Terry Baxter Devotional

Dunamis Power: Acts 1:8

Dunamis Power: Acts 1:8
“8) but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”” Acts‬ ‭1‬:‭8‬ ‭
This verse highlights the Great Commission purpose of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Greek word for “power” is “dunamis.” It is the same word from which we get the English word for “dynamite.” That intrigues me!
The basic idea in this verse is that God would do extraordinary things both in and through believers through His indwelling Holy Spirit. This “power” would give them both inner unction for effective witnessing and supernatural outward signs to confirm the gospel message.
It doesn’t mean that the miraculous would become common or ordinary. Then it would cease to be miraculous. But it means that God would step up and confirm the message of the gospel in powerful ways.
This is the point behind Hebrews 2:4. When the gospel is preached, God Himself would bear witness of the message with signs and wonders and miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit. In this verse, the word “dunamis” is translated as “miracles.” A true miracle can always be traced back to God.
In Acts 3-4, one miracle of healing opened the door for numerous evangelistic messages and opportunities to teach and preach about Jesus Christ. In the process, the disciples displayed unusual courage and boldness. This is a great example of the power of God at work. Only one man was healed and that resulted in many hearing the gospel.
Acts 1:8 provides another principle. God’s promised power was tied to the spread of the gospel. I look at it as “front lines power.” God did not promise His power for those sitting on the side lines or for personal consumption. It accompanies the spread of the gospel. It is an unction for witnessing.
I cannot explain it, but I’ve seen it hundreds of times over. When ordinary believers step up and step out in witnessing and sharing the gospel, glorious things begin to happen. Personal joy is compounded and God begins working in marvelous ways.
There is a wave or surge of power that accompanies the spread of the gospel. It translates into experiencing God in extraordinary ways.
If your walk with God is dry and mundane, it may be an indication that you are not living on the front lines of faith and world evangelism. Instead, you have most likely retreated into the comfort zone of self focus.
I cannot find a single verse in the Bible promising dunamis power for self consumption. Yet this is where many modern churches are content to live. Then they make that tragic observation that God doesn’t do miracles today.
Let me state this clearly, dunamis power is for making Jesus known and not for making self comfortable. It’s for actively reaching Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the remotest parts of the world with the gospel. If you want to experience God, get off your blessed assurance and report for duty on the front lines of sharing the gospel.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Changing the Times: Acts 1:6-7

Changing the Times: Acts 1:6-7
“6) So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7) He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;” Acts‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬-‭7‬
These two verses are fascinating. The Jewish people were looking for the Messiah to restore the Kingdom to Israel and rule the world from Jerusalem. Daniel 7:13-14; 27 and Amos 9:11-14 are prime examples of this kingdom restoration mindset.
The disciples were well versed in this kingdom restoration theology and expectation. This prompted the question; “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” According to their Old Testament view of prophecy, this was the next event on God’s timetable.
In Acts 1:7, Jesus acknowledged a coming change in times and epochs. God does indeed rule over the affairs of mankind and brings changes to times, governments and earthy administrations. Revelation 20:1-10 talks about the millennium reign of Christ on earth. The restoration promised in Old Testament prophecy is coming.
But God had a mystery age not clearly revealed in the Old Testament. Paul talked about this in depth in texts like Ephesians 3:3-13 and Colossians 1:26. This is often referred to as “the church age” or “the age of the indwelling Spirit of God.”
In Matthew 16:17, Jesus talked about building “His Church.” This was a new concept for the disciples. The obvious question should have been; “What is a church?” This is the first time the word “church” is used in the Bible. No wonder Paul called it a mystery. Let me paint a broader picture of this mystery.
The concepts of the Gospel based on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, grace, justification by faith, conversion, the indwelling Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, the church, the bride of Christ, salvation for the Gentiles and the Great Commission are all part of the mystery not clearly revealed in the Old Testament. Christianity is a huge paradigm change from Old Testament Judaism.
There is some argument over when the church age formally started. Was it with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ or was it the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? Most point to Pentecost.
According to Acts 1:4-5, the promise of the Father was going to change everything. It was going to mark a change in the times and the epochs. The age of the indwelling Holy Spirit for all believers was about to begin. The new focus would be on the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the body of Christ. Jesus was about to start building His Church. Times were about to change.
But here is the crucial point, the focus of this coming age revolves around the ministry of the Holy Spirit. If you want to be part of His Church, you need to put faith in Jesus Christ and then grow and mature in your walk in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit desires to do a huge work in you followed by a might work through you. Welcome to the book of Acts.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Wait for the Promise: Acts 1:4-5

Wait for the Promise: Acts 1:4-5
“4) And Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5) for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”” Acts‬ ‭1‬:‭4‬-‭5‬
The promise of the indwelling Holy Spirit marks a new age not experienced in the Old Testament. It was foretold in texts like Joel 2:28-29, but remained a mystery.
The Father promised the ministry of the Holy Spirit in John 14:16-18: 14:25-27 15:26-27 and 16:7-15. This would mark the beginning of a new age. Some call it the church age and others refer to it as the age of the indwelling Spirit of God.
Jesus did not want His disciples to leave Jerusalem and embark on the Great Commission without the Baptism and power of the Holy Spirit. He was not raising up a new religious sect, rather He was about to pour out an entirely new kind of relationship with God through the indwelling Holy Spirit. He commanded them to wait in Jerusalem for the promise from the Father.
In Acts 1:5, Jesus quotes from John the Baptist. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was promised by John the Baptist in each of the four gospels. It is recorded in Matthew 3:11-12; Mark 1:7-8; Luke 3:16 and John 1:33. These are the verses Jesus was referring to in Acts 1:5: “For John Baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
The stage was being set for something profound and unprecedented. It is tragic that there is so much controversy and confusion over the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Let me share briefly some of my story related to my deepening understanding and walk in the Spirit.
I came from a theological background that was very timid and inhibited about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It took me years to embrace the full meaning of Scriptures like John 4:22-25 and John 7:37-39. (Sorry, you need to look them up for yourself!)
Theological bias blinded me to the gifts and fruits of the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12-14 and Galatians 5:22-26) I believed in Jesus but lived in fleshly bondage and trusted man made doctrines and human reason to guide me. The full meaning of Romans 6-8 escaped me. I shunned the Person of the Holy Spirit.
Memorizing many chapters in the Bible from books like John, 1 Corinthians, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Hebrews and 1 & 2 Peter began to chip away at the at numerous false notions about the Holy Spirit commonly held in evangelical churches. However, solid hermeneutics preventing me from embracing much of the emotionalism and extra biblical phenomenon in other groups. The Bible became my guide.
As my understanding about the walk in the Spirit deepened, so did my exposure to the international body of Christ and the persecuted church. I have been privileged to rub shoulders with many obscure saints of whom the world is not worthy. Over time, God graciously led me into deep and overflowing communion with Jesus Christ through His Spirit and His Word.
Now I fully enjoy and embrace the anointing, unction and power of the Holy Spirit. My walk with God through His Spirit has become like rivers of living water in my innermost being. I no longer stuff God or the Holy Spirit in the small box of any denominational bias. I long to experience the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, the fellowship of His suffering, the full mysteries of His Word and sweet communion with His Spirit.
Be prepared to be challenged as we study the book of Acts. This book will expose your theological bias no matter your background.
Many believers and segments of the body of Christ around the world today are still experiencing God working in ways like the book of Acts. I am no longer an agnostic about the ministry and power of the Holy Spirit in this present age. God is sovereign, powerful and in control, but He will not force His Spirit or glory on any person. Many have not because they believe not. My advice to the skeptic about the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit is the same as Jesus to His disciples; “wait for what God promised!”
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Proof of the Resurrection: Acts 1:3

