5/11/21

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

The book called The Acts of the Apostles tells us of the followers of Christ understanding their call and carrying on His ministry after He returned to God. While Peter and Paul are the primary messengers of the Gospel recorded, many others went faithfully to share the Good News. It reminds us that just as those who had known Jesus personally were blessed to continue His work, so we are also charged with telling His story to the world.

Acts means going and doing. In the Great Commission Jesus instructs us to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). We are all empowered by the Holy Spirit to actively share our faith, using the gifts God has given us specifically for this purpose.

While our gifts and our calls may be different, it is the same mission for all – to tell everyone of Jesus love and sacrifice for us. While it may mean serving in far away places, it can also be inviting someone to Bible Study, volunteering at the food pantry or reading to children at the library. Whenever we demonstrate love for others, we share the blessing we have received.

Heavenly Father, we are thankful for Jesus coming to show us Your love. Help us to share that love with all our brothers and sisters everywhere. Amen.

Published by Pastor Doug

UMC pastor, Retired USAF, husband, father, grandfather

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