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You Shall be My Witnesses

Spreading the Gospel Message

If social media, or YouTube, or podcasting were around in the days of the disciples it sure would have made their task a whole lot easier. But instead, they had to travel — by foot — to spread the message of the gospel so that everyone would hear it. As Jesus ascended into heaven, He told the disciples in Acts 1:8, “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.” The disciples were the ones who had an eyewitness account of all that occurred in the life of Jesus and the only way His story would be told was through the mouths of those disciples whom He had called to be His witnesses.

Receiving Power

There are many kinds of power. There is natural power, such as solar power and lightning storms. We also have natural forces such as tornadoes, hurricanes, tidal wave, and earthquakes. There is political, financial, military, and informational power. Explosive power comes from guns, rocket engines, TNT, Dynamite, C-4, and the atom bomb. But no power can rival that which Paul encountered on the Road to Damascus — a power able to transform and redeem a soul from death to life. There’s only one power that can deliver, redeem, transform, and empower a human being: the Holy Spirit! If we would win this nation back to God or see a revival in America, we must go back to God’s original plan and be His witnesses.

Prior to the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came like a mighty rushing wind, He did not consistently reside with believers. This is why David prayed in Psalm 51:11, “Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.” Throughout the old testament, we find where the Spirit of God would empower a person for a time, but the Spirit did not indwell believers prior to Acts 2:2.

Wait for the Power

So Jesus instructed the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit. As they were all gathered together in one place, Acts 2:2 tell us that suddenly a sound came from heaven that was like a rushing mighty wind and it filled the whole house. Then there appeared divided tongues, like fire, and one sat upon each of them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Today, we might not get mighty rushing winds and tongues of fire that sit on us, but we do get the same powerful Holy Spirit at the moment that we ask Jesus to be our Savior. From that moment on, the Holy Spirit lives and dwells inside each believer, empowering them for the purpose God gives to them and guiding them throughout their lives.

We need to recognize that the power of the Holy Spirit is essential to being effective witnesses. In Luke 24:49, Jesus told the disciples that they would be his witnesses but that they were to stay in the city until they had been clothed with power. He knew they couldn’t do the task under their own power and so He would send them the Holy Spirit who would give them power. And in Acts 1:8 Jesus says that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them – then they will be His witnesses. It is this power of God given to us that sets Christianity apart from all other religions.

While the disciples had to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon them, we do not. We receive the Holy Spirit and all His power the moment we ask Jesus to be our Savior.

The Power of the Holy Spirit

In Genesis 1:2, the “Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” The Egyptians saw Him as a Pillar of fire separating them from God’s people. King Dave saw Him as the “precious anointing oil” which flowed down Aaron’s garments in Psalm 133:2. Isaiah saw him as a Royal Robe filling God’s temple. John the Baptist saw Him as a beautiful which dove which case and settled on Jesus at His baptism. Joel saw him as a gentle rain which would make righteousness grow (Joel 2:23). Peter and the disciples experienced Him as a Hurricane force wind rushing down in mighty torrents form heaven. Ezekiel and John saw him as a River of Living Waters flowing out of God’s temple.

What is the power of the Holy Spirit able to do? He formed the vast reaches of space. He created suns as large as our solar system and galaxies to numerous to know. He orders the universe and holds the stars in space. The Holy Spirit can suspend or supersede the laws of the universe. He is beyond the physical realm and doesn’t live in time. He is the “Spirit”, “Wind”, “Breath” of God. The Holy Spirit is the active Presence of God. And He lives inside of every believer, empowering them to go and tell the gospel message.

Same Power – Same Task

Just as the disciples were empowered and tasked with spreading the gospel message, so are we. Compared to the disciples, we have it much easier. A simple post of a Bible verse on social media and we’ve spread the gospel. When we live in a way that honors God and reflects His nature, we witness. When we praise God for what He has done in our lives, we are witnessing.

We live in a nation where we don’t have to fear (at least not yet) sharing our faith. The disciples however, ended up being tortured and martyred – yet still they spread the gospel. We really have no excuse for not being witnesses. Yet we act like we fear for our lives and keep our mouths clamped shut. We act like we have no Holy Spirit power. And for every missed opportunity to tell someone about Jesus, is a chance that person will spend eternity in hell. Go and witness!

Satan wants us timid and scared to share our faith. He wants us so concerned about what others will think that we choose to stay quiet. The next time you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you to share your faith, ask Him to empower you and make you as bold as the disciples. The only way the lost will find their way to Jesus, is if we tell them. Jesus said, “You shall be my witnesses.” Go and witness!

The Marching Orders

As Christians, we are part of the army of God and Jesus is our Commanding officer. The order has been issued! In Luke 24:45-47, Jesus said, “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” And here in Acts 1:8 Jesus repeated the command, saying, “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.” So when he issued the command, he also gave us the power of the Holy Spirit to carry out that command.

Jesus also commissioned us to be his witnesses. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus said, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” So remember that whenever you witness to someone, Jesus is there with you. Go and witness!

Asking for help

Jesus knew that living for Him and being His witness would not be easy. Part of the job of the Holy Spirit is to intercede and pray for us. In Romans 8:26-27, Paul tells us, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

So before you witness, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Ask Him to prepare the heart of the person you will witness to and make them receptive to the gospel message. Ask Him to bind up Satan so that He will have no power over you or the person to whom you will witness. And ask him to give you boldness and to put His words in your mouth. Lastly, ask him to intercede and pray for you as your share the gospel message. With His help, we can go and witness!

No One Left Behind

In movies, we often hear soldiers say they will not leave a man behind. We need to have the same mentality in a spiritual sense. One day, Jesus will come again and all of us who have believed in Him as our Savior will be instantly gone. Those left behind will be the ones that either we didn’t witness to or chose to reject the gospel message. Who do you know that will be left behind after the rapture? Go and witness!

If we loved our neighbors as Jesus loves us, we wouldn’t want one single person in hell or left behind in the rapture. If we understood the horror of hell, we wouldn’t want anyone there. And if we understood the calamities that await those left behind, we’d want none left behind. We will one day stand before God and have to give an account for how we lived. Should He ask you, “Who did you witness to while on earth?” How would you answer Him? What if He started reading off the names of those He placed in your life to witness to, but you chose to keep quiet? Would that list be long or short? How many of those died lost and will spend eternity in hell because you were quiet? How many people will approach you in heaven and say, “Thank you for telling me about Jesus?”

You Will Be My Witnesses

Our Commander and King of kings has issued our marching orders. Our orders are to be His witnesses. We may not be eyewitnesses to Jesus time on earth like the disciples were, but we do have the Bible and the account of the eyewitnesses Jesus appointed. Not only do we have their eyewitness account, but we are eyewitnesses to what Jesus has done in our own lives. We are eyewitnesses to what our life was like before Jesus was our Savior and how He changed us, cleansed us, redeemed us, and made us new. When we witness to others, we simply tell them what our life was like before knowing Jesus, how we came to know Him, and how He has changed us since He saved us. It’s that easy. So be a witness today. Don’t be responsible for leaving someone behind. Go and witness!

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#beMywitnesses #tellsomeoneaboutJesus #nooneleftbehind

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