Friday 1st December 2017
Colossians 1 v 9 – 14 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The third benefit of knowing God is to be strengthened with His power
The book of Acts starts with Jesus standing with His disciples. Jesus is just about to ascend into heaven and the disciples are standing before Him. Jesus makes them a promise, which was for them but also for the world:
“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”.
There are a few things we need to note here.
The disciples up to this point had been pretty pathetic. They were slow to understand, unclear in their speaking, and not always sure what they were doing. Jesus tells them that when the Holy Spirit comes upon them they will receive power. The Greek word used here is “dunamis”; it is often translated as “power” or “authority” but is actually where we get the word “dynamite”.
When we receive the Holy Spirit it’s as if we will have dynamite. Dynamite in our prayers, dynamite to get things done, and dynamite in our words. The disciples prove this to be true. They go from ill-educated fishermen to becoming the most powerful preachers and teachers of the gospel since Jesus Himself. The Holy Spirit unlocks something within the disciples. They become like dynamite. But why do they need to be like dynamite?
This outpouring is about the disciples having what they need to thrive; receiving all that God has for them. And the consequence of this is that everything is different: their confidence and who they believe themselves to be. They see the truth of their sin and the good news of the cross. Everything starts to make sense. This outpouring of the Spirit has a purpose.
Jesus says that when they have received this Spirit they will become witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. The choice of places is significant. It’s about more than just being witnesses all over the world. Each of these locations represents a particular place or group that really needs to hear the gospel. It’s a list that spirals out from the epicentre to the edges. From the church to the community.