It's Not Over: Reading Acts 1:6-11

It was a fair question, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"  They discerned from Jesus' promise that soon the Holy Spirit would come (1:5), that this may be the end.  It was not a bad end, in the sense that most of us think of "the end."  Most of us associate "the end" with "the apocalypse" and "the apocalypse" as a very scary way to end.  For them the end was not frightening, but victorious, the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.  They looked forward to the end.

The coming of the Holy Spirit signaled to them the final season of salvation, but even though it may be the last one, Jesus shared with them that it would be a long one.  Their lives were far from over.  Jesus gave them a new focus, a mission.  He gave them something to do that would not only take them to the chronological end of time, but would take them to the geographic ends of the planet.  They were to live life to the fullest.   They were to be His witnesses who would spread the gospel "to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8)."

There are various circumstances that when they come upon us, we feel as if "It's over."  Marriages end, businesses fail, sickness comes.  People are capable of experiencing and committing tragedy; they die, they cheat, they lie, they leave.  Each time tragedy calls our name it signals to our heart that this may be the end.  We feel as if “It's over.”

But you are still here.  It's not over.

People have a way of giving up not only in the bad times, but in the good ones as well.  The disciple's question of the kingdom was not a negative one, it was incredibly positive.  Life was good.  Jesus had risen.  Death was, by all indications, dead.  Now, let's have the kingdom!  Victory has a subtle way of making us give up without officially surrendering.  When life is good, when the kingdom is going well, our life grows numb, complacent, and comfortable.  It is easy to lose focus.  It is easy to live for nothing.

But you are still here.  It's not over.

Living the Jesus sequel calls us to breathe again, refocus, and prepare for a new season of life.  It may be the last one, but it may be a long one.  Whether you are post-crisis or post-prosperity the resurrection of Jesus Christ brings new life to those who follow Him.  He gives to all who call upon His name, salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The coming of the Holy Spirit into our lives does not signal that life is over.  When we receive Him, life begins.  The beauty of it all, as we will see in the Book of Acts, is that through the Holy Spirit Jesus amasses an army of broken people to be his witnesses.  Each of them, at some point in their story, had good reasons to believe, "It's over."  Yet now, because of Jesus, they are living the sequel. 

Jesus’ witnesses have been lost, left, and lied to.  They have been divorced, diseased, and discouraged.  The people who take the gospel global have failed miserably, thought hopelessly, and experienced tragedy.  Yet in Christ, they found a new reason to live.  There are others who need to hear the story of what Jesus did for them.  They are His witnesses. 

If you are still here.  It is not over.  What's next?  For those who dare to ask that question, the sequel begins.


Anonymous said…
I had to take a mental pause when I read the line "it's easy to live for nothing." I was just commenting on this to some friends after reading this blog post. That can be so true in our lives! When we are living out anything but the Gospel day in and day out, doing what God has called us to do, everything else is nothing! It’s fluff. I like fluff. The beach. The mountains. Camping. Games with friends. These are great fun things that I get to do and God is not opposed. But, in comparison, if our life is all looking forward to the next “fluff” we are living for nothing! The apostle Paul spoke with such boldness and understanding when he said, "to live is Christ."

Your sister on the journey,

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