There is always a response required when God speaks…always. Put yourself in the 1st century church sometime around 33 A.D. What church? There was no church. There was just a bunch of somewhat timid people in an upper room doing what Jesus told them to do…wait. Back up a little bit…here is what they had to go on for “their church”.
Acts 1:4-5 – 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (NIV)
The next thing that happens is so amazing…
Acts 1:9-11 – 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,”they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (NIV)
I mean…wouldn’t YOU look up in the sky saying something like, “wow”. And maybe wondering what else you would see. And then all of the sudden, these two guys who weren’t here a couple of seconds ago start talking to you. I think they also said something like, “okay…now what do we do?”
Oh yeah…Jesus said wait. I will wager that the excitement was amazing that was going in their hearts and minds. They had just spent 40 days when Jesus would appear occasionally to make sure that they all knew that He was alive…and He spoke to them about Heaven. Can you imagine the things that He told them? WOW!!! In fact, He had told them that He had to go away so that He could do something amazing….
John 16:7 – “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”
He was referring to the Holy Spirit. But the “Helper”…what does that mean. Help with what? TO HELP US DO WHAT HE WANTS US TO DO!! And that is be His hands and feet and eyes and ears….and mouths to set the captives free! What captives? THOSE WHO ARE CAPTIVES OF SIN!!! To let everyone know the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ! That now…through those who believe…HEAVEN IS HERE ON EARTH!!!
Be encouraged…we don’t need to stand around staring into the sky…we just need to get to work. Where do we start? I will deal with that one….tomorrow.
Grace and Peace, Dan