Expectations

Acts 1:1-11

You are God's dream.  The staggering reality is that, despite the billions of us on the earth despite the reality that there were billions before us who have lived and died, before there was a physical universe, God already had in mind everything He was going to do.   When you read the first chapter of Jeremiah, God says, before you were born He had a concept in mind.  You are no accident.  The world has told us that we are so ordinary, we are nothing.  The Bible is saying you were in God's mind before you came t be. You are God's dream come true, his dream job!

God has high expectations for your life.  Stop letting Him down.  Stop letting the devil and the world around you talk negatively about you.  God doesn't want any other job but helping you shape eternal life.  Dr. Luke wrote this to his friends about those early days in the Church.

"In my former book,,,,I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day He was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen."

We are 500 years from the Protestant Reformation.  It was a dark time in history  tragic  God had to reach in and do things in His Church that perhaps He never would have thought needed to be done.  There needed to be a return to the scripture, a return to gospel, and return to that which He originally inspired the early Church to be.   God has had to do this a number of times over the years, because somehow we all drift away from the original deal.  We add and subtract a bit here, a bit there, and once again, God needs to stir us up.  Maybe God want to stir us up with a fresh expectation.

The verse that came up out the Protestant Reformation is a verse that is going all the way through the Bible.  It says.  the just shall live by faith.  Faith is that central component to our Christianity.  Unless we let faith stretch us from what we know to be to what we believe can be, we we will always be living powerless lives.  

There are three faith facets that confront us in Acts, chapter 1:

Unknown Experience

The disciples had never met anyone who was back from the dead.  In verse 3 it says:

"After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave them many convincing proofs that He was alive.  He appeared to them over a peirod of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God."

There is a central truth concerning the kingdom of God.  Without that central truth, nobody can see the kingdom of God.  With that experience, you can be powerfully in the kingdom, and the kingdom can be in you.  Jesus told His disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the gift His Father had promised.

Disciples, I want you to expect something.  John baptized with water, but the disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit (vs. 5).  This, in every age, should be a disciple's expectation.  This was the great unknown experience for the disciples.  

Disciples, I am telling you that the kingdom of God can be inside you.  Jesus want to be inside us,  His breath into us.  Jesus' spiritual part, He would like to give us His Holy Spirit.  The big question is, have you been filled with the Holy Spirit?  If not, can this sermon take you from what you have known to what you will begin to believe?  There is no greater expectation for a disciple of Jesus than to be filled with the Holy Spiritl

Unmet Expectations

In verse 6, the disciples asked Jesus if He would restore the kingdom of Israell (they were under Roman occupation).  Jesus answered them in verse 7-8:

"It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit come on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Their unmet expectations struggled with that answer.  Having left all to follow Jesus, they now had nothing to show for it.  Then Jesus was taken up to heaven.  What does all this mean?  Where is He going now?  What happens now is.....

Unclear Explanations

God sent the disciples two messengers in verse 10.  This was now their "known to be."  Jesus had left the world.  The two messengers gave them an uncertain explanation that takes as much faith to believe today as it did the day it was first spoken.  That calls for a life of faith today. 

Go about your daily business, expecting His return.  One day, the trumpet will sound for His coming.  The sky will shine with His glory.  Faith will call you to stretch what you believe can be, from what you have known so far to be.