Day 1

Ascension

from the Acts of the Apostles reading plan


Acts 1:1-26, Matthew 28:16-20, Romans 6:11-14

Waiting is hard. And it can seem pointless. But the opening chapter of Acts shows us it is not.

A number of years ago, I went to my brother’s deployment ceremony for the Army. He was leaving his wife and daughter behind in the great state of Texas to spend a year in the Middle East as a soldier. The send-off was a sober event that involved many lengthy farewells.

But as the troops left the stadium, they didn’t immediately board a plane for Kuwait. Instead, they went to a military base seven miles away from my brother’s house, where they spent the next two weeks preparing to leave. So my brother was only a few miles away from his family, but might as well have been on the other side of the world. He said that was the hardest week of the year because he was stuck waiting so close to home.

In the first chapter of Acts, we find Jesus’ disciples waiting close to home. That must have been a difficult stretch. Jesus had risen from the grave and walked among His disciples for forty days, teaching them that the Holy Spirit would indwell the people of God and empower them for the work of building the Church around the world. And right before He ascended into heaven, He told His disciples to remain in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit. They waited there for 10 days.

What are you waiting on now? Or better, how are you waiting? It’s hard to wait because waiting can feel wasteful, which also feels “unspiritual.”

The reality is that sometimes God calls us to wait on Him, and rather than the waiting being a time of inactivity, God uses these periods as times of preparation. What kind of preparation? For the disciples in Acts 1, it was preparation to be His witnesses. They spent their time in fellowship with one another (1:13-14), in devotion to the Lord (1:14), and in anticipation for how He would work through them when the time came—evidenced in their determination to shore up their group by replacing Judas (1:21-26).

If we believe that God is pleased to use our lives for His glory as His witnesses throughout the world, then even our seasons of building, establishment, and waiting are filled with significance.

So how do we wait well? We spend our time seeking the face of God, studying and obeying His Word. We spend time in fellowship together. We regard every day as a precious gift of time to spend in preparation for what He will do through us.

As we bear witness to Him, let us spend our time waiting for His return; for although He does not need to use us as His witnesses, He is pleased to use us as His witnesses by His grace and for His glory.

May we spend our lives in response to that grace.

Written By Russ Ramsey

Post Comments (119)

119 thoughts on "Ascension"

  1. Marc says:

    God is patient. He is waiting for us to be in relationship with His Son before he sends His Son back to Earth. His timing is always perfect! Even when I want something right now, He makes us wait to the right moment.

  2. Marc says:

    When living in God’s grace through Jesus we have to learn to be Patient. We are naturally impatient beings. It shows true maturity in faith to wait on the Lord.

  3. Marc says:

    I am currently waiting on God. I am trying to be patient in my life and in a situation of joblessness, but I am confident in the Lord that He will provide. I will use this opportunity to be an example to the best of my ability to others of my faith the God will provide.

  4. Marc says:

    We have to make a plan on how we will save as many souls as we can, while we are waiting. Our God is a good good father and He does not want to see anyone parish.

  5. Marc says:

    Father God,
    I am waiting on you. Guide my footsteps for I know the promises of Your Word. You are my provider and defender. Strengthen my soul while waiting on You Lord. Your timing is perfect and I want to be in Your timing as I am in Your grace. I pray that you would open and shut the doors that are in my path. In Jesus precious name!
    Amen

  6. Dan says:

    There is a time for work and a time for waiting. I will encourage my brothers to wait on the Lord because when God calls us into the game we must be ready and listening for his voice.

  7. Dan says:

    God is much much bigger than we are. When we wait it sometimes feels unproductive to us but it is never unproductive for God.

  8. Dan says:

    Jesus says that he will return. We don’t need to know when but we need trust that he gave us everything we need until then.

  9. Dan says:

    Patience is hard. My mind wonders and is constantly searching for something to fill the void. God wants me to be filled with the truth while I wait.

  10. Dan says:

    Father teach me to wait on you. Teach me to lead my family. Give me ears to hear and a heart that has been prepared. You have and continue to give all that I need. Thank you.

  11. Alejandro says:

    Lord. Thank you for showing me that I have a purpose but I also have to prepare in the times of wait. You have spoken this many times in my life. Thank you for your word.

  12. Alejandro says:

    I have to use this time I’m given to grow and prepare for the next season. This is not a time to just waste.

