Today we began studying the book of Acts. After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples to encourage and strengthen them. He reminded His disciples what they must preach. Luke 24:45-47, “Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written; The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.'”
Jesus told His disciples, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised.” What did God promise? One of our leaders said, “The Counselor.” Just a sidebar… it is a blessing to see our leaders grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God promised to send the Counselor, the Holy Spirit. John 14:25-26, “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
Jesus blessed His disciples, then ascended into heaven.
We continue our journey with our Lord, beginning in Acts. I asked the boys, “Who is the author of Acts?” No one knew, which is one of the reasons why we study God’s word. To teach us. “The book of Acts was written to a man named Theophilus. Where have we heard that name before?” Luke 1:3, “Therefore since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” Acts was written by Luke.
Jesus told His disciples to wait until they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. John baptized with water, but they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. We are baptized with water; it is a symbol of our rebirth. Being baptized in water doesn’t save us. We, too, are baptized by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:1-7, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”
The Holy Spirit will convict us of sin, righteousness and judgment. John 16:8-11, “When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”
“The Holy Spirit gives us the power to go out into the world and preach the gospel. Where? Jesus told His disciples, “…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” For us… we will be His witnesses in San Bartolomé, and in all of Guatemala, and to the ends of the earth.”
And remember, He is with us always, to the very end of the age.
A dear brother in Christ, Beecher, was called home to be with Jesus. When Candy told me, a wave of emotion overwhelmed me. Last time I was back in Tennessee, I visited my friend, and it was just like old times. Before I left, I prayed with him, and he gave an unexpected gift…a wall hanging of three nails, in the form of a cross. It was then wired to a wooden cross. It was a special gift from a special friend. It hangs on our wall here, and it is a constant reminder of what Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
I believe. I believe my brother lives. There is a song called “Because He Lives.” It’s a song that comforts me. I know where Beecher is, and one day, I will be with him praising God.
“Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives”
Lee and Candy