Proof of the Resurrection: Acts 1:3
“3) To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.” Acts‬ ‭1‬:‭3
One of the important ministries of Jesus Christ took place between His resurrection and ascension. He made numerous post resurrection appearances over a period of forty days. He gave proof of His resurrection and did much teaching about the kingdom of God.
I Corinthians 15:1-11 talks about some of His posts resurrection appearances. At one point, He appeared to a group of over 500 disciples at one time. Paul stressed that at the time of his writing the book of 1 Corinthians, many of the witnesses were still alive.
This is important because the resurrection of Jesus Christ was not an obscure event. It was not a fictitious story made up by a few of His zealous followers. In fact, some like Thomas were doubters.
The crowning proof of His resurrection is that many of His disciples willing became martyrs to uphold the claim of His resurrection. This phase of His ministry lasted forty days and was very convincing. It became the launching pad of the gospel and world evangelization.
I have ministered to many skeptics, agnostics and atheists over the years. My favorite form of apologetics is to invite them to research the claims of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As many of them have been confronted with the evidence of the resurrection, the Holy Spirit brought them to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Introduction to the Book of Acts: Acts 1:1-2

Introduction to the Book of Acts: Acts 1:1-2
“1) The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2) until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.” Acts‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬-‭2‬ ‭
The book of Acts was written by the same human author that penned the Gospel of Luke. He was both a researcher and an accomplished historian. He was known as “Luke, the beloved Physician.” (Colossians 4:14)
From this context of Colossians 4:10-14, we discover that Luke was not from “the circumcision.” He was not Jewish. Judging by the style of his Greek language usage, which approaches that of Classical Greek Literature, he was by far the most Greek cultured of all New Testament writers.
This means the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts are the only two books in the Bible not written by a Jewish author. The book was often quoted by early Christian writers and not one of them questioned the authorship or authenticity of the book.
As you read the book of Acts, suddenly the word “we” is include in the text. Some believe that Luke accompanied Paul on three separate occasions. (See Acts 16:10-17; 20:5-21:18; and 27:1-28:16) He is the earliest example of “a media team.” Though he is subtly mentioned in these three texts, he ascribes no ministry or works to himself.
Both the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts are addressed to Theophilus. (Compare Luke 1:3 and Acts 1:1) The name “Theophilus” is a bit of a mystery. It is a Greek name that could be translate as “God Lover” or “Loved by God.” Some ascribe the name to a real person, others see it more generally as meaning “all who love God.”
The books may have been written from Rome where Luke accompanied Paul in his imprisonment. The date of the two books seem to be around AD 62 or 63. The book of Acts oddly and abruptly ends with Paul’s imprisonment in Rome with no mention of his trial or martyrdom.
This leads me to a personal speculation about these two books. They may have been prepared by Luke as part of the legal defense for Paul before Caesar. This would help explain the abrupt end of the book of Acts prior to Paul’s actual trial in Rome. It also explains why Luke did not track the history of the other more prominent Apostles like Peter, James or John. After the arrest of Paul in Jerusalem, they were completely dropped from the record.
Whatever the human purpose, the book of Acts was divinely inspired by God to be the only history of the early church. Nearly all other Epistles of the New Testament can be fit into the time line of the book of Acts. The big exception is the book of Revelation, which was written later by the Apostle John.
Join me as we begin a detailed study of the book of Acts.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

God the Provider: Exodus 35:20-36:7

God the Provider: Exodus 35:20-36:7
Today I want to combine my Daily Bible Commentary with the May Miracle that is underway to raise money to purchase a ministry building in Peru, South America.
My personal motto is: “It’s our job to tell the story; It’s God’s job to move the mountain!” The mountain to raise $95,000 plus 18% to 20% more for attorneys and closing fees in Peru, South America for the purchase of a building for Life Line Ministries in the month of May is moving! To God be the glory!
As of Friday, May 26, 2023 the balance in hand is $92,134.24. Just to clarify what God is doing, let me summarize the last three days.
May 24, 2023: $62,072.57 May 25, 2023: $84,372.86 May 26, 2023: $92,134.24
Isn’t God the Provider wonderful? The match challenge has now been fully met and surpassed, but God is still matching donors with blessings.
The total goal for closing fees and some needed maintenance issues is $120,000. The closing date is June 15, 2023. Because of memorial weekend, the GoServ Global office will be closed until May 30th. I will bring another update at that time.
Join in and give toward this miracle and become part of a memory that can be celebrated into eternity. Many are coming to Jesus through Life Line Ministries. I’m celebrating every day how God is working through His people in moving this mountain.
One of my favorite Bible stories of God’s provision through His People in the Bible is found in Exodus 35:20-36:7. As they prepared to build the tabernacle, God moved the people to give for the project. It looked impossible. The project was big. They were wandering in the wilderness. Not one of them had a regular job or income. Yet God moved many of them to give.
The results were incredible! There was such an abundance that Exodus 36:5-7 says that Moses had to issue a command for the people to stop giving toward the tabernacle project. Can you imagine that?
I do not believe in the modern prosperity doctrine, but I do believe in the principles clearly written in the Bible. In Malachi 3:8-12, God calls His people to test Him with tithes. He promised to open the windows of heaven on faithful givers. This is the only matter in the whole Bible about which God commands us to test Him! That should get your attention.
This same principle is found in 2 Corinthians 8-9 in the New Testament. God wants us to discover Him as faithful provider through our giving to His work. He wants to open the windows of heaven.
My goal in early June is to slip into the sandals of Moses and write an update that says, “Stop Giving Toward This Project. The Needs Have Been Abundantly Met!”
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Conclusion to the book of Matthew

Conclusion to the book of Matthew
1) “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Matthew 1:1
“20) teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭20‬ ‭
From beginning to end, the book of Matthew is about giving evidence to the skeptic that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah. The most common phrase in the book is “now all of this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying…” (see Matthew 1:22) Phrases like this appear throughout the whole book. The author highlights innumerable Old Testament prophesies fulled by the birth, life, public ministry, miracles, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Some of these prophecies were done “by” Him, but most were done “to” Him by no act of His own will. This is especially true of the many prophesies fulfilled surrounding His birth and crucifixion. Why is this important? It is impossible for the critic to say Jesus read the prophetic script and manipulated their fulfillment.
The first verse in the book of Matthew begins with His genealogy as a direct descendant of both King David and Abraham. The Messiah had to be a direct descendant of both men.
The last verse in the book of Matthew ends with the statement of the end of the age. The implication is that He is coming back to set up His kingdom. (Compare to Acts 1:6-8) Matthew is implying that His identity as Messiah has been established and therefore His authority and teachings are to be obeyed.
I maintain that Matthew more than accomplished His goal of proving that Jesus Christ was and is the Messiah. But keep in mind, Matthew is merely one of four Gospels about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. When these four books are harmonized, we have the most complete historical evidence and proof of authenticity of any religious or secular figure of antiquity or modern origin. No one else comes close!
The claims of His genealogical origin, life, ministry, miracles, teachings, death, burial and resurrection are credibly established beyond all doubt. If you look at the four Gospels as testimony by four eye witnesses in a court trial, they pass the test of authenticity, credibility and reliability. Though a few of them added details skipped by others, there is zero contradiction in their testimonies. They harmonize in every detail.
The evidence points to only one verdict; Jesus Christ was and is the Messiah, the Son of God and the Creator of all things. His word is trustworthy and His promise to return and set up His Kingdom must be taken seriously.
The birth pangs of the end times given by Jesus Christ in Matthew 24-25 read like current events and breaking news. The book of Matthew is complete right down to end time prophecy. The serious reader of the book of Matthew and the four Gospels cannot remain neutral. Your eternal destiny will be determined by your view of Jesus Christ.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

The Great Commission: Matthew 28:18-20

The Great Commission: Matthew 28:18-20
“18) And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20) teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭18‬-‭20‬ ‭
We now have what is commonly called “The Great Commission.” This was the formal commissioning service for the eleven apostles. Let’s look at a few key components of this commission.
First, Jesus made this commission based on His authority. (Vs 18) He was sending them out both by His authority and with His authority. Both sides of the coin are important.
Second, the direction of the motion was to “Go! He was sending them forth from Palestine to all the nations around the world. This was a huge expansion from Matthew 10:5-7 where they were sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Look at the geographical expansion of Acts 1:8; Jerusalem – all Judea – Samaria – the remotest parts of the earth.
Third, they were to make disciples of all the nations. The focus was on disciple making and not merely on preaching the gospel. Christianity at its core is a new life building movement. The gospel is intended to radically change people into Christ likeness.
Forth, they were to baptize the converts in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I look at this respectively as a baptism of repentance, forgiveness and power. Look at the progression of Mark 1:8, Acts 2:38 and Acts 1:4-5,8. Baptism in the name of the Father emphasized repentance, baptism in the name of the Son emphasized forgiveness and baptism in the Holy Spirit emphasized power.
Fifth, they were to teach the followers of Jesus to keep His commandments. They both preached the Gospel and taught the full council of God’s Word. They were not to leave people in biblical illiteracy.
Sixth, they were to rest in the continual presence of Jesus. He promised to be with them in and through all things. He was not going to abandon them or forsake them.
Finally, they were to embrace these dynamics of the church age while looking forward to the return of Christ. The apostles were focused on the coming kingdom age in Acts 1:6. He acknowledged it was coming, but first they needed to fully embrace the age of the indwelling Spirit of God and their commission to reach even to the remotest parts of the earth with the gospel. (Study the full context of Acts 1:6-8)
We are still in the church age. This commission given in Matthew 28:18-20 is the job description of the church. I fully embrace the Great Commission. Knowing and loving Jesus Christ has given me a burning passion for world evangelization.
Every local church must fight the tendency to become introverted and self focused. Embracing Jesus Christ translates into a call to reach the whole world with the gospel. The Great Commission is as relevant and binding on the church today as it was when Jesus delivered it to His first eleven disciples. The presence and power of God is abundantly poured out on those who selflessly carry this baton.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

The Preamble: Matthew 28:18

The Preamble: Matthew 28:18
“18) And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭18‬
This stands as one of the most important claims made by Jesus in the whole Bible. He said “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” By this statement He was claiming to be God. No authority in heaven or on earth is higher than Jesus Christ. This is an absolutely profound claim. Why?
Everything comes down to the issue of authority. When Peter and John were brought before the rulers and elders for healing the beggar and preaching the gospel, the question posed to them was; “By what power, or in what name have you done this?” (Acts 4:7) Their authority was being questioned. They quickly pointed to the resurrected Christ. (See Acts 4:8-10) The balance of the chapter is even more profound on the subject of authority.
They recognized the authority of Jesus Christ was higher than angels, demons, human government, religious leaders and even sickness, disease and physical impairments. They claimed His authority was the bases for both healing and preaching the gospel.
You need to settle the issue of authority or you will forever be timid and wavering. The classic response of Peter and John to the threats and command of the religious leader to teach no more in the name of Jesus Christ brings this issue into focus; “19) But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 20) for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”” (Acts‬ ‭4‬:‭19‬-‭20‬) They were standing and ministering squarely in the authority Jesus Christ bestowed on them in Matthew 28:18. They did not weaver.
As Messiah, Jesus is the highest spiritual authority. As King of kings, Jesus is the highest political authority. As Savior, Jesus is the only means of Salvation. As the Great Physician, Jesus is the highest medical authority. As Creator, Jesus has dominion over the entire physical universe. As Truth, Jesus is the measure of philosophy. The list goes on and on!
In Matthew 8:5-13, the centurion made the issue of authority the basis of coming to Jesus with the request of healing for his paralyzed servant. Jesus marveled at his insight into His identity. He summarized his view of authority as “great faith.” (Vs 10)
In Philippians 2:9-11, Paul made the same observation into the transcending authority of the name of Jesus Christ. He said; “9) For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10) so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11) and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Notice, Jesus Christ is the highest authority in heaven, on earth and under the earth.
I trust this subject is starting to resonate with you. You will never attempt for God or accomplish anything of lasting value greater than your view of Jesus Christ. This subject of Jesus Christ being the highest authority is the basis of faith, confidence, boldness, missions, power, personal freedom, personal priorities, healthy relationships, prayer, intercession, healing and miracles.
How pathetic if your focus is on self and your own limited gifts and abilities. This amounts to self authority. How tragic if your focus is on human programs and strategic planning. This amounts to policy authority. How hopeless if your focus is on systems of organization or human government. This amounts to structure authority. These all play a small role in success, but our primary fuel must be a relentless focus on Jesus Christ, His authority and the promise of the Holy Spirit. This translates to Divine authority!
The Great Commission is far too important to entrust to mere human agency and ability. A Divine calling needs Divine provision. That provision rests squarely in the preamble to the Great Commission as delivered by Jesus Himself here in Matthew 28:18. On these words the believer must stand.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Post Resurrection Appearances: Matthew 28:16-17; Acts 1:3

