Church Supernaturally: But BE!

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.”

(Acts 1:6-8 NLT)
Believer Being.

It’s New Year’s Day, and time for preachers the world over to proclaim what God is saying for this year.  I don’t think that He is changing what He says to suit the calendar, but He does move in times and seasons, and He wants us to be aware.  In Acts Chapter 1, the first recorded question to Jesus after His resurrection was when the new administration was going to happen. Paraphrasing the Lord’s response: “That is none of your business.  God will take care of it. But you are going to receive the same power of the Spirit that you have seen on me.  You are to take that power and live lives that reflect and proclaim who I am and what I have done.”  I love the phrase, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Then the KJV says “be witnesses.”

I want to live on the right side of the “But.” I want to BE! He didn’t say, “Go do witnessing after you finish the class.  Just show up for the outreach program.  It won’t be much trouble or take too long. I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you.” No! He said to be witnesses.  It’s not just what we do, it’s who we are.  And it’s not just for preachers.  He wasn’t just talking about the Apostles.  He said, “These signs will follow them that believe. (Mk 16:15)” That means you!  The New Testament emphasizes 3 aspects of being witnesses:

  1. Live it.  We are supposed to look different, live different, speak different. 1 Peter 2:11-12 / Titus 2:14
  2. Proclaim it. Jesus is alive from the dead. He died for your sin, was raised the third day, and now lives to represent you before God. That message is what changes people.  No Message, no salvation. Period!  Romans 10:13-15 / 1 Corinthians 15:1-10
  3. Demonstrate it.  Jesus is alive from the dead, and the Holy Spirit is upon you to give demonstration of that reality.  We don’t need better arguments, we need to use the power He gave us.  You have received power! Acts 1:8 /1 Corinthians 2:4-5

God is now moving the Church over to the right side of the “But” in Acts 1:8. We are going to see every-day believers taking possession of the power of God that is on them.  Not preachers or TV stars, but regular humans who have committed themselves to BE doing the works of Christ in the marketplace, the academy, and the byways.  Quoting from a previous post, “I have experienced and seen so much, the scripture is so full of examples, that I can’t just let it go and sit back on the padded pew to offer the occasional “Amen” for a well-crafted homily.  So let’s sing another chorus of “Takin’ it to the Streets,” and do away with the idea of “Laymen.” Instead let’s empower the people of God to do the work of God by the power of the Spirit. I have the sense that God is offering us a choice: Will we allow the things of the Spirit to be moth-balled for the museums, or will we decide to be the supernatural church that Acts Chapter 2 envisioned?  Status quo is not an option.”

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