Acts Devotionals

The Gospel to All Nations

We are going to work through the Book of Acts but are in the process of setting a platform for Acts. We have looked at some material from Luke’s Gospel to observe the flow from the Incarnation of Messiah Jesus to Him Instructing His disciples before His return to heaven. We return to:

Lk 24:46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 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.” 50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God

1) Preach the Gospel to all nations. Yesterday we broke down the Gospel Message of which the disciples were eyewitnesses to (v48), into understandable parts to get a handle on verses 46-47. This Gospel Jesus says will be preached to all nations and by Him saying the disciples were eyewitnesses of all the ingredients of the Gospel … it meant that they would be the preachers of the Gospel! Who better to do this than those who were with Jesus for just over three years, experiencing His teaching, preaching, healing, exorcisms and miracles … and then the Cross, the Tomb followed by the Resurrection? They lived the Gospel, felt the Gospel, experienced the Gospel, witnessed the Gospel and now they needed to preach the Gospel. You and I are not eyewitnesses but we have a firsthand experience of being born again. Coming to faith in Jesus Christ is personal. You know what happened. The experience of being totally lost in sin and the world and then being transformed into a living being, knowing God and His pardon, acceptance and salvation. One does not need to be theologically trained to take this personal experience and share it with others, especially the lost. I would want to think that most evangelistic ground work is done by people who have been soundly saved. You got it! You are also preaching the Gospel through living and sharing your faith and experience in Jesus Christ.

2) Jesus promised to send what the Father promised. What did the Father promise? The Holy Spirit! In verse 49a, we have the Three persons of the Triune God mentioned:

Lk 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised.

“I” is God the Son, the Lord Jesus. “Send” and “promised” refers to God the Holy Spirit and Father is God the Father.

Jn 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

The Counselor who is the Holy Spirit, is the Spirit of Truth. With Jesus returning to heaven, the Holy Spirit could be everywhere all the times. Unlike Jesus in the flesh, the Spirit is not limited by a human body, only being in once place at a time. He is with all God’s people everywhere … all the time. The reason the disciples needed to wait for the Spirit is because they …

3) The disciples needed to wait for empowerment from God. The Spirit would empower. He is the “dunamis” of God. The Holy Spirit is the dynamite of God. Where dynamite could be used in a destructive way, the Spirit is used by God in a constructive way. He will empower the disciples to explode into communities, preaching the Gospel, which will blow away faith in the previous, now obsolete Old Covenant, installing faith in the New Covenant in Jesus’ Blood. Just before Jesus speaks John 14:16 following, He says:

Jn 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

Love and obedience are two keys that unlock the power that flows from the Holy Spirit to and through the believer who shares (preachers) the Gospel. We will see Him coming at Pentecost in Acts 2, empowering the disciples to go and preach. Without the Holy Spirit there will not be the New Birth (no one would be born again) and there would be no empowerment to serve. The Spirit inspires service and He empowers service. Without Him the Church would never have pushed beyond Jerusalem … yet with Him it pushed to the ends of the known world in the First Century … and today we are literally at the ends of all the world. However, this needs to be done and accomplished in every generation!

4) Jesus blessed them. Jesus is the final High Priest. Although He replaces the Aaronic High Priesthood, He still uses the “blessing” upon His people.

Nu 6:24 “The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

All the “blessing” ingredients for services are included.

(1) The blessings keeps you.

(2) Allows God’s smile upon you giving you grace.

(3) With God’s eyes upon you, you will know His peace. Aaron’s blessing was for the faithful in service. This was true of Jesus. He sends the disciples on a mission, empowers them by His Spirit and promises to be present with them throughout their ministry.

5) During the blessing, Jesus ascends into heaven. This miraculous departure might seem strange to us earthlings, but to God who created earth’s gravity, made gravity strong enough to prevent people and other matter from floating off into space, yet defied His own laws of gravity … moving effortlessly through these forces … going through space and into His abode, outside of creation. Maybe you have never thought of it like this. Where is heaven? Outside of creation. How large is creation? Creation is a few billion light years across. I wonder how long it would take traveling at the speed of light to get from one side to the other. Jesus as God operated outside of the limitation governing our movements. He is God and rules all of creation from glory.

6) The effects upon the disciples was worship, joy and praise. Once salvation is experienced and the privilege of service instilled, there is joyful praise and worship.

Almighty God, blessed be Your holy name. Thank You for saving me to serve You. Graciously grant me Your Spirit in greater measure to be more effective. Amen.

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