God's Mandates

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 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.  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
Acts 1:4-9

Reflections

When I was a child, my dad was a pastor in Granbury, Texas.  He had been in the Navy and at times that training was passed on to my four siblings and me.  We lived in the only house on the only street in Pecan Plantation that had lakefront property.  The world was our playground!  We had the lake in our front yard and the Brazos River behind us!  There were no internet and no cellphones.  What a great way to grow up!

Of course, there was work to be done too.  Dad would tell my brother and me to mow the back “yard” which consisted mainly of weeds and stickers.  If it wasn’t done by the time Dad got home, we knew he would not be pleased.  Summer fun would have to wait.  Mowing the yard was not optional.
 
There is a lot of talk these days about “mandates” from people.  The world is entirely caught up and concerned about these mandates.  A mandate is not optional, and many times it draws a line in the sand that separates the compliant from the noncompliant.  It seems there is no neutral ground anymore due to the mandates of men.  But what about the “mandates” of God?

What are some things that God has commanded that are not optional?!  Shouldn’t we be more concerned about what The Creator of the universe has told us to do?  Do we really believe that Jesus’ last instructions before He left the earth are mandatory?

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” (Mark 16:15)

My question is, “How could those few disciples “go into all the world” unless Jesus expected others to follow them and take up where they left off until His return?"

Jesus said in Matthew 24:45-46, “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing."

You are a blessed kid when Dad comes home and finds you mowing the weeds and the stickers!  In the same way, you are a blessed child of God when Jesus returns and finds you being witnesses to Jesus in Granbury, Hood County, DFW and the world!

The Bible also says in Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. 

As we see the day of Jesus’ return approaching, we should be doing more, not less.  God honors people of faith who find ways to do what He said to do even in a world that is contrary to God’s mandates!  Be witnesses in whatever way you can! You have the power!  He has given us power to be witnesses!  He hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7) 

Written by Daniel Kraft
Granbury Campus Pastor of The Heights Church

Questions

What are some of God’s mandates to you?

What is the “power” that Jesus spoke of in Acts 1:8?

How could Jesus’ few disciples “Go into ALL the world”?

What are some creative ways we can, “Go into all the world and be witnesses…”, in this current day?

Let's Pray

Heavenly Father,
We thank you today for your Spirit of love, power and well-disciplined minds. We willingly choose today to obey your mandates and to go into all the world in love, not fear. Help us to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Forgive us for any time that we have chosen our own will, or any other’s will instead of YOUR WILL! And we forgive today anyone who has hurt us or has done evil to us. We pray that you would deliver us all from evil. Lord, we put you first place in our lives and we give you all the glory forever and ever!
Amen!!!

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