But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Joining God’s Plan
God doesn’t need us to save anyone because salvation is fully a work of God (John 6:44), but He does allow us the privilege of participating in the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20). Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8 are some of the few places where God provides the power but wants to include us as part of His plan in taking the Gospel to a lost and dying world. In Acts 1:8 Jesus says that we can receive the power of the Holy Spirit, and then with this power of God’s Spirit, we can be witnesses in our own Jerusalem, wherever it is that we live, even to the ends of the earth. That might start with your next-door neighbor. The Spirit quickens and gives life to those who are dead in their sins (John 6:63), but they still need someone to tell them about their sins and their need for the Savior to take away those sins. How will they ever believe in Him if they’ve never heard about Him, and how will they hear about Christ unless one of us tells them (Rom. 10:14)? The fact is, they must be sent, and God wants you and me to join Him in this great mission (Rom. 10:15).
Joining Jesus’ Plan
When Jesus came to earth, He said that He was sent to the lost House of Israel, God’s lost sheep (Matt. 15:24), but this doesn’t mean that He preached the Gospel only to Jews. He witnessed to a Roman Centurion, the Samaritan woman at the well, and many others. But did Jesus use others in His plan? Yes, as you can read for yourself where He sent 70 of His disciples out by twos, not to the Gentiles or the Samaritans but only to the House of Israel (Matt. 10:5-6). He would later send Paul as the apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 22:21; Rom. 15:19; Gal. 2:8). Could God have done this without human effort? Of course He could. He could have written the Gospel in the sky or sent angels, but the fact is that He has chosen to use frail, feeble human beings. The point is that we don’t have the power, save for the Spirit of God (Acts 1:8), because the real power is the Gospel itself (Rom. 1:16).
The God-glorifying Plan
For many years, I just didn’t get this part of God’s plan, but truly it is a huge part of the plan of God that He be glorified. The heavens are already doing their part by declaring His glory (Psalm 19:1-4), so we need to do our part. Peter truly states that when we teach or speak the Word of God and we serve in the name of God, He is glorified (1 Pet. 4:11). In our daily life, even in eating, drinking, or whatever it is, we should glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31). Even near the cross, Jesus declared that the Son would be glorified and God the Father will be glorified at Calvary (John 13:31-32). God seeks to be glorified, and we can be part of this plan, but, importantly, we must not share in His glory by trying to glory in ourselves because we have no reason to glory about anything but God (Isaiah 42:8). God does not need us to fulfill His glory or to rescue the perishing, but He does allow us to participate. Will you join Him in this?
A Closing Prayer
Father God, You are such a good God, and I thank You for allowing me to be part of Your wonderful plan to seek the lost so that You will be glorified. Please forgive me when I have tried to rob You of Your glory, and thank You for Your patience with me. In Jesus’ glorious name I pray.
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