Post Resurrection Appearances: Matthew 28:16-17; Acts 1:3
“16) But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17) When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.” Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭16‬-‭17
“3) To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.” Acts‬ ‭1‬:‭3‬
According to Matthew 28:7, the angel that appeared at the empty tomb said that Jesus was going to proceed His disciples into Galilee. The post resurrection scene in John 21 between Jesus and His disciples after a long night of fishing transpired on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus made numerous post resurrection appearance. During five separate occasions He gave aspects of the Great Commission. Spreading the Gospel to all people was foremost on His heart.
This occasion in Matthew 28:16-17 was most likely not His ascension as recorded in Acts 1:9-11. Instead, this was likely one of His many post resurrection teaching sessions in which He taught about the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3) Prior to His ascension, He sent them back to Jerusalem and commanded them to wait for the Promise of the Father.
So what can we learn from these three verses in Matthew 28:16-17 and Acts 1:3? Let’s dive into the text.
First, Jesus had providential meeting times and places for His disciples. In this case, it was on a mountain in Galilee. He called the eleven aside to meet with Him.
I am a firm believer is setting aside time daily to meet with God. But in this case, Jesus called them aside for a longer time with Him on a mountain. It lasted over a period of forty days. Be willing to clear your schedule to meet with God!
Second, this was a time for teaching and learning. (See Acts 1:3). His first sermon was given on a mountain. (Matthew 5-7) His final teachings to the eleven also took place on a mountain. I believe the place is secondary to the event of abiding in the presence of God.
Third, He spoke to them of things concerning the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3) When God calls you aside to meet with Him, humble yourself and let the Holy Spirit teach you! Spend time in His presence with your Bible open. Don’t be in a rush. Abide in His presence until all other voices, distractions and worries grow silent. It may take hours… or days… or even longer. Jesus wants to reveal kingdom truth and kingdom ways to you. (Read Isaiah 55:6-12) This was Paul’s prayer for every new believer as recorded in Ephesians 1:18-23. Invite the Holy Spirit to be your teacher.
Forth, this was a time of worship. (Matthew 1:17a) Corporate worship is important, but personal worship is transformational. This moves way beyond being a spectator to becoming a participant. Worship is an action verb. It is something you must actively enter into! It is intimate communion with God! If you cannot enter into meaningful worship and communion with God, you might be religious but lost! Jesus wants us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)
Finally, this was a time to resolve personal doubts. (Matthew 28:17b) “… but some were doubtful.” This phrase is significant. Some of the disciples had doubts and questions. Jesus was not offended that they were real and honest in His presence. Don’t let your hurts or hangups cause you to run from God! Instead, run to Him! Carve out time to meet with Him for an honest heart to heart conversation. Resolving doubts and overcoming personal hangups seemed to be part of what motivated these post resurrection appearances. There are both answers and healing in the presence of Jesus.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global