“So when they met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them: ‘Is it not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But 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.’” (Acts1:6-8)
Jesus called the disciples to their first priority—-being witnesses to Him from their homelands to the very ends of he earth. They wanted to jump ahead to when Jesus’ return was to take place. Jesus’ final meeting with His apostles on the Mount of Olives provided a bridge between Jesus’ earthly ministry and what He would do through His Spirit’s indwelling of His disciples.
As the forty days of post resurrection appearances came to a close, Jesus reinforced the Great Commission and promised the power to carry it out. Jesus described three things about power for the world missions task. It’s name, It’s need, it’s nature, and it’s provision. Jesus promised the power before He described the task.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, Your Son, our Savior, has given His disciples and also us, all that we need to know to be effective in continuing His ministry here on earth. We have been given the Holy Spirit in baptism, so there is really not anything else that we need, we need to simply do as He commanded us to do, and that is to continue His ministry. We don’t have to be in Jerusalem or Judea or Samaria, we simply need to be wherever we are and through the power of the Holy Spirit, people will respond. If we do nothing, then they will do the same thing. We must be forthright in taking the Gospel message to all people, wherever we are, and whomever we are with. It is in Jesus’ name that we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Jesus loved us, in spite of know us better than we know ourselves.”
“The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, ‘I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in t sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of he cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” (Genesis22:16–18)
No more moving account exists in the Bible than this account of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son—-his only son—-and God’s providing a substitute his. Two lessons shine clearly in the chapter: God does not require human sacrifice, and He does demand absolute obedience.
Missionary work is by nature obedience to God. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his own son, the agent through whom God promised to work out His missionary purpose of blessing for the nations. God commanded and accepted Abraham’s substitutionary sacrifice of a ram for his son. In his obedience, Abraham proved equal to the missionary task set before him. He obeyed God rather than men; Abraham’s obedience allowed God to bless him and se his descendants to bless all of the nations or peoples of the earth.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has send me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—-to restore on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will e called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Isaiah61:1-3)
This passage may have applied first to the prophet and/or to the remnant nations Israel. Jesus applied it to Himself and said it found fulfillment in Him. When we couple this fulfillment with Christ sending out His disciples in the same manner, the prophetic call becomes an important description of the nature of missions for all times.
The Christian understanding of this message includes the proclamation of freedom, forgiveness, and new life in Christ Jesus. Christian messengers must be committed to helping persons become all they can become in Christ.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hear say, ‘Come!’ whoever is thirsty let him come and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17)
The church lives in expectancy Jesus is coming soon. The Spirit joins the church (the bride) in praying to Jesus to come. It is a remarkable form of the Spirit’s constantly remind the church of Jesus that He prays and helps the church to pray for the return of the Lord.
The missionary note running through the entire Bible appears also in this last chapter of Revelation. The short verse is a gold mine of information on the nature of missions. This message comes from the risen Christ, who is coming again soon. The center of the message is from the Eternal One. The Holy Spirit’s role in missions is crucial and extensive. Here His role is to draw people to Christ. He joins in issuing the invitation. This work in in keeping with the role of the Counselor Jesus described in John 14:13-16. On countless occasions when the missionary or the evangelist preaches the heart so that the Word, the Holy Spirit comes and prepares the converted. Christ’s bride, the church is also to join in the invitation. To be faithful to its calling, the church must into the world to share Christ’s invitation with people. This invitation is still current and all must understand it is open to everyone!