Daily Devotional: Tuesday 11th February

by William Moody

Acts 1:1–11

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

1:1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

And while staying1 with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with2 the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

The Ascension

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 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.” 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. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Footnotes

[1] 1:4 Or eating
[2] 1:5 Or in

(ESV)

The book of Acts was written by Luke the writer of the Gospel (his first book – v1). Luke begins by again recounting Jesus’ death and resurrection (v1-3) but he then quickly moves to the promise of the coming Holy Spirit (v4-5).

The gospel of Luke was about what Jesus did while on earth, but the book of Acts is about what Jesus would continue to do through the Holy Spirit. This book is often called ‘the Acts of the Apostles’ but in a very real way it is a book about the continuing acts of Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

Luke shares the account of Jesus’ ascension to glory (v6-11). The disciples were enquiring about restoring the kingdom to Israel (v6), they were looking for a time of peace. Jesus redirects them to the work of the Spirit enabling them to be His witnesses in this troubled world (v8).

Our calling in this world is not to a life of ease but to a life of witnessing in a hostile world. The book of Acts shows how to be faithful witnesses in such a troubled and hostile world.

Jesus left and the angels stop the disciples from looking after Him (v10-11). They had a task to get on with, sharing the Gospel through the power of the Spirit. Like the disciples we must not be distracted but get on with this task which has been given to us as God’s people.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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