Summary: What it takes for the power of God to be enfused in ones life is explained.
In the book Scully, there is a dialogue between Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computers and John Scully, who at the time was president of Pepsi. Jobs was attempting to recruit Scully for the top job at Apple and he asked Scully, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”
The Book of Acts is for world changers. Most, if not all of you here tonight sense there is something more to life and just living and dying, more than just moving through the stages from birth to death. The thought of working your entire life so you can retire to a rocking chair is not enough. You know you have an overriding purpose, that there is something significant in your life that you have not yet tapped.
Someone said, speaking of the church, “The problem is that faith has become domesticated to suit our cultural conditioned lives, rather than dramatized as the ultimate purpose which gives meaning and direction to all other secondary loyalties. I am convinced that we are living in an unprecedented time of potential blessing and power and this is Gods appointed hour to liberate the church from being a memorial society to becoming a society of movers.”
This inspires me. I am more than just plowing my way through the garbage of this world to make it to heaven, God has something specific for me to do, a plan for my life, and I have purpose. I want to be part of a society of movers and shakers with the time I have. What about you?
The text tonight gives us a foundation upon which we can build a life of purpose because it shows us how Jesus first gave abilities to the disciples, and then to us, so that we can be powered for real living.
I. The Promise of Jesus
And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which’ he said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. Acts 1:4,5
A. Waiting is not Natural for us.
How many of you are naturally good at waiting? I know I am not. With the fast pace of society, we all seem to be in a hurry. Jesus knew human nature. Most people don’t like to sit around waiting. So He told the disciples they needed to wait. It is interesting, He did not tell them how long they would have to wait. We already know from the Gospels what kind of a waiter Peter was. Impulsive, quick with his tongue and his sword. If Jesus had not told them to wait for what the Father promised, Peter would have been out and about, powerless. Just gather in this picture. The disciples had been with the risen Lord Jesus for a period of 40 days. They had people they wanted to get to and explain what they had seen and heard, that Jesus was not dead but that He was risen. Just when they were getting ready to run out and share the good news, Jesus rains on their parade with the word WAIT!
How many of you in your life have discovered the difficulty of waiting? College students know well, and some of us can remember the almost eternal wait for test results to be posted. Waiting for someone who is in surgery seems like the minutes are hours, and the hours days. Waiting for someone to understand what you are saying, or waiting for someone to change seems to take forever as well. In thinking of all these things, I would say the longest wait at times seems to be waiting on the Lord. That takes the longest. God does things in His time not ours, there is no time clock in heaven. So we have to wait, at least if we expect to receive guidance and direction from God, we wait. We wait if we want to be enabled with power from Heaven. Waiting is not something new. Here in Acts, 2,000 years ago, the disciples were told to wait, for it is only by waiting and seeking God they would be able to experience the promise of God, to be filled with power. And so it is also true for us today, they that wait upon the Lord shall soar to new heights. When we are willing to wait, it is at that time we will be met by God.
B. There is a Promise for those who Wait.
Jesus told them if they wait they would receive the gift from the Father. Remember as a child how the night seemed to drag on while you waited to open your Christmas gifts in the morning? But you know while you waited there was something special for you under the tree. When you wait on the Lord, there is always a special gift for you for when you wait on the Lord there is a promise that follows. Jesus knows our every need and there is always a promise of His provision for those needs we have. You might be here in a situation which at the least is difficult to bear. Problems and circumstances swirling about in your life and it seems the darkness blinds you from the light at the end of the tunnel. You might have even questioned God, finding it difficult if not impossible to understand how even He could bring something good out of your life. Perhaps you are just simply confused. You might be here with what seems like a nagging discontent even though everything from all appearance is going well in your life. How many of you can relate or you know what I am talking about? I feel a need to say this to you, the same promise made to the early church Christians is also available to you right now. It is the promise of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in your life.