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What Now?: Going Up

“After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.” (Acts 1:9) We’ve spent this week walking through Jesus’ last few days before leaving earth, which finally happens in today’s verse. It’s Jesus’ last in-the-flesh miracle. Theologians call it “the Ascension.” To me, it sounds […]

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What Now?: The Mission

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) The questions had been hanging in the air for 40 days: “We believe you are the Messiah. We’ve been following […]

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What Now?: The End?

“So when they met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.’ ” (Acts 1:6-7) One of the reasons Jesus’ crucifixion seemed to […]

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What Now?: Wait

“On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ ” (Acts 1:4-5) This […]

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What Now?: Be Convinced

“After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3) I never blame anyone for doubting that Jesus came back from the dead. It takes real faith to […]

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What Now?: Just the Beginning

“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.” (Acts 1:1-2) We are picking up the story of Jesus about 40 days after he rose […]

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Not Reluctant: Included

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians […]

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Not Reluctant: Works Out Everything

“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:11-12) I realize not every Christian agrees, […]

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Not Reluctant: Showing His Plans

“And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 1:9-10) Again today we hear more […]

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Not Reluctant: Lavished

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:7-8) We continue listening this week to Paul tell us that our God is no reluctant Father – he really wants us – and […]

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