Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 05-09-24

Some moments in our lives, those we share interacting with someone we love, can truly become unforgettable; the experiences are etched in our memories like a beautiful treasure. These shared moments and conversations are the easiest to remember and certain days, times, songs, or places trigger and recapture those unforgettable moments and bring them front and center in our thoughts. I can only imagine how many of these moments the disciples treasured in their memories during the three years of physically walking through life with Jesus while he was on earth; they witnessed so many miracles.

Today is celebrated as Ascension Day: commemorating the 40th day following Easter when Jesus ascended to Heaven. This is the day believers celebrate Jesus’ victory over death, the salvation he offers to all who believe, and the power of the ministry we each now share in Christ’s Spirit. We are witnesses and representatives of the Good News—because of Jesus there is life with God!

In our passage today, Jesus wants his disciples to remember his Word and commands. These early believers have watched Jesus perform many miracles, but they do not yet fully understand the fulfillment of Scripture, the Spirit of the Law, the totality of Christ’s mission, the power of the Spirit, and how it all connects by grace through faith in God’s love. In fact, although Jesus commissions them to go and make more disciples—telling others about turning from sin by turning to God—he instructs them to wait for the Holy Spirit or Helper. Ministry in human power may be religious in action; ministry in Spirit and Truth actually reveals the motives of the heart, grows Christlike relationships, and empowers our witness in the world. Big, big difference!

Remember to read the Introduction to Ten Days of Prayer to Pentecost, today. If you did not pick your daily prayer cards up at C2C last Sunday, you can find them at 10days.net. We are praying in one accord for the salvation of Israel and the Middle East, as well as the revival of believers across the globe! May the Spirit bring a consuming fire for our souls!

Luke 24:44-53 Expanded Bible
44 He said to them, “·Remember [This is what I said….] when I was with you before? I said that everything written about me must ·happen [be fulfilled]—everything in the law of Moses, the books of the prophets, and the Psalms [a way of referring to the whole Old Testament].”

45 Then Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He said to them, “It is written that the ·Christ [Messiah] would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day 47 and that ·a change of hearts and lives and [repentance for the] forgiveness of sins would be preached in his name to all nations, starting at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 [And look/behold] I will send you what my Father has promised, but you must stay in ·Jerusalem [the city] until you ·have received [are clothed with] that power from ·heaven [on high].”

Jesus Goes Back to Heaven
50 Jesus led his followers as far as Bethany, and he raised his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he ·was separated [parted] from them and ·carried [taken up] into heaven. 52 They worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem ·very happy [with great joy]. 53 They ·stayed in the Temple all the time [were continually in the Temple], praising God.

Prayer: Lord, we remember the many ways you have loved and cared for us. From the moment you came into our hearts, we have been storing up the Truth and precious memories in the Spirit. Help us to cling to your strength and power rather than rest in our own, because human strength is inadequate to sustain our witness. Holy Spirit, fills us with love and fiery passion to witness about the Lord to others. The world needs to know and we need to proclaim. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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