We Can’t Do Without It
By Jim Purves, Mission & Ministry Advisor
‘I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’ (Luke 24.49)
Easter is a glorious time! It calls us to focus on the revelation of what God has done for us. Sins forgiven, as Jesus died for us, in our place. Wonderful salvation, full and free. What God has done, for you and me.
But Easter cannot stand alone. The message of the Cross and the Resurrection is not – cannot be – the end of the story. Unless, that is, we are content to be customers. Consumers of grace. Rightfully rejoicing in the fullness of God’s unconditional love, poured out for sinners. Yet holding back. Fully receiving but not fully giving. Delighted to call Jesus Saviour. Reluctant and resistant to naming Him as Lord. Master of our lives. We need to tell and share the story of what God has done for us. And we need to tell and share the story of what God wants us to do for Him.
That is why we can’t do without the power that came at Pentecost.
Jesus was insistent. As He sent His disciples out to be witnesses, recruiting others into discipleship, Jesus was clear that God didn’t want only customers. The people of Israel, throughout their Old Testament journey, had behaved as customers. Bad customers. Expecting from God but not giving to God. It hadn’t worked.
God sent His Son. To rescue. To redeem. The perfect sacrifice. Punished in our place. And to show what a Holy-Spirit filled life would look like. What could be achieved. And Jesus was insistent that the disciples should wait in Jerusalem, until they received power from on High. Jesus know what the disciples couldn’t do without. He knew they needed a powerful visitation by the Holy Spirit. To achieve something for God.
Nothing has changed. We can’t do without it. We can’t be content with just being customers.
‘If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’ (Luke 11.13)