Bible Verses

Promises Revisited…

Acts ch.1 v.8 tells us “ will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…” It’s a promise with a purpose. We receive power precisely because we have a specific job to do. We need what’s on offer in order to be able to accomplish it.

But that’s not all. The promise comes in answer to a specific question. It was a tricky, politically charged question. Jesus’ answer was equally to the point – it’s none of your business! You have my mission to complete and here are the tools you will need to achieve all you’ve been called to do.

We’re all called to be Jesus’ witnesses. It’s an interesting Greek word used here – we get the word martyr from it. And that’s the point. A witness has a single responsibility, to give the facts, regardless of the personal cost to themselves. It’s not a witnesses job to tell the audience what they think they want to hear, or to put a specific spin on some information to suit their own agenda. Their responsibility is to the truth.

Truth can be entertaining. It can also be baffling or provoke fear and rage in its hearers. This is why we need the Holy Spirit so badly if we are to communicate the truth effectively. He can and will give us a holy boldness to speak uncomfortable truths. He can help us find the words to explain our faith appropriately to an audience He has already prepared.

It’s a guarantee that we can confidently take God up on, for He has made this promise precisely because He is supremely confident that we are able to do this in partnership with Him.

Bible Verses

Power to be Positive

We love Philippians ch.4 v.13 – it is just so incredibly positive to say that I can do all things through Christ. It makes perfect sense. If you believe that you are empowered by the Creator of the universe who intimately knows how everything was created and is capable of supplying the knowledge and skill required to bring about His will through you at the time when He wants it; then this verse is axiomatic.

We can do all things because we are an integral part of the means He has chosen to redeem all things.

The flip-side is that if we find we’re in a situation where we are powerless and unable to make a difference it challenges us on two fronts:

Is this because we are no longer exercising His will. Did we have a clear vision of what He wanted to accomplish? Are our own motives and agendas pure?

Are we being challenged to take on this because God is trying to demonstrate His greatness through our powerlessness? Should we be looking for His miraculous intervention to transform a hopeless situation through our persistent and faithful prayer?

This is why James tells people to pray for wisdom! We need to know the difference between these situations.

However, there is another important point that needs to be stressed. When Paul wrote about being able to do all things, he was not speaking from a position of great material prosperity and physical comfort – indeed, his point was that he had known great challenges and need. But God had been faithful in all circumstances, had met his needs and empowered him to fulfil his calling – providing all he needed to do this – whether it was physical strength, skills, knowledge, supernatural power or just getting the timing right.

Because of his experience of God’s provision in the past, Paul was able to look on negative circumstances with a positive outlook and be certain that God would not only see him through it, but would do so in such a way that God was glorified.