Monday, February 5, 2024

Living the Jesus Way – The Way of Movement

Monday, February 5, 2024

While he was with them, he commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. Which, he said, you have heard me speak about; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days. So when they had come together, they asked him, Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time? He said to them, It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  
Acts 1:4-8 CSB

Living the Jesus Way –  The Way of Movement

Acts chapter one opens with Jesus having spent 40 days with the disciples following His resurrection. During this time Jesus continued to teach them more about the kingdom of God and prepared them to be His witnesses. Their faith became stronger and when it was time for Jesus to ascend to Heaven, He gave them some final commands. He said His final words to them - But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

In verses 3-5, Jesus told the Disciples that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Jesus had previously spoke of this promise in John 14:17 - And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him because he remains with you and will be in you.  v16-17 This is Jesus telling them of the promise of His Father - the Holy Spirit. When they received the Holy Spirit, they would receive power from the Holy Spirit right away. Not in 10 years, or 5 years, but right away. With this power, they were to be witnesses for Jesus so the world can know His truth. In the power of the Holy Spirit they would spread the news of the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. 

At this time, the whole Roman Empire was considered to be “the ends of the earth.” How could the Church be established, and the gospel spread so quickly? This could only happen with the power of the Holy Spirit - the gift from the Father. This power was the same power that powered Jesus’ ministry, including the miracles He performed. It was also the same power that rose Him from the grave. 

As believers, we often strive to do everything in our own power, including share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit was coming, and He would give them the power they needed to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. We forget, or fail to understand, that we have that same gift, or power from the Holy Spirit. We are not to stay in the center of the Kingdom of God bumping up against each other. Living the Jesus Way means that our lives are a testimony of what God has done for us. Our lives are the Gospel, and we are His Disciples. The command Jesus gave them as He was ascending to heaven is our command also - to go, to move, to do more than just live our comfortable Christian lives. We are to take His Gospel into the dark places where the Light is needed, and time is of the essence because the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. Jesus is coming and people need to be saved. 

Living the Jesus Way means that we are not to live stagnant religious lives sitting on the same pew for our whole lives. We are to move. We have been given the power of the Holy Spirit to rely on as His power as it works through us to reach people for Christ and lead them to salvation. His power is far greater and more effective than anything we could possibly do on our own. He has gone before us and prepared the way - softened hearts and made them open to hearing and receiving His good news. 

Living The Jesus Way does not mean we just live our lives as a Christ follower and hope it rubs off on everyone around us. The good news is that it will rub off when we are just going through the motions of life in The Jesus Way. But the other part of living The Jesus Way is that we give the Gospel to those who don't recognize it because Jesus tells us that those who don't know Him will not recognize His truth. (The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. John 14: 17) 

Trust Him to lead you in His power to share His gospel as you live The Jesus Way. Pray for opportunities and surrender to take His gospel to the ends of the earth, but if you never leave Parker County, then Parker County is your mission field! There are dark places that need the light here too. Live your life and share His gospel just as you would to the most remote people group in a country far away. The field is ripe and is wherever you are. The harvest is all around us every day, so don't just stay comfortable - move the Gospel out to everyone you can. 



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