Our verse for today comes from Acts 1:3, “He presented Himself alive to them after His suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.”
As Luke concluded his gospel of the life and ministry of Jesus, he completed his record by noting in the briefest of ways that Jesus was carried up into heaven. And now, as he continues writing on behalf of Theophilus, he reaches back and recounts those final moments when Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit was coming, and provides a bit more detail as to the physical return of Jesus back to heaven. Being at such a major crossroads in history, I wonder how strong the pull was for Luke to continue to harken back and tell and retell the stories of the amazing works and words of Jesus. Given that so much of what Jesus did and said never made it into scripture, and considering how John said that all the world could not contain the books that would hold the details of the Lord’s life, how difficult was it for Luke to keep himself from living in the past and longing for the days when Jesus still walked the earth? We don’t know the answer to that, but we do know that there was a stronger pull on Luke to stay in the moment and lap up what the third person of the Trinity was doing through the followers of Jesus.
Chances are, you’ve had some great experiences walking with Christ, and you could spend many hours a day reliving what He’s done in and for you. But Luke was compelled to write about the working of the Spirit and the spreading of the gospel and the birth and growth of the church because that was what God was all about. His mission was just taking off, and for Luke to have stayed in the past, as glorious as it was, would have meant that he would not have been where God was. Your past, any past, is there for you and always will be. But God has a present and a future for you, and He wants you right there with Him in the midst of it. It’s good and important to have what was. But it’s better to build upon it than merely rest on it. Wherever you are with Jesus, go forward and experience more of Him. Don’t let what’s behind you be all there is.
As we seek Him today, let the Lord take you to that next place with Him.