Happy Wednesday! Some of the toughest moments in our lives will be the day that we say goodbye to people we love. and have spent time with. No one knows when that day or time will come, but when it does – it can be devastating and many times leave us unprepared for the loss. After a loss, I’ve heard people say – in time things will get better, but you will never forget the memories or conversations with the person you loved and lost. In today’s reading, the disciples/apostles are about to lose the direct companionship of the One they love. And as with us – they will be tasked to continue to press on. Join me as we continue our reading in Acts chapter 1.
Bible Verse – Acts 1:6-11 NLT
“6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
Yesterday, in verse 3 we read “he (Jesus) talked to them (the chosen apostles) about the Kingdom of God.” Hence the reason for their question – has the time come?
There is a lot of speculation around as to whether or not the things that are happening in the world are a sign of Jesus’ return, but I think we must remember Jesus’ reply to the apostles/disciples, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.“
However, what was more important at the time of their conversation, Jesus said:
- You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.
- You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere…and to the ends of the earth.
Jesus’ ascension meant His ministry on earth in the flesh was ending. This marked the moment when the work of Christ was put into the hands of His disciples.
The disciples were still recovering from Jesus’ arrest in the garden. Their hearts were probably still sad because of the way they abandoned Him when He was taken to the cross. However, Jesus’ forty-days among them, helped them to renew their faith, reposition their purpose and strengthen their beliefs.
Even though Jesus prepared them for that day and instructed them on how to continue in His earthly absence, we can imagine their hearts weren’t ready to let go. In verse 10, two white-robed men questioned, “Why are you still standing here staring into heaven?”
Sisters and brothers, we have been given instructions and visions, yet sometimes we are still standing in the same place staring into heaven, waiting instead of acting on what God has called us to do.
Are you still standing and staring into heaven? ________ Or are you ready to do what God has called you to do? __________
Father God, thank you for today’s message. Lord, we often get caught up in what is familiar and forget what you have already said in Your word. Lord, help us to remember our purpose here. Help us to renew our faith. Reposition us for your purpose. Help us to be effective witnesses (not just witnesses) telling everyone everywhere about who You are. Lord, even when we a paralyzed by the loss of someone we love, help us to heal from our grief and brokenness and move forward in Your strength. Lord, teach us the things that You want us to know. Open our eyes to see, our ears to hear and our hearts to receive all that You have in store for us and Your church. In Jesus name, amen.
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