  13. Alejandro says:

    God has given me a direction but it seems so far away. He has me in a season of waiting. He is patient enough to see me through this season.

  14. Mark says:

    I will trust God even when it doesn’t make sense.

  15. Jeremy Head says:

    The gospel changes everything!

  16. Jeremy Head says:

    God is so intentional. His knowledge and wisdom is far too great for me to comprehend. His timing is perfect.

  17. Jeremy Head says:

    We must learn to trust in God’s perfect timing, and wait well. He is faithful to fulfill His promises.

    God has chosen us to be His witnesses in all the earth. What a great privilege!

  18. Jeremy Head says:

    I will wait well in my season of waiting. I will trust in the Lord!

  19. Jeremy Head says:

    I will pray for deeper fellowship with God, so that no matter what situation I am in, that I be content in Him, and trusting His perfect plan and wisdom.

  20. Tyler Stricklan says:

    We are to do greater works than even Jesus did. So when I sit in constant waiting for the next season I am squandering my time here. Man is not very good at waiting. For instance if food takes more than 20 minutes people gripe about the time. We have been given a right now ability any more that we forgot the beauty of waiting and anticipation. It’s like a child waiting eagerly for Christmas morning. Or a student waiting for the bell to ring. The sheer joy builds until is happens. That is how we should be awaiting Christ return. Should we grown with nature? Or should we carpe diem

  21. Tyler Stricklan says:

    God being in trinity with the Holy Spirit personally bestows power on us. The gift of His promise to always be near to us. His love is unending. For God to grant us the in dwelling of the H.S. Means we need to take on his command to make disciples and grow his bride. We do this with power* and bot timid hearts.

    *the gifts of the Holy Spirit are powerful.

  22. Tyler Stricklan says:

    The Gospel is a gospel of waiting. However it is clear that or waiting is not in vain. It teaches us that we have to align ourselves with the idea that we are not masters of time. That we are conduits of the spirit

  23. Peter White says:

    We can find waiting hard, but we can wait well by spending our time seeking, studying and obeying His Word

  24. Peter White says:

    That God is pleased to use us

  25. Peter White says:

    The Holy Spirit gives power to us for us to be witnesses

  26. Peter White says:

    Pray for power to be a good witness

  27. Peter White says:

    Spend time seeking, studying and obeying His Word

  28. Connor Back says:

    That he puts purpose to every moment, even the times of “inactivity”

  29. Connor Back says:

    It is easy to misconstrue e period of waiting as a period of insignificance

  30. Connor Back says:

    Not quite sure… Maybe it is that ultimately there is some sort of deliverance that follows our waiting

  31. Connor Back says:

    Leaning on God and seeking Him… Rather than just saying to myself “He will work it out in the end”. Because that is lazy and that isn’t a relationship. I need to use this time of waiting to strengthen myself and make Jesus known in my heart

  32. Connor Back says:

    I will pray that God helps me will myself to spend time with Him, to learn about Him, to get to know Him; to make significance out of my life right now for Him, so that I may be prepared for whatever He has in store for me whenever he presents it to me

  33. Forest Weir says:

    In prayer, for wisdom and patience. But also in action for the things that I can do now and today to further my walk with Christ

  34. Forest Weir says:

    God’s timeline is not our timeline. Sometimes that is so hard to wrap my head around, especially when I have hopes and dreams that I have planned out for myself that fail to materialize when I think they should. But God calls me to trust him in all things, and that he has even greater things in store for me than my own planning would limit me to.

  35. Forest Weir says:

    We are an impatient bunch, and only through Grace can we wait with a glad heart.

  36. Forest Weir says:

    Dying to ourselves means choosing to discard the parts of ourselves that would rebel against God’s design. Especially the part that would rather live out our own design now, than wait for his perfect plan for our life.

  37. Carlos Ortiz says:

    We are impatient and need of Gods words and seek prayer continually to be patient in him.

  38. Carlos Ortiz says:

    God is all about timing.

  39. Carlos Ortiz says:

    People don’t respond to the Gospel as quickly as we want them too. So we pray to seek patience and people to accept truth.

  40. Carlos Ortiz says:

    I will seek, pray, and be obedient. Wait patiently so that I may learn what God has in stored for me.

  41. Carlos Ortiz says:

    With courage and patience to hear from God.

