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HE WAS LIFTED UP

Those four words, “he was lifted up,” is how Luke, in Acts 1:9, describes the ascension of Jesus back into heaven. Last week, in preparation for my sermon Sunday, I explored the New Testament’s teaching on the significance of this historic event. What I found surprised me. In addition to the future implication of Jesus’ ascension (our own ascensions into heaven), there are multiple ways in which the ascension of Jesus shapes my life now.

Here are four ways that I mentioned Sunday:

  1. SPIRITUAL PRIORITIES AND THOUGHTS: Since Christ has ascended to the right hand of God, I should seek those things and set my mind on things that are above (Colossians 3:1-4).
  2. COMFORT AND COURAGE: Stephen, as he was about to be stoned to death, saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55-56). It was this visual reminder of Christ’s exaltation that gave Stephen the comfort and courage to persevere through persecution and be faithful to death.
  3. POWER: God’s power is at work among Christ’s followers (Ephesians 1:19; 3:20). This power is the same power that was at work when God raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at his right hand (Ephesians 1:20-21).
  4. HUMILITY: Jesus’ exaltation to the right hand of God was the fitting reward for his life of selfless obedience (Philippians 2:5-11). Those of us who desire to be exalted by God will have Jesus’ mind in us and will choose the lowly path to exaltation, which is the only path to exaltation.
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