A Year with Jesus: 'Purpose and Power'

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Child of God,

You probably know the story that is told by Doctor Luke in the verses below. Familiarity can sometimes lead you to miss something important in the story. After My ascension to the Father, My closest disciples returned "to Jerusalem, filled with intense joy, and they return again and again to the temple to celebrate God." These are the same disciples who were distraught and immobilized by My death.

Why? Why the "intense joy"? Why "celebrate God"? Why be glad that I had left them to return to the Father?

Notice two things that My disciples received from Me in the joyous goodbye in the verses below:
  1. I promised to send My disciples the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
  2. I gave these disciples a clear mission. They were to begin where they were (Jerusalem), go to the surrounding regions (Judea and Samaria), and share My message with the world (the farthest places on earth).
I gave My followers a purpose and the power to carry out that purpose.

So today, as you read these verses about My parting from My disciples, I want you to remember something important. You have the same purpose they did, and you have been given the same power I shared with them.

I don't want you making excuses! I don't want long faces! It's time for some "intense joy" as you "celebrate God"! Celebrate the salvation given you through My death, burial, and resurrection. Celebrate because you have a great purpose for your life in the world. Celebrate that I have poured out all the power you need to live up to the purpose I gave you!

Verses to Live

There are two sections of Scripture today. Both were written by Luke, the physician. The first one is from the beginning of the book of Acts. Here Luke summarizes some of the things from his gospel, including some of My last instructions to My disciples. The second Scripture is from the very end of Luke's gospel and records My ascension and the disciples' following My instructions to return to Jerusalem.

To a lover of God, Theophilus: In my first book [the gospel of Luke], I recounted the events of Jesus' life — His actions, His teachings — from the beginning of His life until He was taken up into heaven. After His great suffering and vindication, He showed His apostles that He was alive — appearing to them repeatedly over a period of 40 days, giving them many convincing proofs of His resurrection. As before, He spoke constantly of the kingdom of God. During these appearances, He had instructed His chosen messengers through the Holy Spirit, prohibiting them from leaving Jerusalem, but rather requiring them to wait there until they received what He called "the promise of the Father."

Jesus:
This is what you heard Me teach — that just as John ritually cleansed people with water through baptism, so you will be washed with the Holy Spirit very soon.
When they had gathered just outside Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives, they asked Jesus,

Disciples:
Is now the time, Lord — the time when You will reestablish Your kingdom in our land of Israel?
Jesus:
The Father, on His own authority, has determined the ages and epochs of history, but you have not been given this knowledge. Here's the knowledge you need: you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. And you will be My witnesses, first here in Jerusalem, then beyond to Judea and Samaria, and finally to the farthest places on earth.
(Acts 1:1-8)

Then He
[Jesus] leads them [His disciples] out to Bethany. He lifts up His hands and blesses them, and at that moment, with His hands raised in blessing, He leaves them and is carried up into heaven. They worship Him, then they return to Jerusalem, filled with intense joy, and they return again and again to the temple to celebrate God.
(Luke 24:50-53)

Response in Prayer

Forgive me, O God, for thinking negatively, for not believing fully. Forgive me for not taking the time to rejoice because of the purpose you have given me for my life. Forgive me for not celebrating the power of the Holy Spirit to live out that purpose. Let the joy of heaven and the Holy Spirit's power move me, stir me, and propel me to share Your grace with great joy. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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About This Devotional

A Year with Jesus is a daily devotional written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives.

'A Year with Jesus' is written by Phil Ware.

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.