Jesus Was Taken Up to Heaven

Jesus Was Taken Up to Heaven

As the Bible tells us, Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection.  In heaven, He still intercedes for us and serves as our Mediator.  (1 Tim 2:5)  He is the same Jesus in heaven as He was on earth, in the sense that His personality and His mission have not changed.

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. (Ac 1:9 ESV)

So the Lord Jesus, after talking with his disciples, was taken up to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.  (Mk 16:19 ISV)

When Jesus arrived in heaven, He sat down at the right hand of God, the Father.

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.  (Lk 24:50-51 NIV)

Therefore He says:  “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”  (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also He who ascended far above all the heavens that He might fill all things.)  11 He gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints, for the work of service, and for the building up of the body of Christ . . .  (Eph 4:8-12 MEV)

Upon His ascension, Jesus gave gifts to the Church, and those gifts are shown above in this passage from Ephesians. 

Jesus is watching over His body, the Church.  He continues to love us, bless us, and to give us His presence.  He is worthy to be praised!

Long Life

Long Life

Our God has promised to give His people long life as the verses shown below demonstrate.

  1. You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess. (Deut 5:33 ESV)
  2. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation. (Ps 91:16)
  3. My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. (Pro 3:1-2)
  4. The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short. (Pro 10:27)
  5. Who have been upheld by Me from birth, Who have been carried from the womb: even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you!  I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.  (Isa 46:3b, 4)

God enjoys blessing and protecting us for we are His people.  He has given us a calling and a mission to spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to make disciples.  (See Mat 28:18-20 & Mk 16:15)  This is HOW we are to use the long lives that He has given to us!

We’re called to be witnesses to the ends of the earth, telling others about Jesus’ atoning work on behalf of all mankind.  (See Acts 1:8)  Not only that, but the Lord wants us to share our own testimonies of what He has done for each one of us.  We all have testimonies to share of answered prayers and miracles that God has done on our behalf.

Making disciples is all about continuing the chain of redemption by passing on the faith that was passed to you.  (See Rom 10:14-15)  We are all called to use our long lives wisely on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What Is Your Calling?

What Is Your Calling?

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  (Rom 11:29, underscoring added)

 . . . so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.  (Rom 12:5-9)

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.  (1 Cor 1:26, underscoring added)

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called . . . (Eph 4:1, underscoring added)

A calling can be defined as a vocation, occupation, mission or passion.  What do you feel that God has called you to accomplish in this life?  If you’re between the ages of 19 and 30, you may not have a fully formed idea of what you’ve been called to do.  If you DO know, then you are most exceptionally blessed!

However, if you’re like most of us, your calling may unfold in layers or even stages of life.  I felt called to be a wife and mother for the largest portion of my life.  In the two years prior to my youngest child’s high school graduation, I felt a type of spiritual and emotional shifting taking place within me.

I didn’t know quite what it was all about, but after a time of prayer, felt the Lord tell me that He was preparing me for a different direction in life.  It was over the many months that followed that I felt called to the ministry.  The Lord gave me training and mentors, and then opened doors of ministry to me.  I was given several ministry positions and discovered that I enjoyed ministering to God’s people immensely.  I was also surprised to realize that I have a zeal and a love for it.

I’m sharing my experience so that you may realize, as I have, that God can and does give us different gifts and talents in different seasons of our lives.  He likes us to be useful and fulfilled over the course of our entire lifetimes.  Praise God!

 I hope that this article will give you encouragement concerning your own life, gifts, and calling.

Clothed With Power?

Clothed With Power?

God is the only One who can bestow special power upon people.  His purpose for doing so is to enable witnesses to broadcast the gospel [good news] of Jesus Christ to the world.

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  (Eph 3:14-21, emphasis added)

Note that our witness, according to verse 17 above, is to be rooted and authenticated in LOVE!  This will result from our own experience of the love of Christ for us. (v. 19)  Love is the bond of perfection, and it must be our sole motivation for all ministry.  (Col 3:14)

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.  (Lk 24:49 NIV)

In Luke 24, Jesus was instructing His followers to wait for the arrival of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  The disciples wouldn’t have received the grace that they needed to be effective witnesses for Christ until then.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)

The indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to obey the instructions that Jesus gives us in Matthew 10:8 – Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Fulfill your mission, brothers and sisters!  Share the power that God has placed within you now . . . today!