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:
- I promised to send My disciples the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
- 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!
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.
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.