  42. Britton Wesson says:

    Man needs moments in life that cause us to wait. We are too busy. We live fast.

  43. Britton Wesson says:

    Waiting is preparing to live the Gospel. Waiting is training. Waiting is a time in which our weakness is made into strength. Weariness is treated wth rest.

  44. Britton Wesson says:

    I need to be mindful of those waiting moments. I need to learn to be still and hear and know God. Waiting is a gift.

  45. Britton Wesson says:

    Waiting is a God-ordained moment in time in which He calls me to focus deeply on Him.

  46. Britton Wesson says:

    Lord, cause me to be still so that I may know You.

  47. Thom says:

    That a time of preparation and building is essential to progressing it. Moses, David even Jesus had a time of waiting and we can see that it was God preparing them for what was to come.

  48. Thom says:

    Man is impatient! I know that I like to just crack on, but I can see now that the last year was a time of preparation and without it we certainly wouldn’t be ready. God knew what was going to happen and prepared us for it, we didn’t know what was going to happen and wished we could grab hold and rush into something.

  49. Thom says:

    That he is a loving father, who builds up and prepares his children for what is to come, even when it feels like we are already prepared God knows us better!

  50. Ivan says:

    That His plan for man involves waiting. This grows our trust in Him and teaches us to stop relying on our abilities to make things happen.

  51. Ivan says:

    The Gospel is full of accounts of men and women that did great things for God after patiently waiting and learning His will.

  52. Ivan says:

    By realizing that the times of waiting are important and instead of viewing them as unfruitful times of my life they can be times of great growth.

  53. Ivan says:

    Man has always had the tendency to be impatient, to consider waiting as wasteful and not spiritual. If we aren’t careful we will overlook our times of waiting and fail to learn what’s important.

  54. Ivan says:

    For God to show me what I need to learn as I wait. To prepare me for His plan for my life. To strengthen me through these times.

  55. Eli De Faria says:

    Man finds his hope in the promises of God—in Jesus. We wait on him, we’re called by him to bear witness.

  56. Eli De Faria says:

    I love you Jesus, I love you Father. Your promises have never failed and you prove yourself over and over again. You have given me your Holy Spirit and you give me guidance, and for that that I cannot repay you. Your mercy is everlasting and your love is unconditional. You forgive if only I ask, Lord! Lord you are good. You are faithful. You are loving and kind and predacious to me. Thank you for your grace that helps me live, that helps me go about my day with the confidence that I am your son; a child of light. I am yours, and you are mine.

  57. Eli De Faria says:

    With being patient, and seeking God to hear his voice. I know I already have the Holy Spirit, so I’ll wait to hear His voice and guide me as I continue to walk.

  58. Adam Okechukwu says:

    While we are prone to want the promises now, we must simply obey the word of the Lord.

  59. Adam Okechukwu says:

    There is purpose in every season of my life

  60. Jonathan says:

    About man? That our confidence is so fragile. My confidence. The moment I have the courage to step out of the boat and feel the water beneath me I’ve forgotten what brought me there. The wind and waves scare me and I trust in what I see instead of what I know to be true.

  61. Jonathan says:

    I will ask God to give me eyes to see why he is doing in this world. Vision to perceive his love and reality in the midst of such confusion.

  62. Jonathan says:

    That God has made allowance for all of our weakness. He has so carefully shared his love to prop us up and bring us along.

  63. Jonathan says:

    I feel like it shows that Christ “gets” us. He understands our needs. We needed to know that we weren’t being completely left behind. We needed a purpose after he left. He provided the Holy Spirit and gave us a job to do.

  64. Jonathan says:

    God have mercy on me in my weakness. Give me vision to see you in this world and ears to hear your voice. Provide wisdom to my foolish heart and courage to act on it.

  65. Hayden says:

    That the Gospel is rich, life-changing, and able to be used at any moment for good, and for the glory of God.

  66. Hayden says:

    That we sometimes we forget each moment can be precious and beneficial, and that we need Jesus all the more.

  67. Hayden says:

    It teaches me that He wants us to use every moment to better ourselves for Him, and to help others every chance we get.
    While the disciples waited 10 days, we are waiting now for Jesus, and we must do as He has commanded us, not only for his glory, but for our benefit and the benefit of those around us.
    “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.”
    Spread not only the gospel, but the love and compassion that Christ showed humanity by giving His all for the imorovement of the world.

