Reading through the Bible together
The book of Acts fills my heart with joy and expectation almost more than any other book in the Bible. I find in it a vivid picture of what is to come with the final outpouring of the Latter Rain. Luke, a physician-historian and one of Jesus’ disciples, is the acknowledged author of Acts. And in the following chapters he shares how the early Christians went forth after Pentecost to share the gospel with power, and they started with Jerusalem (Acts 1-7).
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He gave His followers a very significant key that would enable them to fulfill the great commission He had given them. This key is found in this first chapter, and is what we need most today as well. “[And Jesus] commanded them that they [his disciples] should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father” (vs. 4). Verse 8 elaborates further: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Christ has given us the great commission to take the gospel to the whole world, but how often in our eagerness to fulfill this great commission do we commit the greatest sin of omission; that is we rush ahead and leave Jerusalem (our home) before we have put away our sins, before we have become of one accord with those in our own home (and church), and before we’ve spent time in God’s Word and on our knees pleading for His power.
We are all guilty of this, myself included. But as we continue into the New Year, may we not be guilty of this any longer. In fact, let us beg with renewed fervor for this most prized possession. Regarding the outpouring of the Latter Rain, we are told, “The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the church is looked forward to as in the future; but it is the privilege of the church to have it now. Seek for it, pray for it, believe for it. We must have it, and Heaven is waiting to bestow it” (Review and Herald, March 19, 1895). I desperately want to receive this gift! How about you?
Melody (Melodious Echo) Mason
Author, ARME Prayer Ministries Leader