You would think seeing Jesus alive would fire up the disciples, empower them to take the good news of Jesus to the world. It simply didn't happen that way. After Jesus rose from the tomb, the disciples locked themselves in a room "for fear of the Jews" (John 20:19). Jesus appeared to them and showed them the nail holes in his hands and his side where the spear had pierced him. One week later, the disciples were in the same room, doors locked again. Jesus showed up again, same routine. What happened after that? "Simon Peter said to them, 'I am going fishing'" (John 21:3), and off they went.
We are made in God's image, but we are dead in our sin and we must be awakened. We, too, must rise from the dead, and we don't summon that life because we experienced an event, no matter how dramatic. Our batteries are not drained, they are dead; they cannot hold a charge. God must reach inside us and renew our life. The book of Acts tells us what turned a bunch of faint-hearted followers into world-changing warriors. "Awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles" (Acts 2:43).
I pushed and pushed, trying to make the mower cut through the tall grass. My Dad came out, "Why are you trying so hard? Pull this lever up." I did. And the mower leaped forward. It was self-propelled.
Jesus said to his disciples, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). When the day arrived, there was a rushing wind and tongues of fire appeared, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
I'd been struggling with all my might to push the mower, but once I engaged the power, I just went along for the ride. "And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved" (Acts 2:46-47).
Father God, Your Son said that we, His followers, His church, would do greater things than He did. He saved the world. What could be greater? By the power of Your Holy Spirit, we take the message of Your salvation to the world. By that power, lives are changed.
God, may I be faithful to follow Your Word, going to the world, in the power of Your Spirit, in the Name of Your Son, with the gospel of grace. I will be faithful to plant the seeds and water the soil. God, You make it grow.