A month with Dr. Charles Stanley :

Witnesses for Christ
Acts 1:4-8

Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (New Living Translation)

Standing up and speaking out for Christ can be a scary thing for many believers. Even if we want to obey the Lord’s call to “Go . . . and make disciples” (Matt. 28:19), we may wonder, What would I do? or What would I say? It can be a bit overwhelming and intimidating if we think we have to do it all on our own. Fortunately, we are not alone.

Look once again at yesterday’s key verses, Matthew 28:18-20. Knowing He was issuing a potentially uncomfortable command, the Lord was intentional in the way He framed it. Notice that this passage has essentially three components:

1. Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth.
2. We are to go and make disciples.
3. Jesus will be with us every step of the way.

This wording, combined with the promise of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:8, reveals that the responsibility of making disciples was never intended to be a solo act. Jesus is not only present with us, but He is pouring His power into us so that we may more effectively be His witnesses–His ambassadors–in the world. The work is His and the power is His; we’re just the instruments He’s chosen to use in carrying out His work.

God wants to use us, but He hasn’t left us to tackle the job on our own. The One who holds all the power and authority in the universe is with us step by step, and He has put that power within us through His Holy Spirit. Everything we need is at our fingertips. All that’s left is for us to follow the command to “Go!” Where will that command lead you today? R1

R1 Taken from In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley/ Crosswalk

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