Posts Tagged ‘Acts 1:8’

Advancing in the Nations

In the Great Commission, Jesus came and spoke to the remaining Apostles, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”  (Mt. 28:18-20)

  • “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Lk. 24:49)
  • “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

The Great Commission was an Apostolic Mandate designed to delegate authority for Kingdom Advancement. The oupouring of the Holy Spirit was the release of power that would accomplish God’s mandate. Without this authorization and spiritual power working together there would be no spiritual progress beyond Jerusalem and no impact in the Nations. But because of it; the Church is a triumphant people fully engaged and fully equipped by the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!

This is our Mandate…

To Go… in the authority and power of our King - Jesus. Christ is Head of the Church and the True Light of Salvation, yet He is also the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. He is the One in whom we hope for fulfilling our call and reaching the unreached.

It Requires Authority & Power:

The Apostolic Mandate cannot function on human strength, it is designed to necessitate an outpouring of authority and power from heaven. We follow Jesus as Lord of the breakthrough, who breaks us out of confined places and leads with Kingdom influence into all the World. This was the purpose for waiting for the Promise of the Father in the earliest moments after the resurrection, to establish the platform for advancement. This was not some optional request, but a central focus for the followers… to wait for power was and still remains the key to success in the future purposes of God, in Christ.

The Prophet Micah says it like this: “The One who breaks open will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate and go out by it; Their King will pass before them, with the Lord at their head.” (Micah 2:13)

The Prophet Joel said: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29)

The Apostle Peter adds to Joel’s words: “And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:18). Note - prophecy is a forward speaking, declaration of God’s purposes empowered by the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is the voice of Kingdom Advancement!

The Early Church Advanced:

  • Beginning in Jerusalem: “So those who received the word were baptized and there were added that day about 3,000 souls.” (Acts 2:41)
  • Advancing beyond the City of Samaria: “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word.” (Acts 8:4)
  • Among Gentiles of Caesarea: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those  who heard the Word.” (Acts 10:44)
  • Into Regions of Galatia: “So the churches were strengthened in the faith and they increased in numbers daily.” (Acts 16:5)
  • Throughout Regions of Ephesus: “So the Word of the Lord grew and prevailed mightily.” (Acts 19:20)

Defining Desiny:

Under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew and Luke are defining destiny. One Apostle lays out the mandate while the other lays out the keys to its fulfillment. They are laying the platform for how we must see our future. Luke speaks to us of the triumphs of the Gospel of the Kingdom, because we must understand where our strength comes from. The Battle Is the Lord’s and we are His volunteers, following our advancing King. We must not just settle for an assignment… we must become people of truimph who take the next step, under the authority and power of the Holy Spirit.

  • “…from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Mt. 11:12)

These are the Days of Great Purpose – Where a People of Triumph… lay hold of their Desiny!

Advancing Kingdom Life

Evangelism is the Kingdom of God advanced through our lives!

The Apostle James said, “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works’. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (Jms 2:17-18)

If we only proclaim the Gospel with our lips and not our lives, we are hypocrites and our faith is dead… ineffective. This is why it is so important for Christians to continually live with a vision for Kingdom Advancement. When we daily experience God’s Glory in our lives we begin to be revived and transformed from the inside out. The freedom of having a Kingdom mindset will enable us to joyfully speak of God to those within our sphere of influence. We will end the argument that aims to get people to agree with us and begin to impact the world with a flow of life.

Fear Factor:

The Devil uses intimidation to discourage us from telling our story. I often hear people say, “How can I tell anyone about Jesus when I’m not gifted at evangelism?” At that moment we must stop and apply the Truth of the Gospel to our own soul. The Apostle Paul didn’t hang his head in shame when he was reminded of his own unique history and personal limitations. He spoke to his own soul about the nature of his relationship with Christ. His confidence before kings came from knowing that fruitfulness flowed from his intimacy with God, not his personal eloquence or human wisdom (1 Cor 2:1-5).

No Condemnation… not even a little bit!

“There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1). When clumsiness, unworthiness or shame overwhelm our soul we must preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to ourselves. Speak boldly; ”I am in Christ and He has made me righteous by faith in His blood! I take hold of His forgiveness and He washes away all sin and breaks every stronghold. His power works in me and is mine at this very moment. I’m God’s adopted Son! It is Christ who lives in me and I have inherited His boldness, because I carry His Spirit.”

Make the Grace Connection: (Eph 2:8-10)

Remind yourself, its not about “you”. I often pray over myself, under my breath or speak His Name out loud while I am driving. This is my way of staying in the flow of heaven’s resource… Glory (Phil 4:19). I am believing and receiving His grace spontaneously in those moments. It may sound silly, but I believe in laying my hand upon my own head and speaking a blessing over myself or asking God to anoint my head with fresh oil. I desire the overflow of God’s Presence to be seen upon my life, even before I speak a word.

The Holy Spirit:

This discipline has the power to radically change my focus, because it puts the weight of pressure back upon the Holy Spirit. He is My Helper, the Voice of Conviction and Discerner of the Heart. He clothes me in the Father’s Glory. Its the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us that makes us witnesses in the world (Acts 1:8). He is the Spirit of Grace and Truth, but He is also the boldness we need to testify. Welcoming the Holy Spirit’s leadership is essential to any success in the Kingdom, especially evangelism.

