"Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass." Need I say more? When God says it, it is as good as done. The only question is when. The answer is, in God's good and perfect time.
Thank You, LORD. You are the Promise Maker and the Promise Keeper. Holy Spirit, please teach me to rest in the promises of my God.
"But you shall receive power of the kind which God has and exerts after the Holy Spirit has come upon you. And you shall be those who testify of what they have seen and experienced, my witnesses, both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and in Samaria and to the end of the earth." (Wuest New Testament: an expanded translation)
Notice the title of this book in your Bible. Some Bibles have the simple title of "Acts" others have the "The Acts Of The Apostles." Through the years, some have contended this book should be called "Acts of the Holy Spirit Through the Apostles." I fall into that camp. Just as in Genesis 1 it is apparent God is the original actor, so too in the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit is the main character. He works in and through many people in Luke's letter to Theophilus, but He is The Actor.
Verse eight tells us His primary role in the book; He will strengthen those who are God's witnesses in establishing the church throughout the world. I used the Wuest translation to emphasize the power given is the power of God exerted upon them through the work of the Holy Spirit. Also, these witnesses will testify about what they have seen and experienced.
As you are reading through Acts for the second time this year, pay particular attention to the activity of the Holy Spirit. You will see the power of God exhibited through Him to unify, grow, and resolve conflict in the Church. It is crucial for us to remember His action is as necessary for the Church today as at the Church's conception.
Holy Spirit, give us eyes to see Your activity as we study Luke's description of the spread of the Gospel throughout the known world. Jesus told us He would build His Church and we know it is through Your working this happens. May we value Your Church as You do. Please convict us of our need to be those who are now Your witnesses.
"Because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold." This attitude is a great temptation for me. As I see lawlessness increasing, I have a strong tendency to be apathetic. I display my apathy with a lack of care for others and greater concern for myself.
Holy Spirit, I must have Your help not to go down this path. Please give me eyes to see the truth of where lawlessness leads. I do not want my love to grow cold. I fear, no, I know I have already allowed that to happen. Please forgive me. Teach me to love as Jesus loved, for I want to be one who endures to the end. I want the salvation that comes to those who do.