11/02/M – The Father’s Promise

2 Samuel 19:41-20:13; Acts 1:1-14; Psalms 119:169-176; Proverbs 26:27

NT: “While he was with them, he commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. “Which,” he said, “you have heard me speak about; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days.” So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he had said this, he was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen him going into heaven.”” (‭‭Acts‬ ‭1:4-11‬ ‭CSB)

In each of the four gospels, there is recorded a portion of Christ’s Great Commission to His disciples. He sent them out and told them to go into all the world… but He didn’t want them to go until they had received the Father’s Promise. His final charge to them was to wait in Jerusalem until they were baptized with the Holy Spirit and filled with His power. All that Christ had commissioned them to do was dependent on the baptism and filling with the Holy Spirit. Once they received the Holy Spirit’s power, they were to wait no longer. They were to go. Jesus didn’t tell them to soak in the outpouring and swim in the Spirit’s presence. No, they were to go… and in their going (as He said in Matthew 28:19-20) He would be present with them. Then Jesus ascended to be with the Father so that He could send the Holy Spirit as He promised. As the disciples were standing there basking in what had just happened, two angels appears and asked, “Why are you standing around here?” It is almost implied that they were saying, “Didn’t you just hear with the Master said? You need to go to Jerusalem and wait there… Jesus isn’t here anymore… Jesus has left the mountain.” For the disciples to receive the promise, they had to obey. Waiting in the presence of the Lord is good… but only when that is what the Lord wants you to do. We as disciples need to always be doing what He is doing… and if He isn’t lingering, neither should we.

Psalms: “Let my cry reach you, Lord; give me understanding according to your word. Let my plea reach you; rescue me according to your promise. My lips pour out praise, for you teach me your statutes. My tongue sings about your promise, for all your commands are righteous. May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. I long for your salvation, Lord, and your instruction is my delight. Let me live, and I will praise you; may your judgments help me. I wander like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commands.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:169-176‬ ‭CSB)

Here at the end of this magnificent psalm all about the enduring, saving, life-giving word of God, the psalmist mentions God’s promise… God’s promise that is engaged through loving, fearing, and obeying God’s word. Basically, the psalmist wrote, Your word promises salvation if I live my life according to Your word, will, and ways. I have chosen to honor your word, obey your will, and walk in your ways… so be faithful to Your promise as Your word says that You will. When God promises something, He is faithful to do it as we remain worshipfully faithful to Him. He has promised to baptize us with His Holy Spirit and give us His power if we faithfully follow Him and heed His words. Like the psalmist of old, we just need to be faithful and ask for His fulfillment… and as Jesus said in Luke 11:13, If we ask the Father for the Holy Spirit, how much more willing is He to give us what we ask.

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