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Jesus Appears, Promises, and Ascends

(Luke 24:36-53)

Lesson 4 -- first quarter 1999
December 27, 1998

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1998, Christian Light Publications

Our Lord is coming, sing Alleluia. Our Lord is coming, Maranatha! Let us watch and be ready. Let us be sober and diligent. Let us hope and wait with great patience and anticipation. And let us encourage one another with these words: we shall overcome, the promise is sure and the reward is absolutely certain.

Waiting--that is what we are doing. Waiting--for the promised redemption. Waiting--on the Lord to come back for His own. Waiting--in expectation. Waiting--but not idle.

This waiting has been commanded to us. Today's lesson refers to a different waiting....

Almost two millennia ago, the followers of Jesus were told to wait in what amounted to their home town. They waited for power from on high. The power came and they took off. No more waiting.

I wonder if we in our age continue to wait for The Power from on high. At times it seems our transmissions are stuck in Wait. Perhaps our tape decks have a jammed Pause button. Maybe we hang around the station waiting for a train that has already gone down the tracks...and we continue to peer bleakly into the distance...in the wrong direction...wondering when it will arrive.

Time. A time to wait. A time to get busy! A time to expect. A time to act on the fulfilling of that expectation! A time to look up. A time to look around! What is the time of your life? For what do you wait? While you await the Lord's return do you also await the Spirit's arrival?

The Lord sent His Spirit to empower us for Christian living. Just as He didn't want His disciples to tackle the Christian life on their own steam, so He doesn't want us to live by faith in the power of our own works. It would have been foolish for them to leave Jerusalem before their power arrived from on high. And it is foolish for us to try to be Christians in the power of our own flesh and spirit. So waiting is important and essential. But once the power arrives from on high, let's not wait for it any longer! Let's get on with living!

So I ask you: are you still waiting?

The Lord sent His Spirit to empower us for Christian service. Just as He didn't want His disciples to begin preaching and evangelizing right away, so He doesn't want us to zoom off in our own zeal and get busy at this. But notice that once the power arrived, they quit waiting for it! They allowed that power to get to work...through them. And of course, that should be the same pattern for us today. If the power has arrived from on high, let's skip the waiting any further! Let's get on with serving!

Again I must ask you: are you still waiting?

Let me put it to you another way. The Spirit is among us and within us; do not keep Him waiting.

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