In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.
Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
~Acts 1:1-11 (NLT)
Life has a way of getting away from us. One day we’re graduating from high school, the next day we’re waking up wondering where all the time has gone. It’s very hard to stay focused and conscious of time and especially conscious of making our time matter. It seems like some days, weeks, months, years go by and our lives are on autopilot. We let “habits” take over and we breeze through life forgetting how much our short lives could matter if we woke up and decided we were going to make ours matter.
We tend to rationalize this “autopilot syndrome” by telling ourselves, “we have families to provide for and houses to clean and life responsibilities we can’t escape…” but so did the early Christians we just read about in Acts.
These “early Christians” were eyewitnesses to God’s great power. They literally spent time with Jesus after his death, burial and resurrection and were there when He ascended into heaven, yet they (like us here on Earth today) were impatient and distracted. They thought the time had come for Him to free Israel and restore the Kingdom (right then and there) and they didn’t realize that restoration would not be happening in their lifetime. They were also quite distracted after they watched Jesus rise into heaven; so much so that two angels had to come and tell them to…essentially, “stop staring up at heaven and start living.”
It was time for these early Christians to receive the Holy Spirit, to get to work being God’s witnesses, to spread the good news that Jesus is alive and to play a huge role in changing lives forever.
There is kingdom work to be done everyday…they had to learn this and we have to remember this.
We may have “life responsibilities” (families & jobs & bills etc.,) but we also have “kingdom responsibilities” (representing Jesus every single day, everywhere we go, in everything we do, and in every word we say). And it is possible to be responsible in both areas at the same time. Easy? No. Possible? Yes.
We’ve got to start remembering that we have the same power that conquered the grave living within us. It’s time for us to rid ourselves of “autopilot syndrome” and start living lives everyday that matter. From the time we wake up in the morning until the time we lay our heads back on our pillows at night, we need to make our time on this Earth matter…our time with our families, our time with our co-workers, our time on soccer fields or our time at school functions.
Wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, we need to remember whose witnesses we are and whose power is living in us and living a life that matters will become who we are from the inside out.
Exhale the autopilot life… Inhale and remember that the Holy Spirit lives in you.
Lord, in a busy world sometimes we forget who we are and whose we are. I pray that I would live a life each and everyday that matters.
Today’s post was written by Amanda Sanders.
Amanda has been married to her high school sweet heart Matt for 11 years. Together they have three kids ages 9, 7 and 4. In this season of life, Amanda spends most of her time drinking coffee, teaching children, doing laundry and repeating herself. Occasionally, she has some time for working out, reading for leisure and writing. You can find her on Sunday mornings worshiping at our Real Life UCF campus.