SUMMER REBOOT – this podcast was originally published in “Prayer Week”, on 6 November 2018.
Hi, it’s Mick here and welcome to Tuesday’s Podcast in our Prayer Week at STC. Today we continue in Acts 1 – the beginning of the church, the Godly purpose people!
Acts 1v8: you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses.
The Christian life is one of invitation and challenge. Jesus calls us to be with him, to walk with him, to receive from him all the blessings of heaven. However, he then always offers us a challenge – to go and be a blessing to others. The Christian faith is a give away faith! Someone once said that the Church is the only organisation that exists primarily for those outside the organisation. We are called each day to live a Jesus life, to copy him. So what did Jesus do that we can copy? He taught people, healed people, blessed people, accepted people, loved people, forgave people – all big stuff and how can I possibly do that? If you, like me, feel a little daunted by this, be encouraged because here is something we can all do as we follow Jesus: remember these words ‘you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses‘
Acts tells of the birth and growth of the early church and here, right at the beginning of the church, is this invitation and challenge truth: first the invitation ‘you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you’ -… and then his challenge ‘you will be my witnesses’.
The true mark of a disciple of Jesus is how much we give away the blessings he pours into our lives. Someone once said this, ‘As I share God’s goodness with others he just shovels more goodness into my life – the truth is that God’s shovel is always bigger than mine!’ Here is another truth: God is with you right now, he is ready to shovel goodness into your life right now – his invitation to receive his power right now, his heavenly blessing and strength right now. Then comes his challenge: be ready to give this blessing away with countless smiles and small acts of kindness and generosity each day.
A few weeks ago we held our Thanksgiving Sunday here at STC – an opportunity for all of us to thank Jesus for all the blessings he daily pours into our lives, our families and this amazing church. It was a wonderful Sunday with Holy Spirit inspired worship and teaching but perhaps even more inspiring was when the church family came forward at our Gatherings to make a financial offering to the Lord in response to his love and goodness poured out into our lives over the past year. Lines of grown ups and children queuing to place their offering in the baskets. A living example of receiving from Jesus and then giving it away. It was deeply moving – what an amazing church you are STC!
It was Ghandi who said ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ – you see, we really can make a difference. We just need to stop asking the question ‘why don’t they do something about this?’ and start asking the question ‘is it time I did something about this?’ A lasting memory of mine will always be an amazingly young couple here at STC who, several years ago were pondering the call from Jesus to start a new work in a tough area of our city. They changed when they stopped asking ‘why should I go?’ and on their own admission, one day started to ask ‘why shouldn’t I go?’
Things start to change when ‘we’ become the ‘they’!
This is how we grow in our faith, we receive and then give it away – not some of it but all of it. Remember, God’s shovel is ALWAYS way bigger than ours!
Lord, thank you that every day you invite me into your presence to be loved and blessed and encouraged- it is so wonderful. Show me how I can be a blessing to others today through a smile, an encouragement, through simple acts of kindness and generosity – to be a witness to your love and your goodness. Amen
READING: Acts 1:6-8
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth .”