not glamorous

Not Glamorous

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

Jesus gives us something to think about after a weekend of serving God and His people:

And Jesus said to him,
“Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
(Matthew 8:20)

A scribe came to Jesus and said he wanted to follow Him. “Scribe” means that he was an educated, professional man – something like an attorney today. Maybe he looked at the unimpressive and uneducated men who made up the 12 disciple and figured he would be the natural leader among them – an impressive addition to team Jesus.

not glamorous

Jesus responded to the scribe, Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head. Jesus didn’t tell the man “No, you can’t follow Me.” But Jesus told him the truth, without painting a glamorized version of what it was like to follow Him.

There is often very little glamor and a fair amount of hardship in following Jesus and serving Him. I don’t think it is helpful to focus on the things we give up for the sake of Jesus and serving His people, but it is good to remember from time to time that it is normal. It doesn’t mean that we are failures or are doing it wrong.

Many pastors and Christian workers I know are exhausted. They have been giving their all in these strange times and have done so for a long time. If that’s you, please find a way to take some rest. In your time of resting (whether it is long or short), remember that a not-glamorous ministry is doing it just like Jesus did.

I’m sending this with a prayer for you and all who read this email!

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

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this same Jesus

This Same Jesus

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11)

Some 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus gathered His disciples on the Mount of Olives and told them to be witnesses to Him in all the earth. After finishing that important and final command, Jesus did something remarkable. His physical body was lifted up into heaven, even as His disciples watched. He went up, up, and up even further until He faded into the clouds and could be seen no more.

this same Jesus

Jesus wanted His disciples see His departure from earth to heaven. We read, while they watched, He was taken up. It was important for Jesus to leave His disciples in this manner. In theory, He certainly could have simply vanished to heaven and to the Father’s presence in a secret sort of way. But Jesus wanted His followers to know that He was gone for good, as opposed to the way He appeared and reappeared during the 40 days after His resurrection.

Jesus told His disciples it was better for Him to leave, because then He would send them the Holy Spirit (John 16:7). Now the disciples could know that that promise would be fulfilled. The Holy Spirit was coming because Jesus promised to send the Spirit when He left, and the ascension was a way to demonstrate that Jesus was really gone.

As the disciples stared up into the sky, two men – apparently angels – asked, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? They told the disciples to focus on what Jesus told them to do, not in wondering where and how Jesus went.

The two men referred to Christ as, this same Jesus. This reminds us that the Jesus who ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father is the same Jesus of the Gospels. He is the same Jesus of love, grace, goodness, wisdom, and care. The Jesus in heaven is this same Jesus.

Then also added a wonderful promise: Jesus will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven. This Jesus will return just as He left.

– He left physically and will so come in like manner.
– He left visibly and will so come in like manner.
– He left from the Mount of Olives and will so come in like manner.
– He left in the presence of His disciples and will so come in like manner.
– He left blessing His people (Luke 24:50-51) and will so come in like manner.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Click here for David’s commentary on Acts 1

Promised Power

Poder prometido

Pero recibiréis poder, cuando haya venido sobre vosotros el Espíritu Santo, y me seréis testigos en Jerusalén, en toda Judea, en Samaria, y hasta lo último de la tierra. (Hechos 1:8)

Justo antes de que Jesús ascendiera al cielo, sus discípulos le preguntaron acerca de la restauración de Israel, dándole al pueblo judío la prominencia prometida por los profetas cuando el reinado del Mesías se cumpliera por completo. Jesús les dijo que era mejor si no supieran eso, pero tenía algo aún mejor para ellos.

Jesús prometió: Pero recibiréis poder. Si el reino nacional que querían iba a ser retrasado, el poder que necesitaban no. Pronto recibirían poder con la venida del Espíritu Santo. Jesús les prometió poder, pero no el tipo de poder que domina a otros; este es el poder de difundir el mensaje de reconciliación de Dios en Cristo Jesús, y llevar a las personas a la verdadera libertad en Jesús.

Promised Power

Este poder prometido significaba que Jesús podía prometer a estos discípulos: Me seréis testigos. El resultado natural de recibir este poder prometido sería que ellos llegarían a ser testigos de Jesús, por toda la tierra.

Noten que esto no fue un mandato; fue una simple declaración de hecho: Cuando haya venido sobre vosotros el Espíritu Santo… me seréis testigos. Las palabras me seréis describen lo que sucedería, no lo que tenían que hacer. En otras palabras, Jesús no les recomendó que se convirtieran en testigos; Dijo que serían testigos.

Si queremos ser testigos, tenemos que ser llenos del Espíritu Santo. El mejor programa de entrenamiento para la evangelización no sirve de nada sin la llenura del Espíritu Santo.

Jesús les dijo dónde serían testigos: en Jerusalén, en toda Judea, en Samaria, y hasta lo último de la tierra. Cuando Jesús mencionó cada uno de esos lugares, podemos imaginar las objeciones que los discípulos pensaron con respecto a cada lugar de ministerio que Jesús describió.

– Jerusalén: ¿No fue ahí donde Jesús fue ejecutado por la palabra de una multitud enojada?
– Judea: ¿No fue rechazado el ministerio de Jesús por los de Judea?
– Samaria: Muchos de los judíos en esa época tenían prejuicios contra los samaritanos.
– En lo último de la tierra, los gentiles eran vistos por algunos judíos de esa época como nada mejor que leña para el fuego del infierno.

Sin embargo, Dios quería que se enviara un testigo a todos estos lugares, y el Espíritu Santo les daría poder para hacer este trabajo. Como vivo en un lugar que sería considerado “lo último de la tierra” desde Jerusalén, ¡me alegro de que lo que comenzaron continúe hasta el día de hoy!

Esa declaración no terminó con esos primeros discípulos. Hoy, Dios tiene un Jerusalén, un Judea, una Samaria y un fin de la tierra donde Él quiere que su pueblo sea su testigo. Pero recuerda: necesitamos el poder del Espíritu Santo para hacer esto. Pregunta y recibe hoy.

Haz clic aquí para el comentario de David de Hechos 1