Travels in Acts: Quit Gawking

Submitted January 29, 2014

Bible opened to the book of Acts.

The disciples were watching something better than a 3-D holographic image and were on the verge of a genuine distraction. Life is full of dazzling things just waiting to derail us for our true mission.

Christ had been among them for forty days after His resurrection. There were a lot of details to teach about the kingdom of God. He appeared to them on a beach, in a house and alongside as they walked the roads. Belief in His resurrection was reinforced during that period and they were charged up with excitement and purpose.

Then came the final day he would be with them It was time to depart. They asked if the kingdom would be restored “at this time” (Acts:1:6). His answer told them there was work to be done before this wonderful event would occur. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts:1:8)

The Holy Sprit would be the driving force motivating them each day to take the message of Jesus Christ to their world. There would be resistance from many sources. Speaking the truth of the gospel would not be well received by every audience. But Jesus had promised them help, they would not be alone.

And then, while standing on the Mount of Olives, they watched as He bodily ascended into the sky and disappeared from their sight into a cloud. Luke tells us “they looked steadfastly toward heaven” (Acts:1:9-10). It must have been quite a sight! No renaissance painting could capture the moment better than an eyewitness account. It was dazzling. You wonder whether the disciples must have later told Luke how utterly mesmerizing this moment was. It took two angels appearing out of nowhere to break the spell and get them moving forward.

“Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts:1:11) What I read here is, “Get to work!” “Stop standing around letting distractions keep you from your life’s purpose.”

What dazzling things distract you from getting your job done? What resistance is keeping you from even finding the purpose for your life? Find the answer to these two questions and you can begin your journey in life.

Blog posts do not undergo review by the doctrinal review team of the United Church of God. This post represents the personal opinion of the author and should not be considered the official stance of the United Church of God. If you have any questions or concerns please direct them to

linda effenberger

linda effenberger's picture

A very good point of view brought out in your article. It reminds me of star-gazing. At some point we need to stop looking at the stars in the sky and do something with our life.

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