28)
This specific word power in Acts 1:8 is translated in the Greek as dynamis, which means physical power, force, mighty ability, energy, miraculous works. In the chapters ahead, we will read about this dynamis power, accompanied by great miracles, as the church is birthed and the gospel is fearlessly proclaimed.
As believers, we often strive to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in our own strength. Instead, we need to always rely on the gift of the Father—the Holy Spirit’s dynamis power working through us to reach people for Christ and lead them to salvation. (Ephesians 1:13-14) For this power is far greater and more effective than anything we could possibly attempt to produce on our own.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit’s dynamis power that strengthens and equips me to share Your good news with others. The next time I’m prompted to tell others about Jesus’ saving grace, help me to trust You have already gone before me and prepared their hearts to receive what You want me to share. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Immediately following Jesus’ ascension from the Mount of Olives, the 11 remaining... Read More
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