The Reading: Acts 1:4-9
“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witness …” (v.8) RSV
Power to do what? Or even, power to be what? Power to be a good witness for Jesus and his Gospel. This will require both ‘doing’ and ‘being’; it may even require ‘speaking’. We are witnesses whether we like it or not. Our lives witness to who we are and what we are. Despite what we claim to believe, our lives will speak of what we truly believe.
Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will make our lives match up to our profession of belief. He will give us a new heart, new desires, new perspectives and new motivations. If we allow the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts day by day (through worship, praise and prayer) he will make us into good witnesses.
Witnessing is not primarily about speaking, but about being and doing. Jesus was not impressed by those who only called him “Lord, Lord”, but those who did the will of the Father. Someone once wrote: “It is better to be and not to speak, than to speak and not to be.”
So, the ‘power’ that Jesus promises is the power to be a witness for him. The main ingredient for those first witnesses was ‘boldness’. Something needed to drive them out from their church building, that is the Upper Room, and out into the world. The Holy Spirit comes to embolden us and free us from the fear of consequences and failure. Just go and live it out, and be prepared to give a reason for the hope within you.
Lord Jesus, help me first to know what you have promised, and secondly to be able to believe your promises. Thank you that you have promised all things necessary to living a life that pleases you and blesses others. Amen
1 What else does Jesus promise the Holy Spirit will provide for you and his church?
John 14:26, John 16:13
2 What does Jesus promise the Holy Spirit will do for the world?