October 25, 2010

Do You Want Power?

Acts 1:1-9

[Be] strengthened with all power according to his glorious might …
Colossians 1:11


“You will receive power,” Jesus told his disciples before returning to heaven. And who wouldn’t want that? It’s natural to want power to get what we want, or to make people do this or that. We might also want power to heal the sick, to stop wars, and to end poverty—the list could go on and on.

Jesus promised to give his disciples power—but to do what? To be his witnesses. Without power, they wouldn’t be true witnesses of Jesus. So they had to wait for the Holy Spirit to come and give them that power.

What does it mean to be a witness of Jesus? It means telling people about him, and it takes wise and courageous power to know when and how to do that well.

But witnessing also means living a life that reflects the truth about Jesus—that he alone is our Lord, and that we do as he wants us to do.

And what does Jesus want us to do? He wants us to love our enemies, forgive one another, build up treasure in heaven rather than on earth, seek peace, show patience and kindness and compassion—again, the list could go on and on.

I need a power greater than my own to do any of that, don’t you? Thankfully we don’t have to wait for it—the Holy Spirit has already been given. We only have to be open to receive the Spirit’s power to work in us.

Dear Jesus, thank you for calling me to be your witness today. Fill me with your Spirit’s power to witness well. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

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