Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The Glorious Coming of our LordScripture Acts 1:6-11
Key Bible Verse Text
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.” Acts 1:11
As we continue to meditate upon Jesus’ second coming, we come to a very familiar passage from the first chapter of Acts. The disciples, in a spirit of eager anticipation, asked Jesus when he would “‘restore the kingdom to Israel’” (Acts 1:6). In response, Jesus provides clarification with regard to this messianic expectation and tasks the disciples with carrying the good news to the entire world.
Jesus’ ascension into heaven, in some ways, appears to be a cliffhanger. The commonly held belief at the time was that the Messiah would restore Israel and establish its reign. Jesus explained clearly throughout his ministry that his kingdom was not of this world. That is not to say that Israel won’t be restored. It will. There will be a new Jerusalem. It has been prophesied, and it will come to fruition. The kingdoms of man operate through wars, politics, finances, coercion, and the sort. In stark contrast, God’s kingdom is built and established through the means of the Gospel. As we can see from the devotional passage, Christ invites his followers to participate in the kingdom’s construction efforts. His words ring true and bear significance throughout all ages. Those words are for us.
Does God need us? Quite honestly, the answer is no. He can establish the kingdom without the aid of man. We can behave as the disciples did initially in Acts 1, gazing at the sky longingly. The fact remains that there is still a great deal of work to do before Christ returns. As we place ourselves in the shoes of the disciples, we can elucidate God’s will for our lives. Before Jesus returns, certain events have to transpire. The Gospel needs to be preached. Seeds need to be planted. The mechanism of salvation needs to be made available for all. How eager are we for Christ’s return? That sentiment ought to motivate us to act accordingly.
Lord, you are coming back. We receive and tightly cling on to the promise of your second coming. We don’t know the date, nor do we need to. Give us the Spirit to live our lives in conformity to your plan, so that we may be ready for your fateful return. All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the lover and redeemer of our souls. Amen.
Thought for the Day
– Before the Master returns, the household has to be put in order. There is work to be done.
Epiphany Mar Thoma Church, New Yor