Stay home, protect the NHS and save lives!
We all know the familiar mission strapline for the battle against COVID 19 in the UK.
However, there is another more far-reaching mission statement from Jesus, spanning centuries, time zones, and unnumbered generations of human beings on our planet:
"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.’ Acts1:8
For the eleven in Acts, Luke records that they were to stay in Jerusalem, wait for the promised Holy Spirit and then beginning in Jerusalem to be witnesses (Acts1:8) to all that Jesus had done and would continue to do.
The words of Jesus found in Acts 1:8 still sound out the call for us to be witnesses for Jesus in 2020!
What is involved in being a witness to all Jesus has done, pre - Pentecost and continues to do, post - Pentecost?
It begins with your own surrendered response to the Gospel message. - witnessing to the miracle of your conversion and marvelling at others' conversion.
It is clear from reading Acts chapter 2:1-41, that the Living Word of God the Bible and the Living Work of God through the Holy Spirit was fundamental for the 3000 conversions seen in Acts 2. What was true for them is true for your conversion too. We should stand back in awe and wonder, marvelling at God's work in bringing the Word to life by the Spirit and saving a sinner by faith!
It continues by telling others about Jesus, including the written down message about Jesus found, for example, in the Gospel of Luke that helped Theophilus believe. It also includes being prepared to give an answer for the hope we have in him. Telling others ,as Luke did, requires that we love others; we respect them.
...in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect... 1Peter 3:15
It continues further, through the witness to tangible growth and change in individuals' lives. Witnessing to the power of God in Christ-centred change, through the Living Word, enabled by the Holy Spirit that happens in individual lives in the fellowship of the local church. None of this is about a manmade church building but rather, a beautiful organic body of faith-filled believers looking to become more like Jesus, growing in love for Him and each other.
It is clear from reading Acts chapter 2:42-47, that the Living Word of God- the Bible, the Living Work of God through the Holy Spirit and the fellowship of believers were fundamental to the continued growth of individual believers and the church as we see it in the book of Acts and in the early church.
So then just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness". Colossians 2:6-7.
Let's pray for one another as his witnesses, of all that Jesus has done and is continuing to do, for His Glory.