A Great Power
Today’s Readings: Nehemiah 12-13; Acts 4:23-37
And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:33
When the disciples were left alone as Jesus ascended into heaven, a new beginning was just around the corner. Jesus told them to go to Jerusalem and wait for the Promise. That Promise came on the day of Pentecost, a day that would change their lives forever. God's Holy Spirit came upon them with sounds of a mighty wind that came from heaven, a demonstration of supernatural power. Tongues of fire were then dispersed on ("sat on") each person (Acts 2:1-4). This event made it very clear that something amazing and indescribable was taking place amongst these people. In the days that followed, this small group of believers came together in one accord, knowing that they had been given gifts from the Lord, and that they had been called to witness to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The first gift given involved "great power" as the apostles zealously told of their knowledge and personal experience of who Jesus Christ was and what He had done. The second gift, however, is one we sometimes take for granted but it is extremely crucial to the first one: "great grace." They were not only granted power but also they were given great grace. Without grace, they could not go forth and do what they were called to do. The same is true for us today. We may have gifts, callings, knowledge, experience and all of the right answers, but without grace, we will not get very far in our service or our usefulness to God. Why? Because we will be taken out by our own thoughts and behaviors as human beings. We become too aware of our weaknesses and we try to overcome them in our own strength. We cannot control condemning thoughts of the enemy who tells us we are not worthy. We lose faith, hope and the eternal perspective because our focus shifts to ourselves. Grace, however, steps in and says that the Lord has granted us unmerited favor in His sight. He chose us. He loved us first. He called us to do His work. He gifted us for His purposes. Not of us, but of Him, by His grace.
Grace must accompany power in your life today. Grace must be connected to your faith. Take time today and look up verses on "grace." Use your Bible concordance and spend some time reading about grace. Make a study of it and take your time, even over several days. Let the Lord minister to you through His Word. If you are suffering or struggling, you need to approach His throne of grace with boldness and receive His mercy today (Hebrews 4:16). And even though we are not worthy, the Lord still uses us by giving us the gifts and grace to minister for Him and by Him and in Him. You will be blessed!