Thursday, May 27, 2010
SALT Challenge - Be Witnesses
It's time for another SALT challenge!! This week it was Hazel's turn and she chose a text from Acts. She provided us with such an excellent write up that I'm simply going to share snippets of what she wrote, along with my own thoughts, and would encourage you to head over to the SALT blog, to not only read her entire write up, but also to see all of the beautiful work the design team has created. The specific verse for today is Acts 1:8:"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 2 records how the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and as a result they were able to speak in languages understood by those around, telling them about Jesus. Peter spoke with such power, saying: "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off — for all whom the Lord our God will call." The Lord called 3,000 people that day... The story in Acts is a powerful one, God gave those men special abilities for a particular time in history. Those gifts and that power were given so that men would know for certain that it had come from God Himself since, for example, none of us today would be able to instantly begin speaking in a different language. While the Holy Spirit no longer works in the exact same way as He did in Acts, that same power is available for us today. The Holy Spirit can give Christians the strength and courage to testify to others of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. More (or just as) importantly though is the power that the Holy Spirit has to transform a life. To transform a person's heart, thoughts, desires, and actions. I read an excellent quote a few months ago from a Christian writer and he said, "If I'm killing myself, I do not need to be rehabilitated. I need to be transformed. I need to be another person. Therapy does not make you another person. Rehabilitation rarely removes bad stuff. Transformation replaces bad stuff with good stuff. That is the difference." Only Christ has the power to truly transform an individual and the Holy Spirit works within the heart, before and after that transformation, to grant us the strength to put away our damaging sins and to sincerely follow Christ in heart and conduct. One last thought...Hazel looked up definitions of the word 'witness' and one of them is: "One who can give a firsthand account of something seen, heard, or experienced." In Acts, the apostles were witnesses to those around them of what actually happened to them and through them. As Christians we have a story to tell - a firsthand account - of our own experience of God's saving grace in our own lives and of the work of the Holy Spirit. My story is simple, "Believe on Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved...." Please stop by the SALT blog and if you feel led to create something based on today's challenge, leave us a comment with a link back to your blog or gallery. Thank you for visiting today!!