Text: Mk. 3:13‑15; 16:19,20; Lk. 10:1, 17‑20; 24:49‑53; Acts 8:3,4
We shall be talking of: This Period Of Empowerment and The Purpose Of This Interlude.
(1) This Period Of Empowerment
It is reiterated that God=s purpose of drawing us together all this while and ministering to us live by the hand of the man of God, is to empower us spiritually, physically, materially and economically so as to be able to take care of our matters/situations and to help others out.
Often the Lord Jesus drew the early disciples together to empower them by His Word and Spirit, after which He sent them forth to demonstrate (cp. Mk. 3:13‑15; 16:19,20; Lk. 10:1, 17‑20). The Master left for heaven with instruction to the disciples to tarry in the upper room in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. And that exactly they did (cp. Lk. 24:49‑53). But after they had been empowered, they scattered abroad to demonstrate what they had received ‑ preaching everywhere and the Lord working with them, confirming their words with signs following (cp. Mk. 16:20; Acts 8:3‑8).
(2) The Purpose Of This Interlude
It is important for us to take note of the purpose of this interlude. It is certainly not a period to return to sleep and slumber. Rather, it is a time for us to demonstrate what we have acquired so as to consolidate same; it is a time for us to live the life of the spiritually empowered: ruling with God; preaching the Gospel, Casting out devils and healing the sick (cons. Ps. 82:6; Lk. 9:1,2,6,11).
We preach the Gospel, which is centred on Jesus Christ and Him crucified and the purpose/benefit of same (cons. Acts 8:5, 35; 1Cor. 2:1,2; 15:3; 1Tim. 1:15; Heb. 2:14,15). Today, it would appear like the cross of Christ has lost its great effect to convict, save, deliver, transform and heal (cp.1Cor. 1:18), not because the cross itself has changed in effect, but because the crusaders have refused to change their lives, and instead change the Christian focus (cp. 1Cor. 1:17,18; 2:1‑5).
Preachers in the apostolic days knew the vanities of this life and not only turned from them but also preached to their hearers to turn from same (cons. Acts 14:15). Today, unfortunately, the reverse is the case. And the Lord is looking for those who will change the status quo. This explains why the empowerment programme. And having been empowered, at least in part, shall we deliver during this interlude? Let=s rise and go to the field.
Fellowship Songs: (HSCF 210 & 197)