“But 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.”
Before Jesus left the Earth to ascend to His heavenly Father, He promised that the Holy Spirit would give power to his disciples. This power gave them the ability to preach the good news that God saves sinners to every tribe, tongue, and nation.
When Peter stood up for the first time in Acts 2, the Scripture says he lifted up his voice and addressed them. Here is Peter, who just a few chapters back, denied the Lord Jesus three times. He was publicly afraid to confess Jesus as His Lord and Savior.
Now, he is standing before a large crowd and convicting them of their sins. This is because, on the day of Pentecost, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. This is the power Jesus is talking about in Acts 1:8.
It’s amazing what the Holy Spirit can do for us. When we repent and get baptized for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38), the Holy Spirit comes upon us and dwells within us. The Spirit of God is our teacher, advocate, and counselor. He not only guides us but empowers us to fulfill the great commission.
When I was filled with the Holy Spirit twelve years ago, I remember having this inward desire to share Jesus with my friends, neighbors, and family members. In fact, every weekend I would go out to the bars and open-air preach to large crowds. While I was timid at first, God’s spirit gave me the courage to stand up and preach repentance and faith in Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is vital for our success. We can’t rely on our own power, wisdom, or eloquent speech to turn people to the Lord. Only God can convict. The Lord makes this clear in John 16:8:
“When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:”
Trusting in the Lord’s strength rather than our own is the key to sharing the gospel and obeying the great commission. Jesus told his followers to go into all the world and make disciples of every nation, baptizing them, and reassuring them that the Holy Spirit will be with them always, even to the end of the age. Are you allowing God’s Spirit to work through you?
What does this look like in modern times? First, God calls us to be holy. When we live a righteous lifestyle, people will know we are different. This gives us an opportunity to show our genuine relationship with Jesus.
If they notice you don’t gossip, slander, cuss or participate in their lewdness, this may open a door for you to share how God has rescued you from these sins. Your attitude should always be full of humility; never should you act “holier than thou.” Otherwise, you are just another Pharisee.
Second, God calls us to be witnesses to his majesty. Do you remember the first time you asked Jesus to become your Lord and Savior? It changed everything about you. The fruit of the spirit came into your heart, and you began to pour out the love of Christ. God wants us to share this with others. He tells us this in 1 Peter 3:15:
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Third, God desires that we make disciples. What exactly is a disciple? A disciple is one who is a “follower” of another person. Jesus is who we follow. This is why I entitled my website conform to Jesus because we are to be holy as He is holy. Paul tells us this in Romans 12:2
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Is there anything holding you back from sharing Jesus to your sphere of influence? Fear? Rejection? Loss of friendship? God does warn us that if we follow Him, we will suffer persecution. At the same time, he encourages us to pick up our cross and follow him. In fact, God tells us to rejoice when we go through various trials because the testing of our faith will produce perseverance. And that perseverance will lead to being mature in Christ.
Trust me, following Jesus, is worth it. Making disciples is why we live and breathe. Our purpose on this Earth is to give praise to our God and extend His kingdom to every tribe, tongue, and nation. It’s not because we serve a dictator God. It’s because we serve an omnibenevolent God who is so wonderful.
When you find buried treasure, don’t you want to share this good news with the world? The same is true with God, except he is much greater than gold. He is infinitely valuable. Psalm 19:10 declares it best:
“The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true, being altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.”
As you meditate on Acts 1:8, remember that God has given you the Holy Spirit. He is your advocate, teacher, comforter, and guide. Rely on Him. Trust in God’s Spirit to lead you through this dark and treacherous world.
Furthermore, remember that God wants you to make disciples. Therefore, we must learn and grow in our faith so we can impart wisdom to future generations. Being part of the church and sharing your gifts is essential to kingdom building. Making disciples starts at the local church first. Then it expands to the city, nation, and eventually to the end of the world. Let’s pray.
Dear Heavenly Father, give us a spirit of boldness, a passion to share Christ, and a love for the world. Revive our hearts and minds so we can make a kingdom impact. Deliver us from temptation and the evil one. Protect us so we can be holy and righteous. May your kingdom come. May your will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’s name, I pray, Amen.