How may we experience the power and presence of God in our lives today?
The book of Acts shows us the answer. Jesus promised the church in Acts 1:8 that “You shall receive power . . . and you shall be my witnesses. . . .” Receiving His power and becoming His witnesses are twin promises coupled together. The transformative power of the Holy Spirit that opens our eyes to His glory also turns us into His witnesses. His witnesses are promised the presence of His power.
When the early believers bore witness to the Lord Jesus as they were dispersed by persecutions, it was said in Acts 11: 21, “the hand of the Lord was with them.” This is an Old Testament way of depicting God’s presence and power with them. It shows Acts 1:8 is a promise not just for the apostles, but the church at large.
The believers were experiencing the hand of God with them because they were honouring God’s name. God was fulfilling His word in Exodus 20:24, “Wherever I cause my name to be honoured, I will come to you and bless you.” The name of the Lord represents His person, His presence, His power, and His glory.
The story of Acts is the story of those who by faith in His Name, risked their lives to proclaim, teach and baptise in His Name, and to suffer for His Name sake, that those the Lord has chosen may call upon His Name, because “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).”
Today, we honour His Name too by preaching the cross. The offering for sin has been sacrificed on the altar of Calvary. The cross is the place God has chosen to honour His Name. When we preach the message of the cross from the bottom of our hearts, we bear witness to His Name, and stand in the traditions of the prophets and the apostles, reliving the legacies in the book of Acts.
In preaching Christ, we believe, obey, and live out His promises in Acts 1:8 wherever God sends us. In proclaiming Christ, we will experience God’s power and presence at work. Preaching the cross of Christ is one of the greatest privileges of a believer. Will you not experience this blessedness of bearing witness to the Name of our Lord?