September 9, 2021 — Looking Beyond where you are to what Awaits

“The other day,” Stan said, “we talked a little bit about how people should be ready for whatever God wants to do in and through them.

“We did,” I replied, “with the focus on if you’re ready you don’t have to get ready.” [Note to reader, see the Posting for August 27, 2021 (“A Ready Person Doesn’t Have To Get Ready”].

“You’re right,” Stan said. “And this morning I would like to look at kind of the same situation from a little different perspective.”

“In what way?” I asked.

“How sometimes there are certain things we have to go through if we’re going to get to do other things. I’m going to use a really simple example and then relate it to something Jesus did that has an impact on my faith walk.”

“Okay,” I replied, “Let’s have the simple.”

“Ricky doesn’t serve breakfast in bed.”

“What’s that mean?” I asked.

“If you want to have breakfast here, you have to get out of bed and come here,” Stan replied. “Ricky isn’t going to bring it to you in bed.”

“Got it!” I replied.  “What about the Jesus part that relates to your faith walk?”

“Luke’s gospel,” Stan said, “records that when the days were approaching for Jesus’ ascension, He was very resolute about getting to Jerusalem.  Jesus knew what awaited Him there — all He was going to go through leading up to His crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection, but that it was all going to lead to what He was really looking forward to.”

“What’s that?”

“His ascension,” Stan replied. “That’s what Luke focuses on in saying that’s why Jesus was set on getting to Jerusalem on time. Jesus knew that He was going to ascend to the Father, but that there were things that had to be done first. Same with me.”

“Same with you?” I said. “How so?”

“While nothing I go through can be compared to what Jesus experienced,” Stan replied, “if I’m going to spend eternity in God’s presence, or if anyone is going to do so, a decision has to be made. In the case of Jesus, Luke describes it as Jesus resolutely setting His face to go to Jerusalem. With me, it’s like I had to resolutely set my face on spending eternity in God’s presence.”

“And how does a person do that?”

“By being resolute in accepting by faith God’s free and gracious provision of life eternally with Him.”

“Being ‘resolute’,” I said, “as contrasted to being ‘wishy-washy’?”

‘That’s one way to put it,” Stan replied. “I would put it more in terms of making a genuine faith commitment and then following that commitment up by pursuing maturity in my faith by setting my face resolutely in the direction of being a disciple.”

“And,” he concluded, “it’s just like Jesus. He knew it was time for Him to get to Jerusalem so He could fulfill what God the Father had for Him, and I am to do what God has for me as long as He leaves me here while I look forward to what awaits!”

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Bible verses to consider:

And it came about, when the days were approaching for His ascension, that He resolutely set His face to go to Jerusalem. Luke 9:51.

And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem. Luke 13:22.

And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. And it came about that while He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. Luke 24:50-51.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving your only begotten Son so that I could by faith believe in Him and accept your free and gracious gift of life eternally with you when it’s time. Thank you that Jesus did what you had for Him to do in preparing for me the way to you. Jesus did not disobey, but went to Jerusalem for the cross, His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. I confess that too often I do not do what you have for me to do because I selfishly don’t want to do it. Please forgive me and please help me in following every step of your lead so I do whatever you have for me to do regardless of the cost. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Jesus was looking beyond the cross to His ascension so He could return to the Father. Do you look beyond what you may go through to the time you will spend eternity in God’s presence? If no, is that because you have not accepted by faith God’s free and gracious provision? If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing in looking forward to being in God’s eternal presence and not focusing on all the stuff that gets in the way on this side of eternity? If you sense there should be some differences in your focus, how is that going to happen?

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