Empowerment to Witness
Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts of the Apostles 1:4-8 NLT
This was the last conversation Jesus had with His followers before He ascended back to heaven. This conversation was after His death and resurrection. The disciples are so pumped; they were ready to see Jesus overthrow Rome and set up the kingdom of Israel. After all they had heard and seen the past three years, they were still looking for a physical kingdom.
Jesus knew they needed the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to understand His kingdom was not of this world. Jesus called this empowerment the baptism with the Holy Spirit, an empowerment that would make them His witnesses everywhere.
We are no different than the early apostles. We need the Holy Spirit to be our Teacher and Guide. We need the Spirit to help us understand what is going on and guide us with the right words to speak and the right time to say them.
As I have been asking the Holy Spirit to guide and empower me to be a more effective witness, it is amazing the opportunities I suddenly have. As I write this devotion, I’m thinking about my day yesterday. In my morning prayer time, I asked God to help me see more opportunities around me.
At the gym, I started a conversation with a young man. I found out he had attended our church at one time, but life got busy with two jobs and lots going on, so he wasn’t in church at the moment. I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me that this was a divine opportunity, so I asked questions about his life. He shared that recently his girlfriend had ended their relationship. That led to an opportunity to have prayer together about his heart and next step in life. A divine appointment in a gym.
If we ask the Holy Spirit to show us opportunities, they will come.
Holy Spirit, I need You to empower me to be more effective in my witness. Help me see those moments You have prepared. Help me to have the boldness to speak Your truth in love.
Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying to you based on today’s reading.