By Dennis Furr – Manassas, VA
A few years ago, our ministry framed our annual theme as “Jesus To the World.” That phrase aligns with the final encouragements that Jesus made in the book of Acts before his ascension into the heavenlies.
“… wait for the promise of the Father… ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” Acts 1:4,8,9 KJV
These last instructions of Jesus before leaving the earth were for the disciples to wait for the pouring out of the gift of the holy spirit and to be the Lord’s witnesses across the world. This great commissioning can still be our simple focus today.
It’s Not About Circumstances
In Acts chapter one, disciples of Jesus asked him a question regarding the re-establishment of the political power back to Israel from Roman dominance. Israel had been under foreign rule from about 538 BC to 63 BC by the Persians and Greeks.
Then the Romans took over from the Greeks in 63 BC. Political conflict was in people’s minds then, as it is today.
“Therefore, when they had come together, they asked him, saying, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? And he said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” Acts 1:6-7 NKJV
The question asked was whether or not Jesus would restore the political power back to Israel now. But the Lord had a different instruction for the disciplined followers—his highest instructed folks and dear friends.
They were told to wait for the power and manifest the love. Their instruction was that they not only teach it in Jerusalem and Judea but across the entire world. History shows that the apostle Thomas would travel to the southern tip of India to speak the Word and establish believers.
A short time after the resurrection, some of the disciples decided to go back to fishing. The record in John 21 says they fished all night and caught nothing. From the shore that morning, Jesus saw them in boats on the water.
Building a fire and cooking fish, the Lord called out inspired instructions for these expert fishermen to cast their net on one side of their boat. They caught a huge amount of fish! And they immediately recognized who gave the instructions due to the amount of fish caught.
When they came to shore, Jesus asked Peter if he loved him more than the fish. He asked three times. With all the career choices and other cultural causes available, Jesus Christ repeatedly brought Peter’s attention back to witnessing about him and what was available because of his sacrifice.
Their job was simply to spread the Good News.
That’s Still Our Job
What’s changed since Christ’s time on earth? There are still military forces and colonies in the world. There are still corrupt politicians, sickness, death, and other negative events. We can have an impact on our communities by sharing God’s Word and bringing the Good News.
After the ascension, Saul violently persecuted the followers of Christ. He stood by as Stephen was stoned. When the ascended Christ told Ananias to go minister to Saul, Ananias responded to the Lord about “how much evil” Saul had done to the believers.
Jesus said, “Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” Again, the emphasis is on sharing the Good News about Jesus Christ.
It’s All About Jesus
Fast-forward to today. We are now a group of people filled with holy spirit. We can operate all nine manifestations. We are people who can speak about and lead people into the new birth and share the power of redemption.
Our message of deliverance is not about political factions, but about healing hearts. It is not about partisan division, but about “the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.”
We Christ-followers will have a variety of experiences that mold our secular preferences. We may have differing perspectives or feel called to bring God’s light into a range of societal causes.
But let’s keep our primary focus on the last exhortations of Jesus … to be witnesses across the world by walking in the fresh overflow of the spirit (Acts 1:8).
Graphic courtesy of Church Motion Graphics
Both ordained into Christian ministry, Dennis and his wife, Susan, serve as CFFM state contacts for Virginia. Married for 33 years, they have three children, Rebekah, Micah and Abigail, each of whom are past participants at YES! Camp in Tipp City, Ohio. The Furrs live in Historic Manassas, Virginia.