Commission and Ascension of Christ

Acts 1:1-14
Lesson 1 -- fourth quarter 2012
September 2, 2012
Christian Light Publications

Preparing My Heart

“Ye shall be witnesses unto me,” declares our mission and motivation for this life and for our lives. Not surprisingly, that requires focus as well as purpose. Shall I endeavor to do or be anything without some level of focused purpose and purposeful focus? And yet, I cannot on my own effectively pursue and successfully accomplish this divine mission. First and always, I need God’s Spirit and power. I yield to Him anew, for I need Him…desperately.

Making the Bible Personal

Do I envision myself doing or teaching today any of “all that Jesus began”?

What are some of the “many infallible proofs” that God has shown me?

How do I occupy myself while I wait on God?

In what ways and for what purposes have I experienced the Holy Spirit on me this week?

Of what does my witness of Jesus consist?

How essential in my life (and to my life) is the gathering together of the church “in prayer and supplication”?

Reviewing Basic Truths

Jesus began the teaching which He expects the church to carry forward.

The power to bear witness of Jesus is not my own.

God gives knowledge and power according to His wisdom and purposes.

God plans and arranges both our waiting and our doing.

Applying God’s Word to Me

For an interesting perspective on these first fourteen verses in Acts, consider the wishes of Jesus which we can glean from them.

Jesus wants us to obey…so He gave commandments to the Apostles (2) who in turn passed them along to others. With these commandments, He also opens up an avenue by which we can be His friends. (You do remember that He said His friends keep His commandments, right?)

Jesus wants us to believe…so He offered proofs — many proofs, infallible proofs (3). Sure, He also wants us to believe without seeing, but at times He “humors” our human weakness and presents proofs.

Jesus wants us to trust the Father’s wisdom…so He let us know that some things just aren’t for us to know (7). God’s ways and thoughts tower far above mine; that’s more than good enough for me!

Jesus wants us to have power…so He sent His own Holy Spirit upon us (8). By Him, not only do we have power but also comfort, wisdom, and truth.

Jesus wants us to bear witness of Him…so He gave us power to carry His message next door and around the world (8). I yield gratefully to His power.

Jesus wants us to have hope…so promised His eventual return (11). He wants me anchor myself with that hope, the hope of eternal life, and the hope of His everlasting love. Now to remember that when life gets tougher.

Jesus wants us to be together…so He chose us to be together and to serve Him together and to pray together (14). What, then, keeps us apart?

Does Jesus want us to carry on and carry forward what He “began both to do and teach”? Whatever your answer, what is your proof of it?

Now, one more thing about all these “Jesus wants us to” statements: Do I care what Jesus wants of me?

This concludes my comments based on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications. To read my comments on the passage for the International Bible Lesson, click here: Faith Calls for Perseverance.

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Posted on by Roth

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Make sure these things are so: Examine the Scriptures (Acts 17:11). And above all, love God!