May 31, 2019

What's Next?

Acts 1:1-11

“Why do you stand here looking into the sky?”

—  Acts 1:11

For three years Jesus had taught and healed. He had instructed crowds from Jerusalem to Galilee with his words and by his example. After his death and resurrection, he appeared to his disciples to confirm their faith and help them understand the coming kingdom of God.

But now Jesus had ascended to heaven. And for a moment, his followers seemed a bit shocked. Perhaps they wondered whether they could follow Jesus into the clouds, or at least remain in the moment of this spiritual high.

Faithfulness to the ascended Lord, however, means that we do not just stand around staring after him. Yes, it is a good thing to contemplate the glory of Jesus as the Son of God. But we also remember that God has a plan for the world that continues even after the ascension. And he intends to use all who have seen his glory, as long as they remain in this world, to extend his offer of salvation to the world. For the ascended Jesus will return, and we will answer for our faithfulness to his call while he has been away.

Have you met this Jesus? Are you prepared to follow him? Do not simply stare up toward heaven, longing to hold onto some spiritual mountaintop moment. Take the next step, embrace him as Lord, and go out to serve him till he comes again.

Lord Jesus, we worship you. You are one with the Father, ruling over everything until you come again. May we give our lives to serve you, sharing your good news of salvation as we go. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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