Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Bids Us Shine"1 (Lyrics)
Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (ESV)
We might wish sometimes that Jesus were still here on earth in human form. It would be absolutely wonderful to see Him today, to ask Him questions, know that He was listening to our prayer requests, and get spoken answers from Him. How much easier it would be, we might think, to believe in Him then. Why couldn't God have let Jesus stay, fully human, on this earth?
Obviously, God knew what He was doing. How could Christianity have become a movement that reached around the world if Jesus were locked into a human body? Instead, He needed to release His Spirit in the people who opened to Him. He sent us a helper. "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." (John 14:26 ESV) He never really left. His Spirit is with us today.
Jesus came, long ago, to revitalize a movement that God had started centuries before with Noah. Take a look at the map of the world. When we were in Israel on a cruise, we could see that Israel is central to so many countries, and as the apostles gave their lives for Him, Jesus' message spread and spread. Jesus' Spirit was with them long ago, and is with us today. In today's verse, Jesus told them, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8 ESV)
Yes, thankfully, Jesus is not restricted to being in only one place in bodily form, but the Spirit of Jesus is here with us, world-wide, and is the key to the dynamic spread of the gospel throughout the world. Sadly, a life without Jesus' Spirit within is lifeless and selfish. Let's take a moment now to ask Him into our lives. He will give us power and direction. This is why Jesus ascended to heaven, that we all might attain "to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13 NIV). Let's pray for each other as Christ's Spirit calls us into the kind of wholeness that brings peace, as we love Him and one another.
Prayer: We look to You constantly, O Lord, for spiritual strength. Through faith in Your presence, You fill us with the grace of the Holy Spirit. In Your power, we spread Your Word, and share Your love in all we do. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.