Scripture reading for April 6th: 1st Kings 20-22; 2nd Kings 1-2
Key Scriptures: 2nd Kings 2:9-11 “When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me have a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours–otherwise not.” As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.”
Elijah’s work on earth was nearly over and his time of departure was at hand. His successor was asked what one thing he could do for him. A double portion of the Spirit was Elisha’s desire! Seeing the ascension of Elijah was the condition for this special gift! Beholding a chariot of fire and whirlwind, Elisha got his heart’s desire!
Rejoicing in the Spirit: Jesus Christ promised His followers the Father’s gift and they watched Him ascend to heaven! “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.” After He said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight.” (Acts 1:8-9)
Greetings in the Wonderful Name of Jesus Christ! Another week has passed so quickly and the first day celebration is upon us! We celebrate the resurrection of our Lord on the first day of the week. It is something to celebrate because without Jesus’ resurrection, we would have no guarantee of resurrection. He is the first to be permanently resurrected from death and the grave. Elijah was picked up by a chariot and Enoch was taken up living as he walked with the Lord. Please join others in worship, prayer, and study of the Scriptures this celebration day!
As I look back on this past week, I want to comment on Jesus’ ascension to heaven as recorded by Luke. Jesus led his followers out to Bethany, the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus as well as Simon the Leper. He lifted up His hands and blessed them. As He was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. (Luke 24:50-52) In Acts, Luke records Jesus’ answer to the disciples question about if He was going to restore the kingdom to Israel. Jesus told His followers to wait in Jerusalem until they received power to be witnesses in Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. (Acts1:6-11) A cloud hid Jesus from their sight as He ascended to heaven. Luke records two men in white apparel who told them that Jesus would return in the same manner as he went into heaven.
These records of the ascension bring hope to us. Jesus left His followers with a clear command and mission. He encouraged them to wait in Jerusalem for the promised gift of power. He also informed them that He would be back, but did not leave a date or time. He did this so that every generation would seek to be ready. We know God’s word is true and Jesus did not lie. He is waiting for all who will be saved by the obedience of His followers. He is watching us exercise our faith and take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. What an exciting mission! What amazing power in the Holy Spirit! What hope we have of Jesus return! It could be today!
In His Love,