"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
We recharge our devices all the time so that we can keep functioning. Modern life is a culture of recharging, but we need to personally too. Some people drain us, some situations drain us and church is like our weekly recharging station. This empowers us to be the best version of ourselves. Two thousand years ago when the Holy Spirit left heaven and came to a bunch of fishermen, they changed the world!
In the Acts verse, Jesus says “but” meaning that what comes next contrasts with what was before. This is like when you plug in your phone and it says there is an update – you need to stay plugged in while it’s downloading the update. We are the same; we need to stay connected to the Holy Spirit as He transforms us, improving things.
Jesus also says “you shall receive power” because laying down your life all on your own strength is not possible. The Holy Spirit enables us to live life God’s way. This power is so “you shall be my witnesses”. Don’t absorb a selfish lifestyle into being a Christian, because the power of the Holy Spirit isn’t just for you. If it doesn’t flow, like a river, it stagnates. Whatever you have is for giving away: your time, your smiles, your opportunities, your encouragement, your finances can all be shared with others. You gain when you give, but that in itself can become a selfish motivation. As a Christian, my fulfilment comes from you being blessed. If you look at some people’s social media, it is all selfies, leaving you to wonder if they have anyone else in their life. Put other people in your frame because this Christian life does not belong to you, but to God and He has destined you for global impact, in giving it away. As a member of C3 this is already happening as we plant churches all around the world.
In Jude (1:16-20), we are compared to those who have nothing good to say. Why spend your life on the internet arguing with strangers? Anything that has value will be mocked, we are warned, so don’t give negativity any airtime – don’t “take” offense. We have so much good news to pour into other people’s lives! It’s all in the Bible. Be a builder not a critic. When we pray in the Holy Spirit, we are plugging into our power source.
Some further advice from Paul: stir up the gifts you have (2 Timothy 1:6), don’t let the things you are good at slide. Get back into the habit of using those gifts! Remind people of what we already know so that we do not neglect our gifts and calling (1 Timothy 4:14). These things are not given to us by the Holy Spirit to hoard, but we are blessed to be a blessing. The Holy Spirit comes to bring deliverance to other people (Isaiah 61:1-3) as we follow Jesus’ example. Take what He gives you and use it to bless others.
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT
- Have you had an experience you can share about trying to live the Christian life in your own strength?
- Are there areas of your life where you are seeking a Holy Spirit “upgrade”?
- Is there a gift which you have been neglecting that you can stir up once again?
- Pray specifically for wisdom in giving things away to those who need Jesus: do those in your world need your time/encouragement/friendship?