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Monday, 5 March, 2018

Acts 1 : 1-11

“...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 1:8

When you enter a new job, you are handed over a Job Description that lists what is expected of you by the employer and the relevant help/ provision needed to accomplish the task. Similarly, our key verse lists out what is expected of every Christian once he enters the new life in Christ. In the same way an employer gives you all that you need for your job to be carried out well, God gives us His Holy Spirit and the power that is all sufficient to complete His purpose in us on earth!  God could have saved us and taken us to heaven straight away.  But He did not do that but left us here. Why? We can sing, worship, fellowship with other believers in heaven as we do on earth ….but there is one important thing we can only do on earth and never in heaven:

The Call to Witness

Only on earth can we tell a lost sinner about Jesus Christ for there will be no sinners in heaven; so if we are going to tell the Good News, we have to be here on earth. In heaven there will be no need for witnessing. There the Lamb of God will be the light but in this dark world we are the only light He has. On earth we are His witnesses. He does not send angels to witness. He uses people like us who He has changed to convince other people like us to believe in Him. We are His evidence to convince an unbelieving world. If we do not do our part of witnessing, God has no other plan.

He empowers us to Witness:

Acts 1:8 emphasizes two things 1) The Holy Spirit empowers us 2) Spirit-filled disciples, witnessing Jesus around the world is effectual. Jesus knew that Baptism of the Holy Spirit is very important. When His Spirit comes upon you and rests upon you, you will become an effectual witness in power. Jesus went forth to minister in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14) and His disciples became powerful witnesses after the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). Our greatest need today is not political power but the power of the Holy Spirit. Political power can change leaders, but it cannot change human hearts (Romans 7:15-25).  It can pass righteous laws—or revoke unrighteous ones—but it cannot make men righteous. Politics deals with only the periphery of life. Only the Holy Spirit can change hearts, restore families and save an entire nation from destruction. It is written in Luke 11:13:“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" Let us ask for the Holy Spirit to enable us to witness! On the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples; Peter spoke the gospel boldly and 3000 souls were saved. From then on, the Word of God was boldly preached, lives were changed, communities were transformed by leaps and bounds, and Jesus Christ’s name was lifted up with thunderous praise.

What is a witness? 

A Witness tells what he knows—what he/she has seen or heard. A witness is someone who can say, “I know this is true.” In a court of law a witness swears on a Bible and promises to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Witnesses tell the truth if they are good witnesses—nothing less than the truth; nothing more either. As a witness for Christ a believer tells the reason for the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Christ for the salvation of all mankind.  Just telling the truth about Jesus to anyone who is willing to listen is where witnessing always begins.

Thought- "The simple fact that a Christian is on earth and not in heaven, is proof that there is something for him here to do; and if he is not doing it, the neglect shows either that he is not yet a Christian or that he is a Christian who grieves Christ."~William Arnot

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