Saturday, 2 January 2021
“The Father sets those dates,” he replied, “and they are not for you to know.”-Acts 1:7 [TLB]
A new year with great hope has dawned upon us! Our hope is in the One who holds our future, not in anything that this world is going to offer.
Just before His ascension, Jesus gave clear instructions to His first disciples about things that have to be done after His departure. But they were confused. They had a mingled view just like any other Jew of their day. They were clearly expecting a political leader- their Messiah who would redeem them from the Roman Empire. So they were eagerly asking Jesus, the same question like what they asked Him before His death. (Matthew 24:3).
He directed them to God the Father. The Father sets those dates— a clear indication of how God sovereignly controls all the things down here on earth. But the disciples are instructed to be filled and overflow with Life into a dying world all around them. “But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power to testify about me with great effect, to the people in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, about my death and resurrection.” [Acts 1:8 TLB]. An impossible task as humans; but they were given the third person of the Divine Trinity to be in of each one of them to complete this divine mandate.
So now, we also are not called to set the dates of Jesus’ coming; instead to focus on completing the task that the early disciples had started then. It’s easy to be distracted from the plan of God if we start trying to work up predictions regarding His return. This does not mean that there are no clear signs of His coming. There are clear signs given, but that should give us more focus and strength to finish all that He has instructed His Church.
The world around us is dying from Sin. We, His disciples are here with one single purpose to reach out to them and bring them into the Kingdom of God by preaching the good news. Are you ready??
For you to be ready the condition to be met is to be filled with the Spirit, so that you can have the overflow. The divine Holy Spirit will give you the overflow. We need to be available. As the Psalmist puts it plainly and purely: I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path, and steadied me as I walked along.[Psalm 40:1-2 TLB]
God brings us to the shore of safety in Jesus Christ. It is our God-given duty to declare this truth to this dying world around us!! Let us pray with the Psalmist:
It isn’t sacrifices and offerings that you really want from your people. …… But you have accepted the offer of my lifelong service. Then I said, “See, I have come, just as all the prophets foretold. And I delight to do your will, my God, for your law is written upon my heart!” I have told everyone the good news that you forgive people’s sins. I have not been timid about it, as you well know, O Lord. I have not kept this good news hidden in my heart, but have proclaimed your loving-kindness and truth to all the congregation. [Psalm 40:6-10 TLB]