Focal Passages: Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:6-8; 2:41-47
I like a story with a good ending, especially if I pay big bucks to watch it at the theater. Whether the story ends with a good laugh, a meaningful cry, or a profound sense of justice, we like to see that it was worth our investment of time and money. However, most stories prove to be mere entertainment when we get to the end. Once the laughing, crying, or cheering end we sense the need to move on to something else. When we recount the atoning work of Jesus, we remember that we don’t need to move on to something else; we need to move on with what we’ve seen and heard!
Just before His ascension Jesus commissioned His disciples to take the gospel story everywhere. Even before the New Testament was penned, He told them that all of Scripture pointed to Him. As we take up the Great Commission, we must remember to give hearers the whole redemption story and not just a few personal applications. Our International Mission Board missionaries regularly use chronological Bible stories to show that Jesus is the focus of scripture.
Like the disciples, we have a tendency to focus on what we don’t know. While we want to cure our spiritual ignorance as much as possible, we will always have a lack of understanding in some areas (Deuteronomy 29:29). Jesus clarified what his disciples would do: 1) Receive power from the Holy Spirit. 2) Be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. In 2013 our calling remains the same. We cannot shirk our responsibility by putting the work on “professional ministers.” The power of the Holy Spirit still leads pastors and all other members of the body to take the gospel we know and work together for the common purpose of making disciples. When we do, new churches will form that demonstrate the unity of purpose that God’s Spirit provides. May the Holy Spirit give us a fresh anointing and a fresh vision for the work of the gospel at home and around the world!