“It is not for you to know the times or periods…But you will receive power…” Even after Jesus’ resurrection the disciples still are concerned with things that Jesus sees more as distraction. “Is this when you will restore your kingdom?” Jesus refocuses them on the coming Spirit and the power to be witnesses to Christ in the world. What questions occupy your thoughts? What distracts you from the main purposes of God for your life?” Distracting thoughts and busyness are plentiful for us Lord; deliver us from distraction so we may be a powerful witness to Christ.
“Surely God is my salvation…make known his deeds.” Isaiah shows the vital connection between joy and thanksgiving of the individual experiencing God’s salvation and the natural flow of making known, proclaiming, and singing it to others. How can we encourage one another to share, sing, and give witness of our individual stories so that all in the congregation and beyond can know of God’s goodness? – Father, let us freely share the stories of your salvation in our lives, so that all may know you.
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place…All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit…” God chooses the time. His people come together in one place for His purposes. God’s Spirit empowers. It is so easy for us to want the power of the Spirit for our purposes like Simon (Acts 8:8ff); without a thought for God’s timing and the unity of the body of Christ. How is this a temptation for me? Why is the time and common gathered place essential and prerequisite? Forgive us, Fill us O Lord.
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky?” Acts 1 shows clearly that disciples of Jesus can get caught up with trendy questions (vs. 6) or with miraculous showings or desired endings (vs. 10-11). Jesus however, called his people to a mission (vs 7-8). How do we stay focused on doing God’s mission? – Guide us, Holy Spirit, to live your mission. Empower us to be your witnesses. Amen.
“For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome, a great King over all the earth.” The Holy Spirit is given to encourage, empower, and embolden the church in its witness to Christ in the world. The Spirit is given to increase the Kingship of God over all the earth. Are we ever tempted to take God’s resources to build our own kingdoms rather than His? Is our ministry under the great King? – Forgive us O Lord for building our own kingdoms that give us control; help us to surrender to the true King and Your will and ways. Amen.
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men…” There have been many sermons about submission. They often focus upon who submits to whom. Peter’s context of this discussion is about how submission is a witness to Christ and a different way of life in the believer. What authority is easy for me to submit to? Where do I find submission difficult? – Help me Holy Spirit, to concern myself more with the why of submission (the witness to a life in Christ), than the struggles I have with the authorities in my life. Amen.
“But you are a chosen people…I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires…” Knowing who we are and who we are not leads to behaviors that are consistent with our identity in Christ. Does my life and behavior cause all who see to glorify God? – May my life conform to your mercy and calling upon my life and your church bring honor to your name. Amen.