Acts 1 – “Get ready for the blessing”

Could you use a blessing in your life? Are you struggling with a lack of direction? Are your relationships complicated? Are you afraid? Are you wishing there were some way for you to make a difference in the lives of the people around you?

Jesus has promised a blessing to His followers – the gift of the very Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Father which also dwells in the Son will come to dwell in the church.

  1. You have to believe that the blessing is coming – Believe that Jesus has already called and saved you and given you a ministry in His name for the growth of the Kingdom
  2. Remember what you already have received: a) A calling, b) Baptism of faith and repentance, c) Evidence of God’s power and Christ’s faithfulness, d) Fellowship with the risen Christ
  3. Hear again that Christ desires to bless you to be a blessing – that the church might bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus beginning in your home, and extending throughout the earth.
  4. Go back to the basics of faith: come together as the community of faith, and pray in hope and expectation – consistent with what Jesus has promised to you.
  5. Tend to organizational matters – they are important. Even in this, though, leave room for the Holy Spirit to work. Where at Forest Grove do we intentionally leave room for the Holy Spirit in our business and administrative tasks?

As you are waiting and praying, how should you pray? About what? In what form? Again here, the Lord’s Prayer makes a great starting point.

I expect that Luke understood this promise to be not just for the Apostles, but through them to the whole church. Luke tells continues here the story he started in his gospel, ending with Paul as the primary witness for Jesus to the ends of the earth. And if Jesus could use Paul, he can use you also.
We will see in the coming months, as we study The Acts of the Apostles, how the Holy Spirit furthered the spread of the Gospel. For now, several important points occur to me here:

  1. Luke’s story shows that God’s love is not just for insiders. The community of faith began among Jews, yes, but throughout Acts we will see it moving out into the world.
  2. The ministry of the kingdom is likewise not only for insiders. Paul, a violent oponent of Christ and His church, becomes one of His greatest advocates. If helping to execute Christians does not disqualify one from being a minister for Christ, can anything?

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