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The Book of Acts is Coming Alive!

I believe the Book of Acts is coming alive again! 

In the Gospels, we see the public ministry of Jesus unfold as we are told what “Jesus began both to do and to teach.”

In the Book of Acts we see the public ministry of the church begin with the life-changing encounter of the Holy Spirit inhabiting believers. 

Jesus was the prototype of the Spirit-filled, Spirit empowered life.  The Book of Acts is the story of the disciples receiving what Jesus received in order to do what Jesus did! 

 Acts 1:4-11 (NKJV) And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”  Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. 

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” 

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The Power of the Spirit for World Evangelization

Everything that Jesus did in His ministry was in the power of the Spirit.  He came to show a new way of living through the Spirit’s power.  The Old Testament had been about “visitation,” but now the New Testament was about “habitation,” which would bring a new Kingdom reality to the early believers.  

Prior to the ascension of Jesus, as He sat together with the disciples He again began to expand their understanding about the purpose of the Kingdom of God.   This was not something that would be contained within a single nation or people group, specifically, the Jewish people.  A mighty commissioning and outpouring of the Spirit was about to shift things forever!  A great campaign of world-wide evangelization was being launched as Jesus was about to transfer the power and responsibility that had authorized His ministry to His disciples.

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Joy Interrupted

These things I have spoken to you… that My joy may remain in you, 
And that your joy may be full!     John 15:11 

Have you ever thought about the fact that JOY is the atmosphere of heaven?  Or, that JOY is a divine quality of character that is possessed and given only by God? 

We speak much about bringing the “atmosphere of heaven to earth” and yet there are some who can falter in the area of joy.  Some of the things that take place in life can attempt to undermine that very atmosphere of underlying joy.  If we are not careful our minds can begin to be tipped in a negative direction.  This is the opposite direction of the victory that Jesus intends would always be ours and makes us aware of our need for the renewing of our mind to align with heaven.

Think about the unexpected “surprises” that tempt us to lean towards discouragment.  Cars break down and need to be repaired, the roof starts to leak, the hoped for job doesn’t work out, the vacation you thought you’d take with the family will cost more than you planned for.    

Yet, in the midst of it all, Jesus said, “I came that your joy might be full!” 

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