Day 1: The Promise of the Holy Spirit
Read Acts 1:1-5
The book of Acts opens with an introduction from Luke, the author, addressing Theophilus, his intended audience. In this introduction, Luke gives an overview of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances to his disciples and his promise to them before ascending to heaven. This promise was the gift of the Holy Spirit who would come upon them and empower them to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth.
The Holy Spirit is not just a mere force, but a person who has been sent to us by Jesus. The Holy Spirit is our helper, comforter, and guide. In John 14:26, Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the “Advocate” who will teach and remind us of everything he has said. In John 16:13, Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. As believers, we have the Holy Spirit living within us. This means we have access to God’s power, wisdom, and guidance through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live a life that honors God and to be a witness for Christ. It is through the Holy Spirit that we can bear fruit in our lives, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Take a moment to reflect on how the Holy Spirit has been at work in your life. Perhaps it was during a time of worship when you felt a deep sense of God’s presence. It could be when you were facing a difficult situation and the Holy Spirit gave you peace, and comfort. Or it could be when the Holy Spirit prompted you to speak a word of encouragement to someone who was hurting.
Reflection Question: In what ways have I experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in my life?
Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank you for your promise to be with me always. Fill me afresh today and empower me to be a faithful witness for Christ. Help me to rely on your guidance and wisdom in all areas of my life. May my life bear fruit that honors you and brings glory to your name. Amen.
Day 2: The Ascension
Read Acts 1:6-11
After Jesus’ resurrection, he spent forty days with his disciples, teaching them about the kingdom of God. However, the disciples were still expecting Jesus to establish an earthly kingdom and free Israel from Roman oppression. So, when they asked Jesus if he was going to restore the kingdom to Israel, he replied that it was not for them to know the times or dates that the Father has set by his own authority (Acts 1:7).
After this conversation, Jesus ascended to heaven in front of his disciples. The ascension of Jesus was a significant event that demonstrated his victory over death, sin, and Satan. It also marked the end of his earthly ministry and the beginning of his heavenly reign. The angels who appeared to the disciples after Jesus’ ascension confirmed that he will come back in the same way he left.
The hope of Christ’s return is central to our faith. In John 14:3, Jesus promised that he would come back and take his disciples to be with him. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Paul describes how Jesus will descend from heaven with a loud command, and the dead in Christ will rise first, and then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
As believers, the hope of Christ’s return should impact every aspect of our lives. It should give us a sense of urgency to live for Christ and share the gospel with others. It should also give us hope and comfort in difficult times, knowing that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).
Furthermore, the hope of Christ’s return should motivate us to live a life of holiness and purity, knowing that one day we will stand before Him to give an account of our lives. We are called to live as if Jesus could return at any moment, with our hearts and minds fixed on him.
Reflection Question: How does the hope of Christ’s return impact how I live today?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I long for your return. Help me to live each day with the expectation of your coming and to be faithful in my witness until that day. May the hope of your return give me the strength and courage to endure whatever trials I may face. Help me to live a life that honors you and brings glory to your name. Amen.
Day 3: The Great Commission
Read Matthew 28:16-20
In Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus gives his disciples the Great Commission. He tells them to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything he has commanded.
The Great Commission is not just a command for the disciples but for all believers. We are all called to be witnesses for Christ and to share the good news of the gospel with others. Jesus’ command to make disciples means that we are not only to share the message of salvation, but we are also to invest in the lives of those who come to faith and help them grow in their relationship with Christ.
Sharing the gospel with others can be intimidating and uncomfortable, but Jesus promises to be with us always, even to the end of the age. We can trust in His power and presence to give us the words to say and the courage to speak them.
Take a moment to reflect on how you have been obedient to Jesus’ command to make disciples. Have you shared the gospel with others? Have you invested in the lives of those who have come to faith? Have you taught others to obey everything Jesus has commanded?
If you feel like you haven’t been faithful in fulfilling the Great Commission, don’t be discouraged. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you opportunities to share the gospel and to help you be a faithful witness for Christ.
Reflection Question: How have I been faithful in fulfilling the Great Commission in my life?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your command to make disciples. Help me to be a faithful witness for you and to share the gospel with others. Give me the words to say and the courage to speak them. Help me to invest in the lives of those who come to faith and to teach them to obey everything you have commanded. May my life be a reflection of your love and grace. Amen.
Day 4: The Promise of the Holy Spirit
Read Acts 1:4-5, 8
In Acts 1:4-5, Jesus commanded his disciples not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for the gift the Father had promised, which was the Holy Spirit. He told them that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit in just a few days.
Then, in Acts 1:8, Jesus said to his disciples, “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.” The Holy Spirit would empower the disciples to be effective witnesses for Christ, even to the ends of the earth.
The Holy Spirit is an essential aspect of the Christian life. When we become believers, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit is the source of our power and strength as we seek to live a life that honors God. He convicts us of sin, teaches us the truth, and guides us in all things (John 14:26).
Take a moment to reflect on how you are relying on the Holy Spirit in your life. Are you seeking His guidance and wisdom in your decisions? Are you allowing Him to convict you of sin and to help you grow in your relationship with Christ? Are you relying on His power and strength to live a life that honors God? If you feel like you haven’t been relying on the Holy Spirit in your life, ask God to help you be more aware of his presence and to help you rely on him more fully.
Reflection Question: How am I relying on the Holy Spirit in my life today?
Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank you for your presence in my life. Help me to rely on you more fully and to seek your guidance and wisdom in all things. Convict me of sin and help me to grow in my relationship with Christ. Empower me to be an effective witness for Christ, even to the ends of the earth. May my life be a reflection of your power and presence. Amen.
Day 5: The Ascension
Read Acts 1:9-11
In Acts 1:9-11, we read about the ascension of Jesus. After Jesus had given his disciples the Great Commission and promised them the Holy Spirit, he was taken up into heaven before their eyes. Two angels appeared to the disciples and told them that Jesus would return in the same way they had seen him go into heaven.
The ascension of Jesus is significant because it marks the end of his earthly ministry and the beginning of his heavenly reign. Jesus had completed the work he came to do, and now he was returning to his Father in Heaven.
But the ascension is also a reminder of Jesus’ promise to return. Just as he ascended into heaven, he will one day return to earth to establish his kingdom fully. This gives us hope and assurance that one day all things will be made right, and we will be with Him forever.
Reflection Question: Am I living with the expectation of Jesus’ return?
Take a moment to reflect on whether you are living with the expectation of Jesus’ return. Are you living in a way that honors Him and prepares for His coming? Are you eagerly anticipating the day when he will return and establish his kingdom fully?
If you feel like you haven’t been living with the expectation of Jesus’ return, ask God to help you live in a way that honors him and prepares for his coming. Pray that he would fill you with hope and assurance that one day all things will be made right, and you will be with him forever.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the promise of your return. Help me to live with the expectation of your coming and to eagerly anticipate the day when you will establish your kingdom fully. Fill me with hope and assurance that one day all things will be made right, and I will be with you forever. Help me to live in a way that honors you and prepares for your coming. May my life be a reflection of your love and grace. Amen.