The Ascended Christ Sends His Spirit and Makes us One
Before ascending into heaven, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to empower his followers until his return (Acts 1:6-14). This promise gives us the strength to pray and follow God, even in the midst of suffering and anxiety. These things may last for a little while, but we are encouraged to stand firm knowing that Christ himself has prayed for us (1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11). Though orphans, he has promised us a home (Psalm 68: 1-10; 32-35). He has granted us eternal life and the fellowship of other believers, even while we wait (John 17:1-11).
The true God has been revealed to the whole world through the life and death of Jesus Christ (Acts 17:22-31). God can truly be known, even when we suffer for his sake (1 Peter 3:13-22). We can be assured of God’s care for us and know that he listens to our prayers. In response, we offer our gratitude and confess what he has done for us (Psalm 66:8-20). We find freedom and take joy in his commands through the power of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-21).
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Out in the rain a world is growing green,
On half the trees quick buds are seen
Where glued-up buds have been.
Out in the rain God’s Acre stretches green,
Its harvest quick tho’ still unseen:
For there the Life hath been.
If Christ hath died His brethren well may die,
Sing in the gate of death, lay by
This life without a sigh:
For Christ hath died and good it is to die;
To sleep whenso He lays us by,
Then wake without a sigh.
Yea, Christ hath died, yea, Christ is risen again:
Wherefore both life and death grow plain
To us who wax and wane;
For Christ Who rose shall die no more again:
Amen: till He makes all things plain
Let us wax on and wane.
Jesus calls us to love one another (John 17:20-26). Just as he cared for Paul and Silas in jail (Acts 16:16-34), so he will release us from our imprisonment of sin. The heavens proclaim his power and glory (Psalm 97). Come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21)!
As we follow the early Christians’ example, such as that of Lydia (Acts 16:9-15), we praise God and ask for His blessings (Psalm 67), the presence of the Holy Spirit (John 14:23-29) and his healing from our sickness of sin (John 5:1-9). We anticipate living in the light of His presence forever (Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5). Let everyone praise Him and wait in the light of His resurrection.