Wednesday, October 11
Scripture: Nehemiah 5-6, Psalm 146, Luke 24
Luke 24:47-49 and in his name the message about repentance and the forgiveness of sins must be preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you.”
These verses coupled with Acts 1:8 are Luke’s version of the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:18-20).
Acts 1:8 But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
In these two passages, Luke tells us that the disciples are charged to wait for the Holy Spirit who will empower them to be witnesses of Jesus to all nations beginning in Jerusalem. They are to represent Jesus and in His name proclaim the message of repentance (turning from self and sin to God) and forgiveness of sins. In other words, they are to make disciples. They are to help people find and follow Jesus.
In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit fills them and they immediately proclaim the message of Jesus. The crowd responds, “What shall we do?” And Peter says:
Acts 2:38 Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
This is what we are to be about. Whatever good we may do in the name of Jesus, we must also be doing this: proclaiming His message of repentance and forgiveness, making disciples, helping people find and follow Jesus. This was and is the church’s mission. If we fail at this, we have failed, no matter how much other good we may accomplish.
The book of Acts, also written by Luke as a sequel to his gospel, is the story of the disciples carrying out this mission. It stands as an example of what we’re to be about. We are on mission, making disciples, taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Prayer: Lord, empower us and send us and use us to accomplish your purposes. May Your Kingdom come and Your will be done in us.