“It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:7-8)
There seems to be a very basic principle within these last words spoken by Jesus to His disciples..... I ought not to concern myself with things that are beyond my understanding and simply focus on that which has been clearly understood. It is not for me to know when God is going to deliver on certain promises and why God does some things the way that He does. It is my concern to receive the power of God dwelling within me, the promised Holy Spirit, and to go be a witness of His gospel to everyone around me.
During my time of study with this text, it’s striking to realize that the word here translated as witnesses is the same Greek word from which we get the term martyrs. Is it our great commission as Jesus' disciples to be martyrs for the sake of advancing His Kingdom and glory here on earth?
Perhaps His answer would scare us and offend us at the same time. But then again, His initial invitation to be His disciple was clear that martyrdom was going to be the cost. If I’m going to be a true Christian disciple then denying myself, taking up a cross and losing my life is the requirement. I must suffer the death of living for myself in order to fully live for Him. After all, no man is willing to suffer a physical death for God's sake who hasn’t already suffered the death to his own selfish-desires.
Lord, help me to deny myself anything that distracts me from focusing on Your clear commission to go and multiply Your glory through the testifying of Your grace.