This Article was first published on our church website here
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote the opening article in this new series of devotionals which I called Convincing Proofs. https://www.wearekingsgate.org/acts-ch-1-convincing-proofs/
Today I want to revisit the that subject because in many ways this whole chapter is really about ensuring that Jesus’ disciples were set up and ready for their mission to be people who were to point to the truthfulness of his life and death, his resurrection and ascension into glory! Put simply, this was Jesus preparing his disciples to be ongoing witnesses for him. One of the ways Jesus prepared his disciples was by empowering them! In verse 8 we read: “… 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.” What amazing words! God was not willing to leave his disciples as powerless witnesses for him. No, he has given us his Holy Spirit so we might live courageously as people who through words, wonders and works would point to (or make much of) Jesus! And then we turn in verses 12-26 to the slightly strange story of the choosing of a replacement for Judas, after he had betrayed Jesus (and by definition had chosen no longer to be someone who points to Jesus)! Interestingly, in verses 21-22 Peter says: “Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” Peter notes that Judas had left a gap in the team who had been called to bear witness to Jesus resurrection and this needed rectifying! Obviously, these early disciples had a unique responsibility to be eye-witnesses “from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken from us”. However, in a similar fashion, we have been called to be witnesses of Jesus’ ongoing work in our lives! Right at the end of Matthew, we read these words: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19) To be a disciple is to live your life in such a way that you point to the living Jesus who has eternally transformed your life! This is what it means to follow him! Your life is to be ‘proof’ that Jesus is real and alive! Is it?
Dear Father, thank you that you have left us the Holy Spirit to empower us to live lives that point to Jesus. This week, I pray for more and more opportunities to do that among my friends, family, work colleagues and neighbours! Amen