Archive for September 1st, 2010

Wait First

As I transition from Luke’s writings of the account of Jesus’ life to the account of the formation of the church, my goal is to capture what Luke captured as he did the same. He doesn’t write as it happens, it has already happened. He labors to leave us an account of what he saw—what he thought was significant for us to know.

Having read through Acts before I started my study of all that he had written, and knowing that he had actually seen all that he would write about, I wondered if there would be hints in his gospel that would lead to the same point he made in his account of the early church. There were more than just hints. It was as if he had two chances to make one point. That point is ‘power’.

Luke closes his gospel with Jesus’ final time alone with His disciples—with His final words to them. I’ll let them speak for themselves. Luke 24:48, 49 “You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

He begins Acts by picking up where he left off. It’s hard to beat how he put it. I’ll let him tell it. Acts 1:1-8 “In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 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.”

I catch myself sometimes trying to figure out what the Lord’s plans for me are. Similarly here the disciples ask, ‘Lord, are You getting ready to do this’? His response spoke to me when I read it. It is not for me to know what He will do when; it is for me to have power for what He is doing now.

They are about to get this power. I find it interesting that as much as He told them they were to be His witnesses of all they had seen, He equally told them to wait until they had this power before they started. I am convinced that too many are going out too soon. There is too much emphasis on going out and not enough emphasis on waiting first. Lord, help us to get it right.


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