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We Have Received Power – Part 2

power to witness transforming mission

read “We Have Received Power” – Part 1

We Need Help

For me, the more important something is, the harder it is to say. When something is profoundly important to me, the first thing to go is my voice.

I confess you to you, that for me to witness, to say something about God, about Jesus, or about my faith, I need help. For me to put my faith into action, I need something more than my good intentions and the backing of the crowd.

When I read about Jesus and the work of those early disciples from Luke’s perspective, I see that Jesus promised to give me and you the power to witness. That means that you and I, to be faithful to our call as followers of Jesus, we will have to witness past a lot of obstacles, barriers, and silences.

Pentecost

On the Day of Pentecost, there was a lot of excitement. Simon Peter stood up and got carried away. He stretched out his arms and said, “For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” (Acts 2:39).

His message was all-inclusive.

It was for everyone.

A little later the Holy Spirit led him to the home of a Roman soldier, Cornelius. I can image Simon Peter saying, “Lord, I have never been in the home of an Italian, a Gentile, in all my life.” And God responds, saying, “Peter, on the Day of Pentecost you said…” And Peter replies, “O God, I was only preaching.”

We need help in our witness.

Casting Out Demons

Do you remember when one of the disciples said to him, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us”? Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.” (Luke 9:46-48) Were those early disciples separating themselves into groups of “who is for” and “who is against”?

We need help in our witness.

Teaching

Remember the story of Jesus teaching? There was a group of mothers bringing their babies to be blessed by Jesus.

When the disciples saw what was happening, they sternly ordered the mothers not to come to Jesus. But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” (Luke 18:15-17).

Was the early church trying to decide whether they should extend their witness to persons who could not teach, give, or who weren’t prospects for ministry? Was it too costly to include everyone?

We need help in our witness.

Baptizing

Remember Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch?

Deuteronomy 23:1, (Bias paraphrase) “Any man who by surgery or accident who cannot father children does not have a place in the assembly of God.” The scripture is clear.

Philip encounters the eunuch on his way to Jerusalem. The eunuch is reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asks him if he understands what he is reading. The eunuch replies, “How can I, unless someone guides me?”

Then he invited Philip to get in the chariot. Philip tells him about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch asked, “What is to prevent me from being baptized?” Philip baptizes him. (Acts 8:26-40).

Overcoming Barriers

How was it that those early disciples and the church moved past the barriers of race, gender, nation, and condition?

How were they able to witness past the barriers?

It was by the power of the Holy Spirit! And unless you and I have the power of the Holy Spirit to witness, we will give up in the face of difficulty.

That is the reason I need help. I need the power of the Holy Spirit to be a faithful witness to the resurrection.

Our Next Step

Please continue to pray that I will take people by the hand, walk them around the edges of their inheritance, tell them of the unsearchable riches of God’s love and grace, and then be quiet. I need help to be a witness. Pray that I will receive power to be a witness starting right where I am.

Remember, I am praying the same for you!

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