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.” – Acts 1:8 NIV
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Jesus Christ had just risen from the dead and after appearing to his chosen apostles individually, he finally gathered them together for a meal where he instructed them not to leave Jerusalem but await the gift of the Holy Spirit as promised by God – Acts 1:4-5. In a question that revealed their still erroneous thoughts about the kingdom whose establishment, Jesus Christ was spearheading, they asked if the time had come for the kingdom of Israel to be established – Acts 1:6 although they eventually got a better understanding of this kingdom after they received the Holy Spirit. Jesus instead responded by letting them know that issues of times and dates are exclusive knowledge of the Almighty God but they should be more concerned about the responsibility that was theirs. They were to be his witnesses, not only in Jerusalem where they were presently, but also in Judea, Samaria and the the whole world, but not before they are empowered by the expected Holy Spirit – Acts 1:7-8.
The response of Jesus Christ gave the following insights;
1. The issue of dates and times with regards to occurrence of divinely ordained events should not be of concern to them or to any Christian for that matter as it remains the exclusive of the Almighty God – Matt. 24:36; Mk. 13:32.
2. They and other Christians will be empowered as soon as they are baptised in the Holy Spirit – Acts 2:1-13; 3:1-10. Several Christians today claim to have received the Holy Spirit and are being directed by that same spirit so it can be concluded that they have been equally empowered.
3. They were to be the witnesses of Christ in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the whole world. This is the only way that they can justify their receiving Holy Spirit – Mk.16:15-18.
They all did receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and witnessed, but only in Jerusalem (Acts 2:1 – 7:53), until they were forced to move out with the instrument of persecution that started with the stoning to death of Stephen – Acts 7:56-60.
Most Christians today are like the Apostles. Having received one form of grace or the other, they have decided to limit the use or application of such Grace to their comfort zone or situations that they feel convinced about. Every grace was received for a purpose which the giver stated when he was dispensing the grace. Claims to not being aware of those reasons can only be an unsuccessful attempt at being deceitful or ignorance due to impatience in receiving full Instructions when it was being dispensed.
Every grace given to man by Jesus Christ is for a simple purpose, which is to use it to witness for him. With Grace the Holy Spirit is received, which in turn produce fruits for use of the Christian in witnessing for Christ – Rom. 12:1-8. Are you witnessing for Christ with the gifts you received?
To witness in this context will mean to remain a proof or evidence of everything that Jesus Christ is. It implies that Jesus wants all those who have received his Grace to continue to be proofs of his existence, power and what he stands for. They are to constantly demonstrate his capabilities in every situation as a proof of his being alive. He is not unaware that spiritual power will be needed because there will always be forces warring against such manifestation which is why the empowerment of the Holy Spirit is required. So how much of your life or activities serves this divine purpose? Be reminded however that he will not settle for anything less than 100%.
It is important that you re-evaluate your life activities in terms of being a witness for him with a view to confirming that it is total and in the relevant areas he wants you to witness for him. Not witnessing for him adequately could be your invitation for persecution into your life. Do not wait for the persecution tool to be applied to you before you do the needful. If however, you are already experiencing some level of persecution, you are better off asking him for what he wants you to do with that grace that you received and make needed adjustments instead of engaging the persecutors in a spiritual or physical battle that you will never win.
May God help you to be a witness for him in the relevant areas of your life in Jesus name. Amen .