Acts 1

Welcome to the exciting reality of the book of Acts. It is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for those who want a faith that is stagnant and boring. We are introduced to the book of Acts through the “former” or “first” book; the Gospel of Luke. In Acts, we are now confronted with the fact that the Holy Spirit has been given, and because of that gift, we are in for quite a ride! The whole of the previous book (Luke) is summed up in the phrase “all that Jesus began to do and preach.” This is a short summary of a life that changed everything, but we will accept it because we want to see what the Holy Spirit will do with this group of believers that have now been called Apostles.

Then there was a quick declaration that they were to stay in Jerusalem until they received the power that was coming to them. Of course, this is the power of the Holy Spirit that will come powerfully at Pentecost. But let us take a pause for a moment and ask ourselves this question: What is Jesus doing in your life when you were asked to stay in Jerusalem?  Maybe you didn’t realize that you were being asked to stay in Jerusalem for a few days or a few months before your ministry is filled with the Holy Spirit.

There are a few assumptions in the statement above. The first assumption is that you have a particular ministry. The truth is that you do!  You were saved to be sent, not saved to sit. Therefore, there is something specific that God is calling you to do for the kingdom that is not for anyone else but you to do. That is not meant to be a shaming statement, but a statement of incredible trust that God has put on your life and ministry. And secondly, the assumption is also that you would be willing to stay in Jerusalem as God prepares you for the powerful influx of the Holy Spirit in your life to empower and employ you in God’s work.
Those disciples were anxious to get about the business of the Kingdom of God, even if they weren’t sure what it might be. They were nervous, like we all would be, but they were also ready. The kinetic energy is in the text, as Jesus reminds them to wait, like a slingshot being pulled back before it lets go of its ballistic. This is a time for clarity of purpose and mission.  It is a time for targeting the right audience, and for understanding the pace and cadence that God was asking them to get involved in the Kingdom.

Your time in Jerusalem is meant to be a blessing before the storm that is the Holy Spirit. When you sense that this time is coming, ask yourself a few questions.
  1. What should I be doing to create clarity and vision of the ministry I am called to? 
  2. How can the Holy Spirit accelerate and amplify this work? 
  3. How can I be clear that this ministry is what God wants from me, and how can I do it in a way that honors God?

Remember, the purpose of the Holy Spirit is to point to Jesus, who in turn shows us the whole of who God is. So your ministry should always be something that points to the love, compassion, care and peace of Jesus Christ. It should give people assurance of their salvation, and understanding of God’s purpose for their lives, and with that, a sense of well-being. Whether it is feeding the hungry or preaching to the masses, all of it should point to Jesus and Glorify God in its execution. It is truly amazing that we have a God who can use every single one of us to create more love in the world through the work God has set us upon.  Acts 1 calls us to this purpose.

Timothy Gillespie, lead pastor at Crosswalk Church in Redlands, CA


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Saltworks Podcast is back!  We are excited about the new year and a new focus.  Join us as we study the book of Acts.  Weekly discussions will be lead by Japhet De Oliveira and Joyce Newmyer, and our panel will include familiar faces, as well as a few new.  We can't wait to go on this journey together.  We hope you will join us!

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