Go into the World:

Go for it and proclaim the Kingdom Message to others… remember that someone had to tell you while you were still in the world. That same Kingdom reality that has changed you, has the power to save, deliver and set all men free from sin and intimidation. Speaking the Truth to ourselves; that is our ”soulish man”, sets our perceptions on the love of Christ and releases the anointing for breakthrough in others. Jesus is our source of life, not our eloquence or ability to formulate an argument (1 Cor 1:30). It is Christ in you that reflects God’s Glory (Col 1:27) and it is by His power activated and flowing, that you become effective in destroying the works of the devil (1 Jn 3:8).

Jesus is our model: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38).

Real Anointing

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God,” (2 Cor 1:21)

No question, it is God who anoints us with the Holy Spirit and establishes us together as ministers of the Gospel. We have been set apart with an incredible calling. We all have a ministry; for some its hospitality, for others intercession or evangelism… yet for every one of us there is an anointing that accompanies the gift and makes it effective in the world around us. God is dreaming big dreams and asking us to partner with Him in fulfilling His purpose upon the Earth.

Obeying God puts a demand upon our lives.

We must break out of small places and small thinking. The Prophet Zechariah said, “Not by might, nor by power; but by My Spirit says the Lord of Hosts” (Zech 4:6). This amazing declaration gets to the point… the impossible can only be accomplished by the Spirit of the Lord. Yet God does it through the human instrument, frail and incapable. God anoints and commissions His Child with the Holy Spirit and power.

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be witnesses to Me… to the end of the Earth.” (Acts 1:8)

If we aim to carry the real anointing of the Holy Spirit, we must recognize the fact that God is not looking for talent or skills. He is looking for those who have made themselves available to be entrusted with the eternal message of Christ… “the Anointed One”. He is looking for someone He can wear like a glove and use to demonstrate His glory.

That Same Anointing

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God.” (2 Cor. 1:21)

Carrying the same “Christ Anointing” is the spiritual reality of what being a Christian is all about! We should be familiar with how the anointing fits upon our lives and carry it faithfully everywhere we go! It is the Holy Spirit’s power poured out (Acts 1:8) that breaks yokes (Isa 10:27) and destroys the works of the devil (1 Jn 3:8). Yet this will require a lifestyle of reaching forward consistently for more of Christ.

What to Expect:

Its not information, but power… life transforming power. Its not inspiration, its pure spiritual strength. Its not desperate, its a supernatural walk of faith. We trust in God who still does miracles, so we must move with authority and confidence in God’s will. We are not working out our religious service, we are reaching forward to carry something that rests upon us… just as it rested upon Jesus (Jn 14:12). It will feel like a readiness on the inside and a sense of purpose on the outside.

Revival Fire:

The flame that burns within our heart is fueled by that which we see through the eyes of faith. We are reaching and gaining a more excellent prize than gold or human favor. In carrying the prize, we must guard ourselves from the love of selfish ambition and people pleasing. Our reaching forward is to lay hold of Christ…

He is the Desire of the Nations (Hag 2:7)
…and the Hope of Glory (Col 1:27).

Can I Get a Witness?

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you. So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” (Lk. 8:38-39)

Jesus sent him away saying, “Can I get witness… would you stay and testify to all that God has done for you?” We must catch this! God has designed that the Gospel be expressed through the vehicle of our testimony. When we show up with a fresh word of God’s goodness, extraordinary things happen; power is released to lead people to faith in Jesus.

The word “testimony” is a legal term. The dictionary says it’s an “outward sign”, “evidence in support of a fact or statement” and/or “proof”. Our personal testimony stands as proof of the truth of the Gospel… evidence that it is life-changing Good News. The root word for testimony, comes from a word meaning “witness”. Our testimony provides a witness to others of what Jesus has done for us. And what He has done for us, He can do for others!

More than Words:

Testimonies speak of encounter! Your testimony is the story of how you first encountered Jesus! Lives are changed when we encounter Christ. Accepting Jesus, as Lord and Savior calls us into a new realm of reality (Jn. 1:12). When we tell our story and testify to the change that happens when sins get washed away, our experience powerfully illustrates the Gospel Message. Its good news to those who feel overwhelmed by their frailty and it offers hope to those who cannot save themselves. The ongoing stories of God’s Divine intervention in our lives have tremendous power to stir faith in the heart of the seeker.

Jesus expects us to become a witness (Acts 1:8)… talk about Him!

  • How Jesus impacts your life every day…
  • Answers you have experienced through prayer…
  • What God has spoken to you…
  • How you have seen Him at work in your life each day.

Through hearing someone’s experience in God’s grace, we relate to the spiritual thought that God is moving and active by way of the Holy Spirit. In fact, often a friend’s witness is the only clear explanation of the Gospel people will listen to. Most of us want to know what is taking place in our lives. What it requires of us is that we “keep it real”. People are not fooled by the hype… and they are not really scared by the “mystery”… but if they are expected to believe what we tell them; then it needs to be truth! God will empower the Truth!

The Psalmist David said, “He has put a new song in my mouth, praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.” (Ps. 40:3)

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