Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Acts 1:1-11 (NIV)
Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven
1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 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.” 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
To which “Jerusalem” are you called to bear witness? How do you need the spirit to help you?
Holy God, I thank You for your gift of sending Your Spirit into this world and into my heart. It is by Your Holy Spirit that I know You. It is through the Holy Spirit that I can hear Your voice and speak directly to You. It is the same power of the Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead that actually lives in me now. That power moves me to be a witness for You in our city, nation, and the world through action and service. I am weak, but the Holy Spirit comes to empower me, to help and guide me in every aspect of my life. Everything I have belongs to You and I want You to be involved in all of my life through the Holy Spirit living within me. Help my life and the work I do to serve You bring honor to You. Let my behavior and the words I say proclaim Your kingdom every day. Use my life as an instrument to reach those who need to know You as Savior. Give me the wisdom and courage to bear witness to the gospel through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Amen.