Empowered by the Holy Spirit

Being empowered by the Holy Spirit.
What we can learn from Jesus’ last words before he ascended.

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 

Just before he ascended into heaven, the disciples had asked him a question about restoring the kingdom of Israel. In other words, they wanted to know when the kingdom of Israel would become a nation again as prophesied in the Old Testament. 

This was a genuine question because they had already seen the promises of God fulfilled concerning the Messiah’s first coming. They wanted to know when God would fulfil the rest of His promises. 

Like the disciples, we can find ourselves asking questions about things that haven’t taken place yet and wonder when or how the things promised to us will happen? And yet, Jesus lovingly tells the disciples “It is not for you to know the times or seasons…”

His response may be discouraging for some; however, Jesus reminds them of God’s sovereignty. That He alone knows the time and season, but it will surely come to pass. Instead of focusing on an earthly kingdom, Jesus wanted them to focus on something that was greater. He encouraged them to focus on the kingdom of God which is spiritual. 

Jesus tells them that the Holy Spirit will come as promised in John 14:26 and in John 15:26. But they need to wait. For without the Holy Spirit, they won’t receive spiritual power that will enable them to be true witnesses of Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit empowered the disciples in the book of Acts, to preach the gospel with boldness, testify about His resurrection and given words to say when challenged in court. They performed baptisms, miracles and deliverances, as well as remained faithful to Christ in the midst of persecution. This could not have happened, had they not been obedient. 

Just like the disciples of the early church, we need the Holy Spirit as well. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit to be effective in God’s kingdom, to evangelise and to testify about Jesus Christ and what He has done. We can’t do these things in our own strength.

And there will be opposition from the enemy and from people around us when we speak the truth. We may even be tempted to compromise but be reminded, ‘for God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind’ (2 Timothy 1:7). 

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for sending us the Holy Spirit. Remind us of the spiritual power and authority that comes from You.  Help us to set our eyes on the things above and seek first your kingdom. We pray for boldness as we speak and strength to remain faithful. Amen.

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