  68. Hayden says:

    I will respond by doing as Christ had commanded, be it waiting or acting. I will seize every moment for not only my benefit, but for the benefit of those around me.

  69. Hayden says:

    Father, teach me how to better myself for Your Kingdom. Teach me to take every moment and capture it, to use it for whatever purpose You have ordained it for.
    Help me and guide me to be a better man, a godly man; one that has a mind saturated in Scripture, and help me to not doubt You if You have ordained a period of waiting.

  70. Isaac Jones says:

    God selected the twelve apostles. God gave them His light to then spread like wildfire.
    God punishes the wicked (Judas).
    God calls us to be patient on his time.

  71. Isaac Jones says:

    Man is subject to the timing and will of God.
    Man is given the opportunity to catch the wild fire that was given to the apostles by God Himself.

  72. Isaac Jones says:

    Spread it and try to be obedient to the fruit of the Spirit within me.

  73. Isaac Jones says:

    Spread it.

  74. Isaac Jones says:

    Heavenly Father,
    Thank you for the Holy Spirit you have placed within me. Help me to produce the fruit and not suppress it in fear or doubt. I love you; amen.

  75. James Hamer says:

    Man is impatient. I am. We are also hypocritical.. We desire the end game, the dream, the hope, glory yet we don’t desire to muster up the patience to wait until the time is right or put in the work for the end-game that we desire in the first place!
    We are impatient.

  76. James Hamer says:

    He not only uses me as his witness, he adores it! He yearns for it. He yearns for my heart with a jealous love and wishes to lavish his grace upon me and peace upon me and strength💪🏼💪🏼 upon me. I have no choice but to smile and be grateful for it.

  77. James Hamer says:

    I will allow God to equip me for when the right time comes by changing my routine and being more disciplined with how I spend my time with the lord. In fellowship with God. I will also seek out the accountability and love of my church. They care about me and I don’t wanna let them down any more.

  78. James Hamer says:

    Although we are impatient and selfish and sinful and we fall short the message is the same the truth doesn’t change. His grace ABOUNDS. This teaches me that in my waiting, God is glorified.
    BUT know the difference between actively waiting on the lord as you pursue him and live by his word (as the disciples took action in their waiting) and just procrastinating.

    God is for you. Let him have your heart.

  79. James Hamer says:

    God please please give me the STRENGTH to go out and preach your gospel but also to reserve a secret place to equip myself.
    Please take away my laziness and procrastination and give me the heart that you have for the lost and for your son and Jesus give me your heart for the church.

    I pray for my mom. And step dad. Brother. Church leaders. My worship leader.

    In Jesus name,

    Amen.

  80. Matt says:

    Recognize the time or waiting and preparing I am in right now and capitalize on the opportunity to grow closer to God. When the time comes for action I will be better prepared and more keenly aware of the call.

  81. Matt says:

    The Gospel is not only for me and my salvation but it is also a task of mine that God has chosen me to be involved in spreading to others and living out in my daily life.

  82. Matt says:

    He has not only set up times and moments for His work to be done through me, but has also set up periods of time for preparing – and these times of preparing are just as significant as the times of action.

  83. Matt says:

    We are not only children of God but are also the instruments He has chosen to use for His work.

  84. Matt says:

    I pray for recognition and discipline to grow closer to God and capitalize on this period of waiting and preparing for Gods work through me and my wife’s upcoming work in ministry.

  85. Joe says:

    That he has a plan. That that plan doesn’t always involve me “doing” something. It shows my lack of faith in waiting. I can’t stand “wasting” time.

  86. Joe says:

    Not sure about this one. I guess as I contemplate this power we have that it’s not a power to be wielded as a weapon. But can be 120 people just praying together. Not “evangelizing”. Perhaps the gospel is more ebb and flow than just gushing river.

  87. Joe says:

    That we are all similar. We like action.

  88. Joe says:

    I need to accept this time in my life. But I also need to be fervent in prayer and study. And I need to not be doing it alone.

  89. Joe says:

    For a better attitude. For a broader perspective. To remember that there’s an outpouring at the end if I’m willing to be patient and devoted.

  90. Zack says:

    By being prayerful that I can be intentional with my time and to wait with patience. God created the world, knowing specifically that I would be a messenger in this time.

