“Once when [Jesus] was eating with [the disciples], he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before.” — Acts 1:4
While the apostles were to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-20), the Lord also told them to wait — not to leave Jerusalem before receiving the promised gift from the Father. This promised gift is the Holy Spirit. The apostles needed the power the prophets had promised would be the sign and abiding power of the new age.
Prophets like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Joel had spoken about the pouring out of the Spirit and the Spirit’s presence in each follower’s heart. So the closest followers of Jesus were commanded to wait, not to leave Jerusalem. So they waited and prayed. The Father was going to fulfill the promise of the prophets. He was about to begin his great new work in the world, in the name of Jesus, through these ordinary folks. And now, he wants to do it through us! What is the source of their — and our — ability to do this great new work? The power of the Holy Spirit.
Father God, I know the Bible is full of many promises. I thank you for your faithfulness to these promises. I praise you for your grace and mercy, for without them, none of the promises would have been fulfilled. I confess that I have not always been as faithful as I should, yet your faithfulness has remained firm, gracious, and trustworthy. And for this great promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit — the living testimony to your faithfulness — I praise and thank you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”