Is there any greater display of power than the power it takes to raise the dead to life? For the earliest believers, it had to be a jolt just to be close to the power displayed in Jesus.

That mighty "lightning bolt" has been seen and heard through the centuries and can be seen and heard still in the lives of Jesus-followers today.

That's good news; especially if you're in need of a jolt of God's power today.

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So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set 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, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:6-8

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With the resurrection, Jesus’ disciples finally got the message – or at least part of it. They call Jesus “Lord,” recognizing him as Messiah and King. After this first word, though, they start to show how much they have left to learn. They’re on the right track thinking about the Kingdom, but they’re still focused on the restoration of Israel. God had something much bigger in mind.

The Kingdom of God certainly includes Israel, but God’s plan includes reconciliation of all nations. The good news must go outward from Israel, beginning in Jerusalem and radiating to the ends of the earth. No national, cultural, or ethnic boundaries can fence God’s love in, then or now.

Only the Spirit could nudge the disciples towards this grand vision. Their story makes me wonder, “When are my understandings of God’s plan too small?” Do we sometimes limit God’s work to our own expectations? What if God has a mission in mind bigger than we could adopt on our own? Let’s listen for a wider call.

Joshua Hays

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Lord Jesus, forgive me when my plans are too small. Forgive me when I try to limit your love to people who seem familiar to me, whether I realize it or not. Help me to catch sight of the bigger vision that you have for all people. Amen.

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Feel the power that rises beneath you,
Raising you up to embrace the life
That God intends for you to know.

Carry yourself, then, with humble confidence,
Aware that it is the very hand of God
That holds you upright and alive.

Joshua Hays

Joshua Hays recently graduated from divinity school with his Master of Divinity degree. He currently works at the Passport national office in Birmingham, Alabama, and has served churches there and in Tennessee.

The Old Rugged Cross

Clay Mottley

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