Summary: A message about how to prepare to do the job for which we have been called, and how this preparation will get you ready to meet our Savior!
In LUKE 24, we read the account of Jesus’ last day upon this earth. Please turn in your Bibles to that chapter and keep it there as we will come back and visit it again in a few moments.
This passage that we will read only covers a few days, yet so many things happened, it had to have thrown the disciples into a period of confusion and even worry. They had watched as Jesus died on the cross and had seen Him buried in the tomb. Three days later, they had seen the evidence that He had risen, mysteriously defeating death. And then, there were over 500 people in Scripture that had seen him AFTER he had risen.
Two of the many witnesses were walking on a road to Emmaus when a third man joined them. These two men were believers in Jesus and were understandably upset at what had happened to Him. After a bit, they stopped to eat, and it was during this meal that Jesus allowed their eyes to be fully opened and let them see Him for Who He really is; their Lord and Savior!
These two men came back to Jerusalem and found the 11 core disciples gathered together. And we will pick this up as they share their story about how they had just walked with Jesus.
LUKE 24:36-39 reads;
‘While they were still talking about this, Jesus Himself appeared among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at My hands and My feet. It is Me! Touch me and see – a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’
After saying this, Jesus ate with them. During that last meal, Jesus talked to them and opened their minds so they could finally and fully understand. He also told them that He would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to take His place among them. And after He talked with them, He led them out to a place near Bethany.
Let’s read LUKE 24:50-53.
‘When He had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.’
And then two men in white (angels) appeared with the men and basically asked them why they were just standing there. The two angels told them that just as Jesus disappeared, He would return again.
IN ACTS 1:12-13a, we read where after the encounter with the angels, the disciples went back to Jerusalem, to the upper room in the house, in which they had been staying.
That walk must have been a very interesting walk. I cannot even imagine what was running through their minds. They had no clear understanding of everything that had happened, and they could not have known at that point what was going to happen. There must have been a lot of talk based on questions rather than answers. So, they had no choice but to store up all the information Jesus had given them in their hearts, waiting for a day to come when they could make sense of it all.
And it is this act of preparation that I want to talk about tonight. The act of getting prepared. The act of focusing and being obedient to our Lord, Jesus Christ.
For everything we do in life:
1. WE MUST SPEND TIME IN PREPARATION
When you get up in the morning, you must prepare yourself to go to work, don’t you? You must take a shower, dress, eat, and then get your car keys so you can actually make it there on time.
As the day progresses, you need to prepare for things: Things such as actually performing the functions of your particular jobs. And then at night, before you go to bed, you must prepare by changing clothes again, brushing your teeth, etc.
And so, as they stayed in the upper room, they spent much of their time getting prepared. Part of that preparation was in prayer and part was teaching and talking about Jesus. Part of their time was preparing to go into all the known regions and be His witnesses.
And part of it was anticipating this unknown entity Jesus referred to as the Holy Spirit. What would He look like? How would He present Himself?
I spoke about how much time we spend every day preparing ourselves to do the things we have to do. But how much time do we really prepare to do the Lord’s work? The average Christian spends less than 30 minutes a week in prayer; less than 8 hours a week in church activities of any kind; and less than 5 minutes a week talking to other people sharing with them what Christ has done for them. Getting prepared to serve God on a daily basis should be our number one priority in life.