“It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” (Acts 1:7)
When I read about the ascension, I have a question. I ask the Lord “Why? Why did you have to go back to heaven when we need you here on earth so much?” I think it would have been so much easier for all of us if Jesus was physically present here on earth. Then whenever we needed Him, we could go right to Him. He would always be there for us with the right words to say to comfort, strengthen and encourage us. He would be there to give us a hug and heal us of all of our infirmities. We would never have to worry or lack for anything. There would be peace, no wars, no murder, no fighting if Jesus would just have stayed and established His kingdom at that point rather than ascending to heaven. Why did Jesus have to ascend to heaven?
Jesus does give us an answer but one which is not so easy for us to grasp especially when we are suffering or when we have to watch loved ones and friends in the midst of serious pain and critical illness. Such trials test the very foundation of our faith in Jesus. “Lord do you really know what you are doing? What purpose does such suffering serve? Why have you allowed this to happen?” I am sure that even the most faithful of us, have asked these questions at one time or another.
The major reason why Jesus had to ascend to heaven, why He commissioned His followers to establish His kingdom on earth, is because it is the Father’s will. It is not given to us to know the specific answers, the specific reasons. It is enough to know that it is the Father’s will. He does things in a different way than what we would do, like, or think. Therefore, the ultimate answer to all of our “Why?” questions is “It is the Father’s will.” By faith, that is all we need.
Good food for thought for Christians.
Want to begin to think with a Biblical Worldview?
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Read Bible Mediations for Busy People: Blogging Through the Torah
I am not one to put myself forward, as I am not perfect and all the glory goes to the Lord. The book I have written Bible Mediations for Busy People: Blogging Through the Torah, is an extremely useful tool for studying the Bible in context. The book is designed for busy people, to be read when commuting to work or during daily pray time.
I expect it to be the first in a series of books that examine the Scriptures book by book and chapter by chapter.
As I wrote these mediations I prayed and asked the Lord for wisdom and guidance. I also researched some worthwhile Bible commentaries. The Lord granted me words to say and write down just as I do every day with my Blog. The Lord has granted me the blessing of writing a book that is composed of a series of short mediations that interpret the Scripture from an evangelical perspective.
But these meditations are designed to do something more. They are designed to help the reader to apply them to daily life and to think with about life and current events with a Biblical worldview.
And continue to read my daily Blog for insight into the Book of Revelation and other Scriptures.
The subject of the sovereignty of God is one of the major themes in Paul’s letter to the church at Rome. The issues of the letter indicate that some of the members of that church were having difficulty getting along with one another. The Church was a cultural mix: Christians from pagan backgrounds were fellowshipping with others with Jewish roots. The latter tended to take pride in their religious heritage of the Law and so some treated all Gentiles, both Christian and pagan alike with feelings of disdainful superiority. To address this problem Paul introduced the theme of the Christian’s justification through faith alone irrespective of status, ethnic origin, culture or works. The righteous are righteous by grace through faith, not works. Righteousness is granted by God so no Christian may claim exalted status or superior rank.
Paul was not hesitant to speak his mind for he knew what was at stake here: the salvation of souls. As we are reminded from the Old Testament, particularly Psalms and Job, the whole of creation testifies to the glory of the Lord. Yet that testimony, though quite revealing is insufficient to enable anyone to live a life of perfect righteousness or to avoid sin. To be sure, throughout history, all peoples and cultures have a moral code or law which they set up for the purpose of orderly government and proper justice, yet no one ever followed those rules to perfection, not event those established by Christians.
As Paul states and we can attest to from observation, all people give themselves up to all sorts of perverse behavior, notably homosexuality which here is soundly and forcefully condemned as sin. In fact, the sin itself is its own punishment for it keeps the sinner trapped as a slave unable to do or think otherwise. Thus all pagans, all wicked people, all sinners are under the wrath of God, without hope apart from Jesus. Therefore we Christians must unite under the banner of the Holy Spirit and cease our political infighting so that we may reach out to those who do not know Christ so they, like us, may receive the same gift of eternal life which we have.
On Saturday May 17th, I will be at the Mega Yard sale sponsored by Trinity Lutheran School to sell and autograph copies of my book Bible Meditations for Busy People. Since this is a yard sale you are all invited to come and browse the various tables as well as purchase my book or just say Hello.
Sale will take place in parking lot next to the Gym on West Marie or in case of inclement weather, in the gym. Time: 9 am to 2 pm. The church Location of Trinity Lutheran Church and School is just a few blocks south of the LIRR Hicksville Station and The Broadway Mall.
The events surrounding the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead form the basis of our own testimony for they are based on the testimony of several eyewitnesses. These men and women had no reason to lie nor could they fabricate such a story. The followers of Jesus had never heard of anyone rising from the dead. The miracle of Jesus’ resurrection was so totally beyond their understanding that the women who were the first to hear it from the mouth of the angels did not know what to make of it. Neither could the disciples when they heard. They had no idea that Jesus was going to do what He did. So we can understand why the two disciples who encountered the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus did not recognize Him. Yet their hearts so burned with the hope that Jesus brought to them in His words, that they finally understood who He was and what He had done. Then they recognized Him!
We would all like to know the message that Jesus brought to those disciples, but we are not given the exact words and phrases. All we are told is that Jesus used the Old Testament scriptures to prove that He is the Messiah, and that He fulfilled those scriptures in His life, suffering, death and resurrection. The great thing is that we do have access to those scriptures but have to study hard to glean them, or, like Cleopas and his companion, listen to godly teachers who can make them clearer to us. Our faithful response to those words forms the testimony that we are to present to others that they too might believe, repent and receive the mercy and forgiveness of a loving God.