Last Minute Matters
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon, Senior Equipping Minister at Covenant Community Church on Jan 2, 2002, 12:45
In trip planning there are always last minute details. Before you go anywhere you must take care of all the things that need to be done. Some of you have scampered getting ready for trips. Taking care of the pets, flowers, mail, newspaper, etc. are all things that must be accomplished. Then just before the trip, crunch time hits and the details have got to be done. In Acts 1 we see that Jesus is getting ready to head back to the Father. In verses 1—11 I see Jesus taking care of last minute matters before He left.
Jesus had been on earth 33 years. He had completed His earthly ministry with His death and resurrection. In the 40 days that followed He displayed the need and ability to cover last minute matters in the lives of the ones He cared for. As we move through this Easter season, let’s take a glimpse at what He did. First we see a Reality Check
(v.1-3) “after his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.”
He took the time to prove to the disciples the reality of His resurrection. They had seen Him die, so they had the opportunity to see Him alive. The author Luke in his gospel (Luke 24) clumps together the post resurrection appearances. Now we discover that they took place over a 40 day period. . .that would make sense. One of the reasons is that the disciples were “a slow to grasp things” group (kind of like us at times). Jesus convinced them this was real!
There was a family traveling through the Pennsylvania Dutch country and they passed an Amish horse and buggy. . .one of the kids asked “Why do they use horses instead of automobiles?”
The other child in the car explained they didn’t believe in automobiles.
To that came the response “But can’t they see them?”
The disciples saw Jesus at work. They spent time with him.. . they knew. . this was for real!
There are times that we need to see the reality of God doing all He said He would do. The good news for us is that He does just that. If you need a reality check you get one. Next we see a Priority Check in verses 6-7. In these verses He deals with their curiosity about the Kingdom of God. Jesus was teaching constantly about the meaning of His kingdom.
there is so much to do!
But the good news is that we don’t do it alone!
Here the disciples are asking what was a natural line of thinking, since He was back. . .is this the time, or is it over (they were anticipating a new era starting)? Jesus doesn’t answer them directly. Instead they have a task to do. They will be His witnesses. They are going to grow a relationship with him and Jesus gives them enough at that point to go with.
More important than the direct answer to their question, Jesus gets them to focus on their priorities. We must as well. We need to keep our lives focused on Kingdom priorities. . .sharing with others, growing, worshipping, and ministering. At times when the world gets swirling out of control, we must keep the main thing the main thing. It is amazing to find that when you keep your priorities in check, other things do go a bit better.
Next we see a Power Check. Read verses.4-5 & 8. He shared with them that they would be empowered to be His representatives to the ends of the earth.
Whatever He had done, the disciples would now do. . .
Jesus promised them that the ministry would not happen in human strength. He would send them help. .they would have the power of the Holy Spirit
There is power. . .it is real. We need to keep our priorities in line. We understand there is much to do, but the good news is that we don’t do it alone. We are empowered supernaturally, by the Father Himself !
And that is great news !
On Wednesday, October 11, 1994, NASA’s MAGELLAN space explorer fell silent. It had circled Venus over 15,000 times since arriving in 1990, but on this day NASA did one final experiment that destroyed the craft.
WHY? It was out of power.
Without power it doesn’t matter if you have the most expensive piece of technology ever created. . .it is worthless without power.
Without Him, there is no power. With Him there is all that we need. He is reminding us that there is power.
Now see one Final Check.
(v.9) “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.” Realize that Jesus had done
all He needed to do.
We ask, “Couldn’t He have done this or that, maybe just spent a little more time?” The fact was he had completed everything that needed to be done. It was enough
Now it was our turn...
We are saved. He has done the hard part. Now we are to get busy doing the things He has called us to do
He took care of the details and gave us the chance to be successful because He had taken care of all the last minute matters. . .
So what are we waiting for???
In getting ready to take a trip, if you take care of all the last minute details, and then never leave . . I mean . . .get everything packed and never pull out of the driveway or go to the airport, what have you done ?. . . NOTHING
Jesus took great care in covering all the last minute details. Don’t you think it is time we get busy for Him.
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