Proofs + Power + Promise + Prayer
Acts 1 begins the post ascension life of Jesus. He brought the kingdom near with his words and miracles. He brought sin and death under his reign through His death and resurrection. Now he empowers his disciples to spread the Gospel to the known world. What did he give them that drove this mission forward?
Proofs – Jesus is Alive
“he presented himself alive with many convincing proofs” Acts 1:3. They had seen a man die a traumatic death and come back to life. That is an extremely motivating proof of the validity of a thing. We need less that that to be motivated to do a lot of things. The reality of the risen Jesus, alive today, should motivate us still.
Power – The Holy Spirit
“you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you” Acts 1:8. Jesus’ teaching and victory over sin and death was a lot. His promised presence through the Holy Spirit would add great power, authority, boldness, wisdom, and so much more to their witness. Still today, the power of the Holy Spirit should be a game changer for our witness and works in the world.
Promise – Jesus Will Return
“this same Jesus… will come in the same way” Acts 1:11. As the disciples stood there looking up, an angel appeared and essentially said, “Don’t just stand there! He’s coming again! Get out there and get busy!” The promise that Jesus will return should give us a sense of assurance, but also urgency. Assurance of ultimate victory over evil. Urgency, because we have only a short time for people to hear and respond to his invitation to eternal life. No time to waste looking up at the clouds. We’ve got to get busy.
Prayer – Continually United
“They were all continually united in prayer” Acts 1:14. As they waited for the promised Holy Spirit, they united in prayer. And the early church continued to be united in prayer. They believed Jesus’ promises about prayer, demonstrated by their commitment to it. Prayer says that we know that we need the Lord. It’s not in our own power, but in dependence upon God that we go forward. Our commitment to prayer will say a lot about our belief in and commitment to the mission of Jesus.
- Proofs – Do you believe that Jesus is alive?
- Power – Do you know the power of the Holy Spirit?
- Promise – Do you live with the assurance and the urgency that Jesus will return?
- Prayer – Do you demonstrate a belief and dependence on God through prayer?
Armed with these things, the first disciples changed their world. Let’s do it again.