Peter put all of them outside and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. Acts 9:40-42
When Tabitha, or Dorcas in Greek, died they called for Peter to come. Probably none of them had the gift of miracles. Swiftly Peter arrives and puts everyone out of the room where Tabitha’s dead body lies as he wrestles in prayer with God. At the Holy Spirit’s good pleasure, when Spirit indicates the fullness of Christ’s loving healing moment is here, Peter says “get up” or “arise.”
Can we imagine the surprise and astonishment of Tabitha when she returns to her life here? Pulled back from the glory of praise around the Holy Throne of Heaven she returns to the joyful rejoicing of her dear widow sisters who need her. Undoubtedly Tabitha’s service unto our Lord and Savior is even more zealously served.
Like Tabitha, I met Jesus and His instruction to me was to preach. In High School the car had had a tire completely blow off the rim and flipped over three times, injuring us. That time I met with Christ was unmistakably glorious and His Words engraved within my soul. I’m hoping and praying my Biblical witness through preaching says to you to arise and get up into Him.
When He had said this, as they were watching, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. While He was going, and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. Acts 1:9-10
Before Jesus ascends into heaven His last words to you are, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you,” and “you will be My witnesses.” Using the Presence of Christ, speaking His Holy Name, enjoying the strength of the Holy Spirit within your heart and mind motivates you to witness. The blessings of witness are within prayer, purity, and believing that through Christ you can do all things in Him.
In our text, Jesus goes up to heaven then becomes our heart’s strength through the Holy Spirit. Oneness with Christ grips you in His love. Love is sourced from Holy Spirit power active within you. Jesus calls your strength the Spirit of Truth. Strength is in His Church who works together so that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and Universal Savior.
Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior will return in the same way He left, at the same place. He will come riding on a cloud. Truth in prophecy from Zechariah 14:4, ‘On that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which lies before Jerusalem on the East; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from East to West by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw Northward, and the other half Southward.’
Love does no wrong to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:10
Jesus never wronged His neighbor– He was perfection of humanity without sin. As we are imitators of Christ we seek to do no harm, to be steadfast in faith in Christ, and to honor God by following the Ten Commandments and Jesus’ law of loving God and loving our neighbor. Love rules our lives.
Paul affirms God is in control and it is through loving Christ that you align yourself with God’s will as you trust God. ‘We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.’ Romans 8:28. Trusting in Christ as the Holy Spirit blesses you in the Kingdom, that Christ understands your circumstances, calls for your response of grateful thanks and praise to your Savior in all things.
Jesus says pray, “Father, hallowed be Your name, Your Kingdom come.” Luke 11:2
They have stumbled over the stumbling Stone. Romans 9:32
Paul has hit a home run with Prophetic words. He’s calling us to today’s task. The stumbling Stone which God has placed in everyone’s path is Christ. Paul is saying that when we watch ourselves stumble and yet do nothing about what we stumbled over then we turn our backs on God’s will to Save souls through Jesus Christ. All people are invited and welcomed to come into New Life through Christ. Christ is the Gospel Truth.
To stumble over Jesus Christ during moral depravity, leadership miscarriage of justice, and harmful national actions that injure the poor, children, and widows is stumbling over the Stone which God has placed in our paths (Isaiah 9:16-10:6).
What are we, the believers in Jesus, to do? It is necessary that we not fail in faith’s duty to produce fruits for the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 21:43). Belief or faith in Christ leads to salvation. Witness to salvation. You and I have heard the Gospel, we understand the Gospel, and now we act active and alive with the Gospel.
You shall not covet. Romans 7:7
Desire not for things. Make one goal– to trust and love Christ with all your heart, mind, and soul. Put your full faith in Jesus and align your life with God’s loving purpose. What if you fail? Jesus has got you and His grace is sufficient.
Bow your head now with me and let’s go to Christ in confession. We do this daily, first thing, each morning together. We are the Kingdom of heaven on earth as Christ is alive within our souls. We are washed clean by His forgiveness. Through confession we realign and are righted in Him.
Take failings to the Lord in prayer and know that where you are weak He is strong. Greater is Christ that is in us than the sin that tempts us and tests us in this world.
God proves His love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Jesus tells the marvelous story of the Prodigal son, which could also be a daughter’s story, returning home with the realization that the Prodigal’s choices were wrong choices and his life had become a mess. Through the story Jesus invites you to come home to God’s house because you’ve strayed, been estranged, squandered God’s abundant life inheritance.
Jesus makes the Way, the path, or the route to reunite with the One Almighty God our gracious Heavenly Father. He did this by dying on the Cross and being Resurrected from the grave. Our promised land is in Jesus Christ who unites with us through the Holy Spirit.
God’s home is within your soul. Christ’s Resurrection gives us our permanent home.