Monday, January 8, 2018

Authority or Power?

Acts 1:6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But 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.”
When Jesus walked the earth, leading the Apostles through the discipleship process, they noticed the responses of people to Him. One recurring thing they noted was the people recognized His teaching as authoritative - He had a right to say what He said. This was coupled with the power He demonstrated over creation and the effects of the Fall on creation, including people. He makes it very clear here that there are many things we will not have authority over, but which He, through the Holy Spirit, will empower us to do. When we get into trouble is when we want both.  Satan, in his temptation of Jesus had all sorts of power he could give to Jesus; what he did not have was authority, and that is what he has always wanted and pretended to have.  To be sure, there are some areas of authority God has given His people, but we should always expect and accept what He offers, and not demand or desire any more.

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