Call upon the One who said, “You will be my witnesses.”
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 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.” 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
King Jesus has risen from the dead and now appears to his disciples. With the Messiah risen, it must be the kingdom will be restored to Israel now, right? But that is not God’s plan. He has another plan, and it involves us. “Don’t be fixated on times and seasons for such things; God has those in hand. But here’s what will happen — you will receive power from the Spirit of God, and you will be my witnesses here, there and everywhere.” They inquired about overthrowing Rome and restoring Israel to its rightful place. King Jesus answered with a key piece of God’s agenda: the followers of Jesus bearing gospel witness to the religious center of Judaism (Jerusalem), to the nearby ethnic centers (Judea, Samaria) and, in fact, to the entire earth (all the peoples).
Think about it
What Jesus declared to his disciples then, we are still fulfilling now. We have the amazing gift of God’s Spirit dwelling in us and filling us. We have our divine calling to be witnesses to King Jesus. There is much gospel ground to be taken. There are unreached people groups who still do not have a reasonable number of believers to reach their own language or ethnic group with the gospel. And there are unengaged, unreached people groups. These are not only unreached, but as of yet they are not even engaged by potential witnesses (such as missionaries or nearby evangelistic witnesses). Mark 13:10 says, “And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.”
Calling upon the Lord for help in witnessing
“Father, because I love you so much and am so thankful for all you have done for me in Jesus Christ, it is my delight and desire to be a witness to others. Help me speak the truth of the gospel, share what Christ has done for me and show the love of Jesus wherever you send me. I am willing to go, to live “on mission,” to do my part as a “goer” or a “sender” so that the Great Commission is fulfilled. I pray again for the unreached people group, the _________________ (from yesterday’s reading), that they would hear of Jesus Christ, of the cross, resurrection and saving faith in Christ and be saved. Thank you for the joy of being part of this global gospel revolution, Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
To read more of God’s word
Isaiah 56:1-8, Luke 24:36-53, Romans 15:15-33
Dana Olson, Senior pastor, Faith Baptist Fellowship
Dana Olson is the author of the new booklet, Praying the King’s Agenda: 21 Days of Focused Prayer. He formerly served as director of Prayer First for Converge and served as chair of the Denominational Prayer Leaders Network and on the executive team of the National Prayer Committee. He is senior pastor of Faith Baptist Fellowship, a multisite congregation in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.