MAY 21,2020 – ASCENSION DAY

Maybe like me you did not grow up in a branch of the church which celebrates the Ascension of Christ. But maybe, especially in our current pandemic reality we should.

See Acts 1:1-14 The New Living Translation — My comments inserted

1 In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. 4 Once when he was eating with them, (SO NATURAL TO CONTINUE THE TEACHING MINISTRY OVER A MEAL — JUST LIKE THE BEFORE THE CROSS DAY!) he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. (I DON’T THINK THEY COULD IMAGINE WHAT THIS BAPTISM WOULD DO TO THEM but BUT THEY DID OBEY)

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. (IN OTHER WORDS GOD IS INTO SURPRISES BECAUSE WE COULDN’T HANDLE KNOWING THE END OF THE AGE BUT ALSO THE BIG LESSON IS TO BE ALERT, PREPARED, READY TO STEP UP AT ANY MOMENT) 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. (Wait in Jerusalem and then go tell everyone. What can God use our time of waiting to accomplish in us? Since we now have the Spirit are we telling people what God has done?)

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. (No it is not weird, and no that was not me jumping when these clean cut guys show up right beside me. So let’s obey his last instructions — wait and then witness) 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!” 12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. 

13 When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James). 14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus. (After these ladies were shown to be so deeply in love with Jesus that they were at the cross and were the first to see the risen Lord they were now part of the team. I like The Message right here, “They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer …” (So they are committed for life! They are ALL in. The pandemic or persecution may force them to rethink how they share a witness of the good news. They will learn by Acts 9 that no part what hurdles they will face the Holy Spirit will empower them and equip them with the words and fill with the love of Jesus for the task they are focused on.)

Keep your eyes on Jesus and when you cannot see Him then why not just focus on his last words. His very present Spirit will show us the HOW? and the WHAT? is our mission until Jesus returns.

2 thoughts on “MAY 21,2020 – ASCENSION DAY

  1. Glen Osborn says:

    Great brother! I’m preaching on the Ascension passage in Acts 1 this Sunday!

    Blessings!
    Glen

    Glen Osborn D.Min.
    Lead Pastor, Community Christian Fellowship
    (717) 249-7835
    Cell – 717-982-0633

    Like

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