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Acts 1:6–10  

‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ (v8)

As disciples of Jesus and embracing His call to mission, the great news is that we need not depend on our own abilities. The power, or simply the capability to be good news, is given by God through the Holy Spirit. Coming from God, it carries His authority. Authority and ability are entrusted to us as God’s ambassadors on earth to serve the purpose of God on earth.  Too often, this great gift has been dissipated in a beneficial side-show offering benefits within the church, yet failing to find expression in the majority of our life beyond the church building’s boundary wall. Mission means ‘send’ and, like Jesus’ extraordinary example, we too are expected to learn to live and serve God in an unfamiliar and fast-changing culture. Jesus goes to the margins with His message; so must we.

Once beyond the boundaries of church-orchestrated meetings, we can feel uncertain, even fearful, about owning, let alone explaining, our faith. So we must ask ourselves how confident are we in our God? We can never persuade anyone to respond to Jesus’ invitation of eternal life, nor are we asked to. We are simply to be witnesses, or martyrs! It’s encouraging that Origen said, ‘The Saviour gives the name of martyr to everyone who bears witness to the truth’. So we are all martyrs. Whilst it may not lead to our physical death, it will require that we die to self, as Jesus clearly stated.

SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Luke 9:21–27; John 12:23–28; Gal. 2:11–21; 2 Tim. 1:3–14.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: A martyr is simply a witness. What does your life give witness to? Is this a representation of God’s love?

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, may I learn to live neither through my natural strength or ability but by Your Spirit in all I think, say and do. Amen.’

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.