Experience - Day 3

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!”

After everything the disciples had heard and seen, they still were waiting for their chance to sit next to Jesus on an earthly throne. They still thought the story was all about them. They were still in the in-between; in-between what Jesus taught and lived, and what they understood.

Again, Jesus elevates the conversation to what matters most. He doesn’t answer the question with times and dates, rather, He says the Spirit is coming and when she does, your reach will go continue in Jerusalem and Judea, but it will expand to Samaria, and the ends of the earth.

Luke was pointing to the geographical explosion that was about to take place. The gospel was going to spread in ways the disciples could never have imagined, and it was going to do so quicker than they could have imagined. People were hungry for something more satisfying than what the world had to offer. They were search for their story to be more than the sum of it’s parts. They wanted to know that there was true goodness in the world, real love, and when those things had a name, Jesus, then the people wouldn’t be able to contain their joy.

That’s why we often say at Crosswalk that evangelism isn’t a program, but rather an attitude of the heart turned towards Jesus. When you catch a glimpse of the Savior, and recognize who He is and all He’s done for you and me, you’re so overwhelmed with gratitude, joy, and love that you don’t have to be told to share it. No. Instead, you go about sharing it freely because you can’t imagine living any other way. You want other people to have what you have, and so the gospel grows.

One final point for today. I can’t imagine what it felt like to see Jesus lifting off the ground and into heaven, but in some ways, I wonder if the disciples maybe felt like they were losing him, again! Of course, this time it was angelic, not horrific, but still, he was there best friend, their Savior, their hope. So they watched him go up, much like a child who watches a balloon they
released until the balloon is out of sight.

But while they’re still looking up, two angels appear and ask why they’re staring into heaven. They assure them that Jesus will return the same way he left, and that they shouldn’t worry. In fact, instead of watching for Jesus toreturn, looking for all the signs, obsessing about the  times and dates, the angels tell them to get to work. They tell them, in essence, that the kingdom of God chooses them to be it’s ambassadors, so stop looking to heaven, and
start impacting the world around you. That’s what Jesus has called us to do.

1. Have you ever had something happen to you that was so exciting, you couldn’t keep to yourself but had to share it with someone immediately?
2. What does it look like today for you to do kingdom work? Is it something you do in your home, at work, in your community, at your church? Please share your thoughts.
3. What is one thing you are beyond excited about experiencing when Jesus does return the way he left?

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

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