TRAC Conference Sunday | Witnesses (P&P)

November 12, 2023 | Prayer & Praise Services

Rev Reuben Ng
TRAC Conference Sunday | Witnesses (P&P)

November 12, 2023 | Prayer & Praise Services

Rev Reuben Ng
Scripture Passage: Acts 1:8 (NRSVUE)

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Summary l There are two parts to Acts 1:8.

  1. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,
  2. and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

It is always a good thing for us to desire the power of the Holy Spirit. It is always wonderful when the Holy Spirit comes upon us. One question we need to reflect on is what happens after we are filled with God’s power.

1. Receive and Release

Acts 1:8 is clear that we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us, and we will be God’s witnesses. We must not neglect the second part of the verse –  that when we receive God’s power, we will be God’s witness. Receiving and releasing comes hand in hand.

The importance of not just receiving but releasing is illustrated in the juxtaposition between the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee. The Dead Sea is well known for being extremely nutrient-rich. However, no life is able to flourish in it. It only keeps receiving (water from rivers); it has no outlet. Hence its water is so concentrated with richness that ironically, it is dead.

On the other hand, the Sea of Galilee thrives with rich biodiversity. It has inflows of water and also outflows. Its shores were where much of the ministry of Jesus occurred, and the body of water on which Jesus walked!

How would we be described if we continuously received the infilling of the Holy Spirit without releasing God’s power through witnessing?

2. Two Ways to Witness

1. By allowing God to transform our lives and bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit. This triggers others to approach us and ask what has changed in our lives. This gives us an opportunity to share our testimony.

2. Stepping out of our comfort zone and proactively reaching out to others to tell them about Christ.

Many Christians are more comfortable with the first way and shrink away from the second. The first approach is comfortable because we do not take the first step; someone else initiates. On the other hand, we tend to hold back on reaching out first because of uncertainty and/or fear that we are not able to witness well. We worry that we will not succeed, and nothing will come of it.

    3. It is the User, not the tool

    In Acts 7:22, Moses at his prime, was described as having been instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, mighty in his words and deeds. However, it was not at this stage of his life that God started using Moses. God only called Moses forty years later, long after he had run away from Egypt as a murderer. God only called Moses when he was a nobody, an eighty-year-old man slow of speech and of tongue (Exo 4:10). We know from the Bible that this worked out very well!

    The tool (us!) does not matter. God who is all-powerful, is able to use any tool that is made available to Him. Many of our Bible heroes illustrate this – it is God, not us who performs the miracles.

    • Moses’ staff – Consider the shepherd’s staff in Moses’ hand (Exo 4:2) when God approached him at the burning bush. God used that same staff (used to tend sheep!) to part the Red Sea and perform many miracles.
    • Samson’s donkey jawbone – When the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, Samson used the jawbone of a donkey to strike down 1,000 men (Judges 15:14-15).
    • David’s sling and stones – David refused the king’s armour (1 Samuel 17: 38-39) and defeated Goliath in the name of the Lord with just a sling and a stone (1 Samuel 17:50).
    • Five loaves and two fishes – In John 6:9, a boy offered five small barley loaves and two small fish which Jesus used to feed five thousand people, with 12 baskets of bread leftover.
    • Paul, former persecutor of the church of God (1 Cor 15:9) was chosen and used mightily by God to spread His name and build His church (Acts 9:15)!

    God is not limited by our abilities or lack of abilities. He is able to use any one of us to be His witness as long as are willing to be His instrument. What an amazing privilege to be God’s partner for His kingdom!

    (Sermon notes by Stella Chiam)


    1. Consider how God has spoken to you through this sermon What are 3 points that stood out for me in this sermon?
    2. What are 2 questions (or things) that I struggled with?
    3. What is the 1 promise that I may rest on, or 1 thing that I may do?
    Wesley Communications Team
    Posted by Wesley Communications Team

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