  91. Zack says:

    We don’t wait well, but when we see waiting as an opportunity for preparation, God can use our waiting in marvelous ways.

  92. Zack says:

    The Gospel was God’s plan from the beginning. He carefully orchestrated every piece of Jesus’ story, including how He would deliver the Holy Spirit to those who would be His witnesses. He made it so that man would be His messengers to bring the Gospel to the world.

  93. Zack says:

    God is purposeful. His every action has intention and He calls us to trust Him and His intentions.

  94. Jeremy Houf says:

    God wants us to prepare for the journey in prayer.

  95. Jeremy Houf says:

    God gives us the Holy Spirit’s power.

  96. Jeremy Houf says:

    Pray. Prepare. Wait Patiently.

  97. Jeremy Houf says:

    God wants us to prepare to be a witness of Him.

  98. Jeremy Houf says:

    Fill me with the power of the HS to lead the ministry you have called me to in this next season of life. Prepare me for this work through a heart connected to you in prayer. Fix my eyes on you while I wait for this next season of ministry. Give me the patience to wait well and not waste these moments I have to spend with you.

  99. Ian Stembridge says:

    He’s still working in us and around us while we wait.

  100. Ian Stembridge says:

    We’re impatient and want things to happen on our own time. It’s our natural impulse to follow what’s right in front of us.

  101. Ian Stembridge says:

    Well the great commission is the gospel of Christ, but it teaches us that we need to turn to the Word of God in our time of waiting.

  102. Ian Stembridge says:

    By acting out the great commission.

  103. Ian Stembridge says:

    For strength to carry out the great commission.

  104. Sean Thelen says:

    God does not make everything happen all at once; rather, He has set seasons for certain things to happen. He is continually moving things forward even as things seem not to change.

  105. Sean Thelen says:

    We tend to look at things as they happen minute by minute, and day by day. It often feels like the same thing is happening over and over again, but when we look back on our lives we realize how much really has changed.

  106. Sean Thelen says:

    Father, show me your perspective. Show me how you see events. Help me to see how you’re at work.

  107. Sean Thelen says:

    I will respond by praying that God will show me a glimpse of His perspective.

  108. Alex Aguilar says:

    In seasons where seemingly nothing is going on, i will not lay idle but encourage my fellow Christ followers to gather in fellowship to grow. Stagnancy is the death of faith, and we must always be growing in Christ to avoid the enemy’s schemes.

  109. Alex Aguilar says:

    God sometimes has us wait. While he calls us to action as well, there are seasons in life in which we will be called to wait, but in that time we must not be idle but continue to bear witness to him and spend time in fellowship with our fellow Christ followers.

  110. Alex Aguilar says:

    That we see waiting as wasteful. In today’s culture, everything must be instant or in visible progress. In reality, there are seasons where while we may not be visibly building something, we are in preparation for something greater.

  111. Alex Aguilar says:

    God uses the Gospel not only as an account of history, but as a reference and guideline for seasons that we will encounter as Christ followers.

  112. Alex Aguilar says:

    Father, I pray that I may use my seasons of waiting not just as seasons of rest, but also as seasons of growth through You and through the brothers and sisters you have placed in my life. I pray that I may take these seasons to reflect and be thankful for where You have brought me, and to prepare for the next period of my life in which I will continue to be Your Hands and Feet. I pray that I may make the decision to not be idle and fall into the enemy’s false schemes and attacks, but wait with a spirit of patience and trust in your plan.

    In Jesus’ name,

    Amen.

  113. Andrew Morris says:

    God makes us wait for good reason. He isn’t going to make us wait for nothing. He ALWAYS has something in store.

  114. Andrew Morris says:

    By trying to be more patient. I’m a very impatient person and I need to just take a breath and go at Gods pace.

  115. Andrew Morris says:

    We are so impatient. We can’t even wait for God to tell us what to do next. We have to do everything as quick as possible. That what matters to us.

  116. Andrew Morris says:

    It’s encouraging, always. Whenever you feel like God is making you wait, He is. Just keep your face turned to him.

  117. Andrew Morris says:

    With the hope and security Jesus prayed to his father with.

  118. Brien Johnson says:

    Lord help me to be patient to wait for your leading and humble to recognize my need for it.

  119. Chad Vander Meulen says:

    God is patient with us and we need to be patient with Him.

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