Think about the last week of Jesus’ life:
Palm Sunday – Everyone cheered him
Good Friday – Everyone wanted to kill him
That’s a roller coaster of emotions. Jesus’ followers must have been scratching their heads wondering what had just happened.
And then Jesus returned!
The Book of Acts depicts that acts of the church after Jesus resurrection.
In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.
4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus was around for 40 days in his resurrected body.
When we’re in a tough time, God wants to come along side us and let us know that he IS who he says he IS. That’s what Jesus was doing.
We’re going to talk about those times in life when you’re in a waiting period. A holding pattern…
Much of our life is spent waiting on something
Waiting for Xmas
Waiting for the next level of schooling
Waiting for someone to propose
Waiting on a career decision
The disciples modeled well how we are to wait.
So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
Something new will happen, but you’ll have to wait
All of creation is now awaiting Jesus’ return. He said he’d be back and now we wait.
We are waiting for redemption.
Three Steps to Waiting Well
1. We can do what we know that Jesus has called us to do.
Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile.
They did what Jesus instructed.
What is it that Jesus has called us to do?
The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Maybe the waiting period is about leaving what you’ve been tending to and simply loving God.
The only thing that matters is faith acted out in love.
2 Timothy 3:14
But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you.
Deepen yourself with God to be prepared for whatever comes next.
2. We can be in constant prayer
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
Connect with God so that you may be fruitful.
Story: Closing in Prayer in Tim’s office
Tim will often conclude a meeting with someone by praying for the issues discussed. He also invites the other person to pray after him but if they prefer not to pray then they can simply say “Amen.” More often than not, the other person does not pray anything and says “Amen.” This saddens Tim. “So many people haven’t learned to fellowship with God.”
3. We can be practically doing what we can so we are ready and available for the next move.
(Judas had bought a field with the money he received for his treachery. Falling headfirst there, his body split open, spilling out all his intestines. 19 The news of his death spread to all the people of Jerusalem, and they gave the place the Aramaic name Akeldama,which means “Field of Blood.”)
20 Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’[a]
21 “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus— 22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.”
23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.
The disciples moved to replace their 12th man, since Judas had betrayed Jesus and then killed himself.
So, they named their candidates and determined that Matthias would become a disciple.
This was about being prepared to do the work that God would call them to do. People needed help and they were ready to respond.
The prudent understand where they are going,
but fools deceive themselves.
As we learn to love God more deeply, we can experience God’s goodness.
Story: Spring Break in a Safe Community
Tim spent Spring Break in FL with his family. The community they were in was peaceful and the residents much older. He met two ladies one day, both widowed. “This is a nice community, the people are friendly,” Tim said. One of the replies struck Tim and he’s been thinking about it since, “This is a community in waiting…” Tim confirmed to make sure they were on the same page. Yes, this is a community waiting for death.
Death comes for everyone. You’re born, you’ll die, you will be judged.
As yourself, “Am I giving myself to the most important things?”
Are you ready to die? You never know if it’s coming
Remember, there are three steps to waiting:
3. Be ready for the new way
If you’re in a waiting period, can you draw near to the Lord?