April 12, 2012

His Power and a New Purpose

John 20:21-23, 28-29

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
—John 19:29


We return today to the disciples who were “overjoyed when they saw the Lord” on the evening of the first Easter (John 20:20).

Jesus gave his followers his power. He breathed on them, saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” The same creating Spirit who shaped the world at the beginning of time is now given to Jesus’ disciples. The Spirit enabled them to say, “I can do all … through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). That is how this motley crew of followers went out and turned the world upside down!

Have you ever run when you should have stood firm? Have you ever kept silent when you should have spoken out? God gives his Spirit to empower us with “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23) as we live in his service.

Jesus gives us a new purpose. “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Jesus sends us out into the world with his authority and with his message of healing and renewal. He sends you and me into the world to minister to its needs with our love.

Jesus is alive, and he desires to pour out his gifts on the world. Believe it, and be overjoyed as his followers to share the good news of Jesus with others.

Gracious Spirit, thank you for coming into the world to live the life of Christ in us and through us. Pour out your gifts on our lives so that we may minister in Jesus’ name. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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