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)
They were just twelve ordinary men.
A few fishermen. A few Zealots.
A tax collector and one guy who seriously struggled with doubt. None of them had much education or influence. They didn’t come from a priestly line, and they certainly weren’t kings!
The only thing they had going for them was that each one answered Jesus’ call when He said, “Follow Me,” and then they spent the next three years of their lives doing exactly that.
For three years, they traveled with Jesus and daily experienced legendary truth. They listened to Him speak. They saw the miracles—-the sick who were healed, the demon-possessed delivered. They were even there to see Lazarus walk out of his tomb when he returned from the dead. They collected the baskets full of bread after Jesus fed both the 4,000 and the 5,000.
They were at the crucifixion and encountered the resurrected Jesus.
These twelve ordinary men had upfront tickets to it all.
Now it was their turn to fulfill their calling by accepting the Great Commission and being the ones who would begin the effort to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15, NIV)
But first, they had to do one thing.
Because even after all of the time they spent with Jesus, Jesus knew they still weren’t able to fulfill the call God placed on their lives alone. So He gave them these instructions:
“On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command:
‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…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 1:4-5 & 8, NIV)
The time had come. Just as Jesus commanded them, they were all meeting together in one place in Jerusalem.
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
Suddenly, a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:1-4, NIV)
This was no hidden event! Nope, people from all over Jerusalem began to notice.
Acts 2:5-12 tells us that the people listening to the disciples speak under the power of the Holy Spirit were saying, “What is going on??? How do these hicks even know our languages…let alone how are they speaking them correctly? What is happening here?”
That’s when the Holy Spirit empowered Peter, the man who was formerly too afraid to admit that he even knew Jesus at the cross, to stand up in front of the massive crowd and begin walking in his calling. His speech in Acts 2:14-39 is legendary.
The results: Three thousand people accepted Jesus and were baptized in one day!
This was only the beginning! As we continue to read through the book of Acts, we continue to see all of the disciples, and later Paul, changing the world with the message of the Gospel through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Through the Holy Spirit, we see them perform miracles.
We see unexplainable boldness even in the face of persecution and martyrdom.
Best of all, we see twelve ordinary men with no special abilities, education, or training, walking in their calling and changing their world with the Gospel of Jesus.
Here’s how it matters to you: This same Holy Spirit that filled and empowered these twelve ordinary men from Galilee wants to empower you to walk in your calling and fulfill your God-given purpose in life.
Acts 2:39 says, “The promise (the gift of the Holy Spirit) is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (NIV)
You see, the promise of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the empowerment it brings into our lives didn’t end after the last chapter of the New Testament was written. No, this promise continues for today and tomorrow. It is a gift that gives everyone that God has called the empowerment to walk in their calling.
“But doesn’t this just apply to people who are called into full-time vocational ministry: pastors, evangelists, missionaries?”
Because the Holy Spirit is always with you, living inside of you, He can empower you in every area of your life.
The empowerment of the Holy Spirit will help you in your relationships. It will make you a better parent, spouse, child, sibling, friend, and neighbor.
It will make you a better worker in your vocation.
The Holy Spirit will give you the right words to say while interacting with people.
His empowerment will help you through difficult circumstances, giving you boldness, courage, peace, and wisdom.
The empowerment of the Holy Spirit will help you discern truth from lies (who doesn’t need that in today’s society?).
It will make you sensitive to sin as you will feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit telling you, “This doesn’t please God. Stop it.”
Probably most importantly, the empowerment that comes from the baptism in the Holy Spirit will give you the boldness to be a witness for God, a person who shares the good news about Jesus with everyone in their sphere of influence with both their words and their lifestyle.
It is a gift given to us by God that enables us to live every part of our lives better. This enables us to reach our full potential in our God-given calling. Just like the twelve ordinary men, we cannot do it alone…that’s why Jesus gave us the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Memory Verse: 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)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.