Summary: Before Jesus ascended into heaven He gave His disciples the promise that He would send the Holy Spirit to fill them and empower them so they could continue His work and ministry on earth.
Energized for Victorious Living
As we celebrate this Labor Day weekend it’s a good time to reflect on our work. Whatever your work is you should be able to work and bring glory to God. If you’re retired your retirement should be lived to bring glory to God.
When the going get rough and tough at work what do you do? When I face challenging times in ministry I often turn to God encouraging word found in I Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” When in your work you seem to produce little results, you know that your labor is not in vain when you are working to glorify the Lord.
A Chinese bamboo plant illustrates when you give faithful service in your work and there are little visible results. When the bamboo seed is planted nothing happens for 3-4 years. Then on the 5th year the bamboo plant shoots up 30 feet tall. A lot is happening underground during the 3-4 years but it is not visible. When you are steadfast in your work to the glory of God you know that your labor is not in vain.
Jesus doesn’t open doors of opportunity for you and then leave you stranded. He stands ready to energize you to accomplish the job He calls you to do.
When one door closes another door opens up as you have patience and plan for the future with faith.
Jesus called 12 disciples and trained them for three years so they would continue to work He started after He ascended into heaven.
Before Jesus left His disciples He gave them the promise that He would send the Holy Spirit to fill them and empower them so they could continue His work and ministry on earth.
In their human strength the disciples did their best to follow Jesus during His earthy ministry, but they often failed. They often argued among themselves as to who should receive the most honors in heaven. When faced with life threatening situations they denied Jesus and ran and hid their identity as Christ followers.
Luke the author of the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts record the command and promise that Jesus gave His disciples before He ascended into heaven. Jesus said he would send the Holy Spirit to empower and energize his disciples so they would no longer live in fear but would boldly tell others about the resurrection of Jesus.
Promise of Power
After Jesus rose from the grave He met with His disciples on various occasions during the 40 days following his resurrection to the time of His ascension. On the 40th day Jesus gave His disciples words of encouragement and instruction: “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you, but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endured with power from on high.” Luke 24:49
Luke gave additional information on what Jesus said - in Acts 1:8, But, you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
The power Jesus was talking about was not political power. The disciples were not to run for political office to gain political authority. The power Jesus promised had more to do with “being” than with “doing.” They were called to be witnesses with their life and words. They were to demonstrate the love of Jesus to a world lacking in love. The power was given from above and not just a natural ability. The disciples were to boldly tell others that Jesus was the Messiah and had risen form the dead and that He was coming again.