While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God (Luke 24:51-53, NIV).
His disciples knew He was leaving. He had told them. And, as He left, He blessed them. They worshiped Him and were filled with joy.
Back in the temple they continued to praise. They remembered what He'd taught, how He'd forgiven sins, healed the lame, and explained the big picture of the Kingdom of God.
How could they not praise? Jesus had closed the gap between them and God. They marvelled as they shared their encounters with the resurrected Christ.
From the throne room Jesus still blesses. He becomes real to us as we learn to we see by faith, hear His words, and make them our own. Becoming close followers of Jesus Christ still brings amazing blessings. Forgiven and with new life, we grow in faith, service, and the power of God's strength.
Are you open to His blessings, and will you joyfully pass them on?
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
The greatest blessing is to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ (See Romans 5:9-11). Examine what that means to you today. What are some practical implications?
Now take time to worship the Giver. Invite the Holy Spirit to fill you with His joy.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
The Beth Moore title I was reading addressed the ugliness that we sometimes see in ourselves. The following thought arrested my reading and hoisted a flag. It's not that we need to pretend we are perfectly beautiful or lovely. But God, perfectly beautiful and lovely, has chosen to live in us despite our imperfections. His presence makes lovely places.
"How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty" (Psalm 84:1, NIV).
I know I am God's dwelling place, but this nuance joined some dots to draw a new vision of glory. I have imagined the magnificent throne room where the glory of God emanates, also the newly dedicated Jewish temple where the Shekinah (presence) of God overwhelmed the priests. Experiencing God's holiness, they fell on the faces. I too, have fallen on my face as I worshiped, my living room transformed into a holy place. Lovely.
But me, a lovely place? My being made lovely by the King of Glory's presence?
Each time I look at this new flag waving spiritual insight, I smile at the lift it brings. Lovely! I am lovely. Amazing grace. My soul longs for more of the Lord's presence. What He fills, He transforms. His glory fills the place.
Fill me, Lord. I am lovely, because YOU are lovely!
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Read Psalm 84 quietly and invite the Lord Almighty to reveal the beauty of His presence.
View the loveliness of the living God filling you. Bask in that presence and receive the gift.
Stay close to the altar -- you and all that concerns you (see verse 3). Count the blessings from trusting His presence.