April 12, 2015

The Promise of Power

Acts 1:6-11

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

—  Acts 1:8

The book of Acts is the fascinating story of how Jesus, the risen Savior, continues his work on earth through his disciples and his church. This is the story of a small band of Jesus' followers who were able to keep witnessing in spite of persecution. Eventually the good news of Jesus spread throughout the Roman Empire, and it continues to reach toward "the ends of the earth" today.

The book of Acts poses some important questions for today's Christians and the church. "What was their secret? How could one sermon bring in 3,000 converts? Why are many churches today shrinking instead of growing? And why are we often reluctant witnesses?" The answer is found in today's verse, Acts 1:8. The secret of the early church was Jesus' promise to fill them with the Holy Spirit's power.

Today too the church and Christians everywhere can claim the promise of the Spirit's power. The apostle Peter said in his Pentecost sermon, "The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off" (Acts 2:39). When we claim that promise, we will be heard. Jesus said, "If you . . . know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:13). Claim his promise today for yourself and your church!

Lord and Savior, fill us with the power of your Spirit so that we can bring your good news everywhere. In your name, Amen.ar

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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