6 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.” Acts 1:6-9
Have you ever wrestled with a light trying to get it to work, on . . . off, new light bulb . . . old light bulb. You go back and forth for 10 minutes and nothing will work. Then, just about the time you are ready to throw that old lamp in the trash, you realize it was never plugged in. The lamp is fine, you just had no power source.
A great many of us followers or disciples of Jesus Christ often run on the wrong power source. American Christianity has so taught that good Christian behavior, church attendance, moral fortitude, personal will power or holy intentions are the fuel for discipleship in Jesus Christ.
Well, how has that worked for you in your daily struggles with the up and downs of life? Is your fuel for discipleship in Jesus Christ yourself? Are you plugged into you? What is your discipleship power source? Are you out of fuel for your Christian life?
Last Sunday was Pentecost Sunday where we celebrated that God promised and sent the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinity to further and solidify His life in us as disciples of Jesus Christ. Paul says over and over in His letters to the new Christians that the Holy Spirit is the fuel or power for the Christian life. Here are a few examples of what Paul is saying: the Holy Spirit empowers us (Rom. 15:19), produces spiritual fruit in us (Gal. 5:22-23), transforms us into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18), strengthens our spirit (Eph. 3:16), dispenses God’s love into our hearts (Rom. 5:5), teaches us (1 Cor. 2:13), enables us to wait (Gal. 5:5) and the Holy Spirit distributes spiritual gifts to us (1 Cor. 12:4-10).
This time of year, we celebrate and worship God for His immeasurable gift of the Holy Spirit, our fuel and power for the life God has saved us to. The discipleship life runs not on the fuel of self, wispy hopes or dreams. The discipleship life does not run on us pulling ourselves up by our spiritual boot straps.
No, the discipleship life is a gift (Romans 5, Ephes. 2) and it is fueled by the gift of the Holy Spirit given to all who are in Jesus Christ.
What’s fueling you? What’s empowering you? Who’s fueling you? Who’s empowering you?
45 Then Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for[c] the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:45-49