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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, May 17, 2015
In the following verses are the bridge between the events recorded in the Gospels and the events marking the beginning of the church. Jesus spent 40 days teaching his disciples, and they were drastically changed. Before, they had argued with each other, deserted their Lord, and one (Peter) even lied about knowing Jesus. Here, in a series of meetings with the living, resurrected Christ, the disciples had many questions answered. They became convinced of the Resurrection, learned about the Kingdom of God, and learned about their power source—the Holy Spirit. By reading the Bible, we can sit with the resurrected Christ in his school of discipleship. By believing in him, we can receive his power through the Holy Spirit to be new people. By joining with other Christians, we can take part in doing his work on earth.
Like other Jews, the disciples chafed under their Roman rulers. They wanted Jesus to free Israel from Roman power and then become their king. Jesus replied that God the Father sets the timetable for all events—worldwide, national, and personal. If you want changes in your life that God hasn’t yet made, don’t become impatient. Instead, trust God’s timetable.
Power from the Holy Spirit is not limited to strength beyond the ordinary. That power also involves courage, boldness, confidence, insight, ability, and authority. The disciples would need all these gifts to fulfill their mission. If you believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior, you can experience the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Jesus had instructed his disciples to witness to people of all nations about him. But they were told to wait first for the Holy Spirit. God has important work for you to do for him, but you must do it by the power of the Holy Spirit. We often like to get on with the job, even if it means running ahead of God. But waiting is sometimes part of God’s plan. Are you waiting and listening for God’s complete instructions, or are you running ahead of his plans? We need God’s timing and power to be truly effective. (NLT)
Acts 1:1-11 – Dear Theophilus:
In my first book I told you about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he ascended to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions from the Holy Spirit. During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time and proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. On these occasions he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.
In one of these meetings as he was eating a meal with them, he told them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you what he promised. Remember, I have told you about this before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
When the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord are you going to free Israel now and restore our kingdom?”
“The Father sets those dates,” he replied, “and they are not for you to know. But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
It was not long after he said this that he was taken up into the sky while they were watching, and he disappeared into a cloud. As they were straining their eyes to see him, two white-robed men suddenly stood there among them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw him go, he will return!”
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” – John 16:7 (NRSV)
Edward L. Kelly, Jr. (Iowa) titled his story “ASCENSION – A GIFT FROM THE FATHER;” here is a portion of Edward’s story:
“My father was in the military and frequently traveled abroad for extended periods of time. We missed him, but there was something we looked forward to when he returned: the reunion and his presence in our lives again. . .
“Ascension Sunday celebrates the gift that Jesus sent back to us after he ascended into heaven. John called it the ‘Advocate,’ and Luke refers to it as ‘power’ from the Holy Spirit. Two aspects of this gift are somewhat like my father’s returning. First, the Holy Spirit is the presence of God in our lives. Secondly, we can receive with joy the gift of divine power. It is not the power to dominate or control but the power for witnessing and service.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit and divine power to serve others.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to realize the gift that you have given to us and use it to bring Christ to others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayer Focus: SOLDIERS SERVING FAR FROM HOME
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
RELUCTANCE, RELUCTANT: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/reluctance-reluctant/
SEEK, SEEKING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/seek-seeking/
DEPEND, DEPENDENCE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/depend-dependence/
VALUES, MORALS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/values-morals/
STRENGTH, STRENGTHS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/strength-strengths/
PERSEVERANCE, PERSEVERE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/perseverance-persevere/
SECURITY, SECURE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/security-secure/
SPIRITUAL GIFT: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/spiritual-gift/
SPIRITUAL REBIRTH: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/spiritual-rebirth/
ABILITY, ABILITIES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/ability-abilities/
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