Takeaway – Verse 4:
Once when He was eating with them, He commanded them, ‘Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before.’
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Welcome to The Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica Parkerson. This is the place where we meet up to read half a chapter of God’s Word together and remember how loved we are. Jesus extends an amazing invitation to us in the Bible. He says, come to me and I WILL give you rest. This is us RSVPing: Yes!! to that invitation. So, take a deep breath and let’s get started.
You got your protein bars, your sunscreen? Because you and I are about to embark on an adventure. Welcome to today’s episode. It’s called, “The Gift God Promised to Give Us”, and you and I are diving into a brand-new book of the Bible together, the book of Acts. It was written by a doctor, and I was just sitting here thinking, I wonder how good his handwriting was, this Luke guy. Because most doctors we know in modern times don’t have the best handwriting. We know this because they hand us those prescriptions. Although sometimes they type them out now, but I wonder, did Luke have good handwriting when he dipped that fountain pen into the ink and wrote on the papyrus? I wonder. Well, Luke was a faithful man. He wanted everybody to know that what you and I believe today is absolutely true, that it happened. He didn’t see the miracles of Jesus firsthand; he only spoke with the people who actually did witness the life of Jesus and all the wonderful things he did. And then he set about writing them down.
This is gonna be so powerful because as I’ve noticed, just the first couple of chapters as I’ve started studying, is that God is faithful. You and I, we need to be reminded of that. And what you’re gonna see in these first couple of chapters as we study along, is that Peter’s gonna say, “God promised to do this, Jesus fulfilled it.” You’re gonna see it, you’re gonna be so encouraged. Of course, we’re only gonna be covering half a chapter today. We’re gonna dive into chapter one and talk about this gift that God promised us, in which he gave us. So here we go. Without further ado, let’s let Luke take it away.
“In my first book, I told you, Theopolis”, that’s his friend, he wants his friend to know these things happened, and Luke wants you to know too, that it’s safe to believe in these things. All right. “I told you Theopolis about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. During the 40 days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the kingdom of God. Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, ‘Do not leave Jerusalem until the father sends you the gift he promised,'” As I told you before, that is our key verse. I love this so much.
“‘Do not leave Jerusalem until the father sends you the gift he promised. As I told you before John baptized with water, but in just a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'” Wow, this is powerful. “So, when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, ‘Lord has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?’ He replied, ‘The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses telling people about me everywhere. In Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'”
Hm. “After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching. They could no longer see him.” In the movies, it’s always depicted where people are sitting on a beautiful hillside and up goes the Lord into the clouds. What must that have been like? Was somebody sitting on that grassy hillside going, “Don’t go, take me with you!” That probably would’ve been me. What a powerful image. “As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white robed men suddenly stood among them. ‘Men of Galilee, they said, why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go.'”
I love this because it’s a double gift. First, we see the promise, the gift that we received. Jesus is going to send the Holy Spirit, it’s coming. We’re gonna be diving into this in the coming days. But then there’s another gift layered in. The men, robed and white, who we can take to be as angels, are telling us, he’s coming back. Isn’t that just like our God to offer us a double gift. It’s who he is.
I will never forget my son when he was a little boy, he was such a fan of lightsabers, loves the Star Wars to this day. And he really, really wanted this Count Duku lightsaber, and it was like a double-edged lightsaber, it was red. And I looked everywhere for this. He was such a good boy and I just wanted to bless him. And I finally found the gift that he wanted. And so, I was a crazy mom. I had a minivan with the sunroof, and as I drove into the carpool, I put that Count Duku lightsaber up through the sunroof, and I could cry telling you how special it was to see the look on his face. I told Josh I was gonna find the Count Duku lightsaber, and the joy on his face was just everything. It was everything I wanted to see as a mom. So, think of God as a dad. God promised to send the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans. I’m gonna send you the comforter.”
We are gonna see the Holy Spirit come into the lives of the disciples over the next couple days together. And it’s gonna be so wonderful. God is a promise keeper. He keeps his promises, and he gave us such a wonderful gift in the Holy Spirit. We’re gonna learn more about that, but also isn’t it wonderful to consider, that Jesus is coming back. That’s another gift you and I have to look forward to. All right. We will dive into the second half of the first chapter of the book of Acts coming up tomorrow. Can’t wait. Till then remember, you are loved.
Thank you so much for listening to the Bible for Busy People. If you need prayer or you’re ready to go a little deeper in your faith, we’ve posted some resources for you in our show notes. We’d love for you to share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review. It helps us reach even more people with the hope of Jesus. This podcast is part of Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and live in God’s purpose for your life. Find more podcasts that will recharge you at onpurposely.com.