Thursday, October 11, 2012

Are you standing around looking at the sky?

Acts 1:3 (NCV)  After his death, he showed himself to them and proved in many ways that he was alive. The apostles saw Jesus during the forty days after he was raised from the dead, and he spoke to them about the kingdom of God.

In Acts Chapter 1, Luke writes about the disciples’ time with the resurrected Christ. They had been eye-witnesses to Christ and his ministry prior to his death. During the 40 days he spent with them after he was resurrected, Jesus talked to them about the promise of the Holy Spirit. John baptized with water representing new life (Luke 3:16).

But Jesus was promising something else. In a few days, they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. They would receive power to continue the work Jesus gave them to do. After being baptized, the apostles would fulfill their purpose here on earth. But not by anything they could do on their own power... they would be equipped by the power of the Holy Spirit. God was sending the Holy Spirit to guide,  provide for, correct and protect them. Through this power, they would reach their known world for Christ (Acts 1:8). Isn't that amazing?

What's amazing still is we have the same power available to us today. Jesus wants us to reach our known world for Christ no matter who we are or where we are. For some of us, it may be showing the love of Jesus to spouses and our kids and their friends. For others it may be going on missions trips to remote areas in faraway places. Whatever God is calling us to do know this - we will receive power just like the apostles did. The Holy Spirit will be our guide every step of the way.

Jesus’s 40 days with the disciples after his death was coming to an end. Before he ascended into heaven, he told them that the Holy Spirit was coming. Can you picture the scene? The disciples have just spent the last 40 days with the risen Lord. Have you ever wondered what they were thinking or how they were feeling during this time? Do you think they were excited about what was coming? Jesus had told them, prior to his death, that they would do even greater things (John 14:12) than he did on the earth. Now I don’t know about you… but I would probably think back to the miracles Jesus performed during his time of ministry. Whoa… I am going to be able to heal the sick and perhaps give sight to the blind? Amazing!

After Jesus told them of the coming of the Holy Spirit, he was lifted into heaven and a cloud hid him from the disciple’s sight (Acts 1:9). Whoa… what would you have done or thought if you were one of the disciples witnessing Christ’s ascension that day? Would you have embraced the words of Jesus and immediately ran to tell someone everything you just saw? Or, would you have stood there with the disciples looking up at the sky?  I am not sure what I would have done.

Just after Christ disappeared from their site, two men approached them and said "why are you standing there looking at the sky? Jesus whom you saw taken up to heaven will come back the same way you saw him go." (Acts 1:11)

Whoa... can anyone guess what the moral of this story is???  Don't get caught standing around looking up at the sky when Jesus returns....  He has a purpose and a plan for our life.  It is up to us to figure out what that purpose is and then fulfill it.  So what are you waiting for?  Go!

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