Friday Morning, 29 Nov 2019 – Acts 1:1-26 ~ “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”

Friday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Endurance – Friday)

Almighty God, whose beloved Son first suffered pain and crucifixion before entering into glory: Mercifully grant that we, walking in his footsteps, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Acts 1:1-26 (NLT)

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

The Ascension of Jesus

So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

Matthias Replaces Judas

Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying.

Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James). They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.

During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them. “Brothers,” he said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David. Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us.”

(Judas had bought a field with the money he received for his treachery. Falling headfirst there, his body split open, spilling out all his intestines. The news of his death spread to all the people of Jerusalem, and they gave the place the Aramaic name Akeldama, which means “Field of Blood.”)

Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’

“So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus— from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.”

So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.
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Morning Reflection:

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.
And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—
in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

– Acts 1:8 –

Introduction: The book of Acts tells the story of the origins of the church and its extension from Jerusalem to Rome. In his Gospel account, Luke focused on the person and works of Jesus. In Acts, the focus is on the person and works of the Holy Spirit through the apostles. The events Luke recorded cover a period of about 30 years beginning with the Lord Jesus’ ascension in A.D. 33 to Paul’s two-year Roman house arrest that ended about A.D. 62.

Purpose: Luke’s purpose was:

  1. To provide an inspired record of selected events that show the spread of the gospel and the church from Jerusalem to the ends of the Gentile world, Rome in Luke’s day.
  2. To show how the plans and purposes of God were working out through history, i.e. how Jesus Christ was faithfully and irresistibly building His church.
  3.  To show the early church’s relationship with Roman officials (not one of whom opposed Christianity because of its doctrines or practices), and how the church survived in its struggle with a hostile pagan environment.

In today’s reading, Luke describes the transition in dependency upon Jesus who ascended into heaven, to dependency upon the Holy Spirit whose power they were about to receive. While they waited, they reorganized their leadership and were united in prayer – all 120 of Jesus’ remaining followers.

Questions for consideration

  • How would you describe Jesus’ followers after His resurrection and ascension into heaven? Please explain.
  • When they prayed to receive the Holy Spirit, what do you think they expected? Please explain.
  • Have you ever prayed to be filled with the Holy Spirit? What did you expect? What happened? Please explain.
  • What do you think the purpose of the Holy Spirit is in a believer’s life? Please explain.
  • Has the Holy Spirit ever helped you tell anyone about Jesus? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: For the Filling of the Holy Spirit (Steve Seamands)

Lord Jesus Christ: Increase my desire for more of You, and more of the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Give me a hunger and thirst for Your Spirit.

Lord Jesus Christ: Increase my willingness to surrender myself to You, and give up control of my life. Heal my hurts, habits or hangups – and anything else that prevents me from going deeper with You.

Lord Jesus Christ: Increase my faith in Your promised gift of Your Spirit. Give me confidence in the Father’s goodness and willingness to give me even more than I ask or expect.

Lord Jesus Christ: Help me to be persistent in prayer, that I might be empowered to faithfully love and serve You wherever You send me – all to the glory of Your Name. Amen.

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“Holy Spirit Rain Down” – Darlene Zschech (Hillsong)

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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