Lent Devotional: Acts 1:1-11
by Jonathan Haefs
Acts 1:1-11 (click here)
In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.
[Jesus] said to them… “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.” (Acts 1:1-2 and 8)
The book of Acts was written by Luke. It is the second volume to his previous work you might have heard of… the Gospel of Luke.
Both books were addressed to a man named Theophilus… but honestly, that is not the most interesting thing we learn in the first verse of Acts 1. No… Luke says something striking with the words, “In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus BEGAN to do and teach.”
All that Jesus BEGAN to do and teach? Like… Jesus is still doing and teaching? How?
Hasn’t Jesus already ascended to be victoriously seated at the right hand of the Father? So how is the book of Acts supposed to be about his continued “doing and teaching.” Luke’s answer could not be clearer… Jesus will continue to do and teach by the power of the Holy Spirit at work through his followers… through us.
That’s right. Jesus works and speaks through you!
Don’t believe me? That’s fine… but do you believe him? Do you believe Jesus when he speaks these powerful words of promise, “you WILL receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you WILL be my witnesses…” do you believe that?
That is what the rest of the book of Acts is about… and every page confirms that Christ’s promise is true… and it is true for you.
Step out in faith!
Speak in faith!
Jesus didn’t promise that you would “feel” like the Holy Spirit is empowering you… he promised that he would! I know that in my own life, I have often felt like a failure only to found out later different ways in which the Spirit was at work. He actually loves to work through our weaknesses in order that it may be all the more obvious that things are happening by his power, not ours!
Do you feel weak, like you cannot speak for Christ? That doesn’t disqualify you! It qualifies you all the more… for the Spirit loves to work through weakness!
Christ has chosen weak vessels such as you and me to work his all-surpassing power through! What a treasure that is! 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
Jesus is still doing and teaching… and he does it powerfully through our weakness. Treasure that by living it in faith!