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Fit to Serve: Equipped by Jesus to Thrive (Luke 24:41-53)

Luke 24:41–53 - 41 While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; 43 and He took it and ate it before them. 44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” 50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising God. What does today’s passage say? In today's passage, Jesus appears to his disciples after his resurrection. He shows them his hands and feet to prove it is really him and not a ghost (v. 41). But they still struggled to believe because of their joy and amazement, so he asks for food and eats a piece of broiled fish with them (vv. 42-43). Jesus then explains how Scripture foretold that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise again on the third day (vv. 44-46). He tells them they are witnesses of this, and he will send the promised Holy Spirit to empower them before they are to proclaim repentance and forgiveness to all nations (vv. 47-49). He then leads them to Bethany, where he lifts his hands to bless them (v. 50). While blessing them, he departs from them and is carried up into heaven (v. 51). The disciples then return to Jerusalem with great joy, where they are continually in the temple blessing God (vv. 52-53). How can I apply Luke 24:41-53 to my life? After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples and others over a 40-day period before ascending into heaven. One of His appearances that taught the disciples valuable lessons for how to walk with Christ occurred right as Jesus was about to ascend. Though He would no longer be physically present, Jesus wanted the disciples to understand key principles for thriving spiritually in partnership with Him and through the Holy Spirit’s empowerment. The events surrounding this ascension appearance equip us all to live in transforming relationship with the Triune God. As with the first disciples, you and I are called to dynamic, obedient faith in Jesus that overflows in joyful praise and proclamation of the Gospel. By applying what Jesus taught in His final meeting with the gathered believers, our everyday lives become the arena for participating in His continuing work on earth through the Holy Spirit’s enablement. We discover how to welcome Jesus’ presence into daily rhythms, find purpose in God’s word for fully pleasing Him, access courage to share our faith stories, and follow Christ steadfastly with worship regardless of changing seasons. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

  1. Welcome Jesus into Everyday Moments with Excitement and Wonder (vv. 41-43): When the disciples saw Jesus after the resurrection, they were startled and thought He was a spirit at first but then were overcome with joy and excitement as He met them in an ordinary moment, eating fish together. Though resurrected in a glorified body, He chose to join them in a familiar, casual meal. We too can invite Jesus into our everyday routines - chatting over coffee, preparing dinner, walking sensing Him beside us. He makes the ordinary holy by His presence. Welcome Him by expecting to encounter Jesus in unremarkable events, then respond with awe that the risen Lord meets you with familiar tenderness. Treasure little occasions to fellowship with the King who draws near with faithful companionship. He wants you to invite Him into daily happenings as if He sits across from you. Approach Him with the wonder of a child, excited by His participation in your moments. Ask Jesus to open your eyes each morning to His presence right beside you as you start your day. Pause frequently to chat with Him about what you are experiencing or thinking (Zephaniah 3:17, James 4:8, Psalm 145:18).

Food for thought: What helps you cultivate awareness of Jesus' presence throughout normal events? Do you consistently expect Him to meet you in everyday routines?

  1. The Bible Teaches Us Everything We Need to Know About the Lord to Fully Live for Him through the Power of the Holy Spirit (vv. 44-45): Jesus explained to the disciples that the Hebrew Scriptures foretold His suffering, death, and resurrection. God's word equips us with truth about who He is, and how we can live fully surrendered to Him by the Spirit’s power. Daily studying the Bible helps us encounter Jesus more deeply. We discover the Lord's character and ways. Scripture aligns our perspective with eternal truth that anchors and transforms life. God's word shows us how to follow Him through the Holy Spirit’s enablement. It teaches us to depend on the Spirit’s wisdom and strength. As we repent of our sin, apply the Bible, and rely on the Holy Spirit, we will grow to completely reflect and please God. Open your heart as you read Scripture for the Spirit to correct faulty thinking and empower righteous living and ask God how specific passages apply to situations you face (Psalm 19:7-11, Psalm 119:105, 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Food for thought: What helps you engage deeply with Scripture to fully know and live for God? Do you depend on the Spirit to illuminate truth as you read the Bible?

  1. The Holy Spirit Will Help Us to Powerfully and Boldly Proclaim the Truth of the Gospel to the Whole World (vv. 46-49): Jesus instructed the disciples to remain in Jerusalem until they received power from the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses globally. All followers of Jesus have this same commission - to proclaim the Gospel in the Spirit's power. As we walk closely with God, He will give supernatural courage and ability. Our part is to actively share the Good News of Christ’s love within our spheres of influence. We do not need to fear what others think but can trust the Spirit to communicate through us. Ask the Lord before interactions for boldness and the right words. Cooperate with God’s prompting to speak life-change. The Holy Spirit helps us powerfully impact eternity each time we voice Kingdom truth. Pray daily for divine openings and appointments to share your story and Jesus’ work with those who need hope. Write out your testimony to clearly articulate the Gospel when opportunities arise (Acts 1:8, 2 Timothy 1:7-8, Philemon 1:6).

Food for thought: Are you asking the Holy Spirit to embolden you to share your faith? What would it look like for you to actively cooperate with His leading to proclaim the Gospel?

  1. Live Out Your Faith by Following Jesus with Joy and Praise (vv. 52-53): After Jesus ascended, the disciples responded with great joy and continual blessing of God in the temple courts. Their encounter with the resurrected Christ transformed their countenance and lifestyles. The disciples now lived faithful to Jesus despite opposition and hardship ahead. When we walk closely with Christ we are filled with supernatural gladness and purpose. Our natural response is praise and honor for the King who gave His life to redeem us. Allow your relationship with Jesus to overflow in speaking blessings on Him in all situations. Follow Him with praise in seasons of ease and adversity. Let continually recognizing God’s goodness energize faithful obedience to His ways no matter what comes. Intentionally start and end each day with praise and speak Scripture’s promises into hard situations. Allow communion with Jesus to overflow into your attitudes, conversations, and conduct (Psalm 34:1-3, John 15:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Food for thought: Do you follow Jesus with consistent joy and praise? How can you cultivate spiritual gladness and purpose in all seasons? Jesus used His last meeting with the disciples before ascending to impart essential truths for following Him vibrantly. Though He would no longer be physically present, He outlined through word and action how to live connected with Him through the Holy Spirit. The disciples received an exciting commission to walk in unity to reach the world with the Gospel. We gain insight into developing an intimate friendship with Christ that infuses ordinary moments with significance and overflows with the praise on our lips. He demonstrated that the word equips us for obedient living through the Spirit’s revelation and power. As we apply these examples of the first believers enriched by Jesus’ teaching, our lives too will exhibit contagious godly influence, joy, and purpose. Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You would help me to invite Jesus passionately into routine moments and conversations, expecting Him to meet me as a trusted friend. Attune my spiritual ears to the Spirit’s voice so I might know the Lord deeply through Scripture for fully pleasing and representing You. Make me bold to share my faith story and Yours with those needing hope. Grow me as an authentic worshipper who follows Christ steadfastly with joy regardless of life’s changes. Produce lasting fruitfulness in and through me for Your glory. I long to live out powerful faith in fellowship with You and the family of God. I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Luke 24:49 - “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” With His Blessings, Pastor Corby

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