Are you up for another challenge?
As we role into November 2010, we are again embarking on another challenge in the Youth ministry. We just completed the “Wisdom Challenge” in the month of October (reading a proverb a day) and now we begin the “Acts Challenge” (reading a chapter of Acts a day). There are 28 chapters in the book of Acts, so you even get a couple days of grace in the month to miss or review. Here we go!
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, an all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth–Acts 1:8.”
Jesus is on the brink of returning to the Father in heaven and he issues his last few commands to the disciples. They still don’t quite get it and they are asking whether now is the time he will establish his kingdom on earth. Jesus challenges and comforts them, and us, with this verse. He says, “but you will receive power…” The word for power in the Greek is dunamis and is the word for which we get our word in the English dynamite. The disciples then, and Jesus’ disciples now, are receiving power at the initial point that they repent and believe in the Lord Jesus and are filled with the Holy Spirit. Power for what?
Pastor Eric and I were recently at the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana (SCBI) Annual Meeting and we had the privilege to here Dr. James Merritt preach from this text, so I share from his message.
#1 I Can Use God’s Power for Missions–Jesus says to the disciples that you will receive power, not if, not maybe, not hopefully, but WILL. Dr. Merritt states, “It’s not a matter of do I have it, but do I use it.” No matter your type of personality or your particular giftedness, Jesus can use you in His way to carry out His mission for your life and His glory.
#2 I Can Fulfill God’s Purpose for Missions–Jesus tells his disciples that they are going to be his witnesses. A witness by definition has seen or been apart of something that has taken place and they will tell about it. Have you been saved by the grace of God? Have you been forgiven and given new life through faith in Jesus? If you have, you have something to tell! God’s plan is to use you in accomplishing His great Plan!
#3 I Can Participate in God’s Plan for Missions–Jesus tells them they are going to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. This means through your service and participation in a local church, you will be having an impact around the globe. Although this can achieved by giving financially, you too ought to be participating in mission trips that take you from other states to other countries. We need people willing to say, “I want to go on a mission trip and sacrifice my time, energy, and treasure to be on mission for others.” Will you do that?
#4 I Can Discover God’s Passion for Missions–Jesus says in Matthew 9:37, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” God’s passion is for His followers to be passionate about what He is passionate about. Dr. Merritt stated, “Your priorities will almost always determine your passions.” What are your priorities? What are you passionate about? A helpful exercise here is to ask those closest to you. Ask them to tell you what they observe you are passionate about. Do you hesitate doing that? Makes me wonder about myself as well.
I hope this might encourage or challenge someone else as it has me. Take the challenge and as you do, pray for insight. Pray for one another. Pray for those who do not believe, that they would submit their lives under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.