The Unexpected Twist

Read Acts 1:1–8.

Imagine you’re watching a movie. You’ve reached the two-hour mark, and it’s clear the story will be wrapping up shortly. But then, just as things seem to be winding down, there’s an unexpected twist, a surprise plotline you didn’t see coming that opens the door to a sequel.

That’s the feeling in the air as the book of Acts opens. Jesus’ disciples are ready for the end of the story. They’ve followed the Lord for three years. They’ve seen Him heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead. He’s declared the good news of the kingdom, revealed the heart of God for the lost, and shown Himself to be the One the people of Israel have been waiting for.

What’s more, He was crucified for the sins of the world and resurrected to new life, proving that He is the Son of God and the world’s rightful King. So, naturally, the disciples want to know, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). They are expecting the end of history and the beginning of an entirely new era. They want to see Jesus sit on the throne in Jerusalem and establish peace throughout the world.

But that isn’t God’s plan—at least not yet. Jesus is going to return to the Father and send the Holy Spirit to fill His friends. Then, with the Spirit’s power and guidance, they will continue Jesus’ ministry until He returns.

Notice that Luke describes his “former book,” the gospel of Luke, as a record of “all that Jesus began to do and to teach” (v. 1, emphasis added). Jesus’ earthly ministry was only the beginning. His followers have been commissioned to carry on His work and bring it “to the ends of the earth” (v. 8). This is where we find ourselves in the story of redemption God is writing. We stand at the end of a long line of Jesus’ disciples who have picked up His ministry and shown the world the heart of the Father.

The Holy Spirit who indwelled those first disciples now lives inside of you, empowering you for the assignment Jesus has given you. You may feel inadequate for the task, but the Holy Spirit is faithful to give you everything you need. Listen to the Spirit’s promptings and follow His leading. Walk in faith, knowing that God is able to do the impossible through you. Be a source of light and healing to everyone you meet. Share the gospel with the words you speak but also with the life you live.

Jesus’ ministry continues today, and by the power of His Spirit, you are a part of it.

When God calls you to an extraordinary task, He provides extraordinary resources.

—John Wimber

Be sure to check out The Ascent: A Devotional Adventure through the Book of Psalms, available now wherever books are sold.

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