FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2014
EMPOWERED TO WITNESS – 4
April 21, 2014
Today’s reading: Acts 2:14-33
Peter said in his Pentecost sermon, “God raised him up” (v.24a). Jesus is risen, and this is the good news we proclaim. “God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses.” (v.32). The disciples testified to the resurrection because they actually witnessed his being alive. The listeners to Peter “both see and hear.” (v.33b). The disciples actually saw, while we just hear. But having heard, we in faith also see. And both the disciples at that time, and the disciples today, are all called to witness.
Now “Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him in your midst” (v.22b). Jesus is God, but we are not. How can we effectively witness to him? Well, Jesus said that as the Father sent him, so he sends us. How was he sent by the Father? “Exalted at the right hand of God, he received the promise of the holy Spirit from the Father and poured it forth” (v.33a). Jesus was empowered by the Spirit of God, which he himself poured forth. Then Jesus sent the promise of the Father upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, and they were clothed with power from on high. They experienced the infilling of the Holy Spirit, which enabled them to effect an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their work and witness.
The prophet Joel had prophesied, “‘It will come to pass in the last days,’ God says, ‘that I will pour out a portion of my spirit upon all flesh.’” (v.17a). Using us as instruments, God will be at work. “And I will work wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below” (v.19a). With signs and wonders, with doing even greater works than Jesus did, we proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus in the power of the Spirit, “and it shall be that everyone shall be saved who calls on the name of the Lord.” (v.21).
There is no time to lose. The times are critical. Souls are at risk. We are in the end times, and we need to do our work with zeal and passion, “before the coming of the great and splendid day of the Lord” (v.20b).
You have already been empowered to witness. So go.
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