The Great Ascension

“He was taken up before their very eyes,
and a cloud hid him from their sight”
(Acts 1:9)

The Ascension of Christ, celebrated by the Church today, is the wonderful fulfilment of God’s promise that,

“so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11)

Jesus as the Living Word had now returned to the Father who had spoken, or sent, Him on this mission. It had been accomplished.

The fact that His ascension took place in this way and in front of His disciples is significant. He wanted them to realise and accept that this time He was leaving permanently. He would not suddenly visit them again in another resurrection appearance. This was the testimony also of the angel who spoke to them – confirming that the Lord would not return again until the end.

“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)

There is also a hint of a rebuke in his words as if to say that they should not be gazing hopefully into the sky but preparing themselves for the work that the Lord had committed to them. They needed to lower their eyes and begin to focus on living as His people in a needy world. As do we all.

But although the Lord has gone from us in this visible and recognisable form He has not left us alone. He is still with us in the Holy Spirit whose comiing we will celebrate at Pentecost is just a few days time. And very truly in ways we cannot understand but know full well with Tennyson,

“Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet”

Where can I  make a difference with Him–and be a blessing – today?


Lord God help me to walk in Your footsteps, to notice the needs that You bring to my attention and to reach out and bless in Your name – and to remember always that You will come back again. Amen.



God touches me

“While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him”
(Luke 5:12-13)


The next person we meet is a man ‘covered with leprosy.’ Unclean in terms of the Jewish Law he was forced to live away from other people. Dressed in rags he was required to call out “Unclean, Unclean” as a warning to anyone who came near to him. He was banished from his family and all society and would have come to see himself as disgusting to everyone, including the religious leaders and so too to God. He would have been disgusting even to himself.

He sees in Jesus his last hope and comes and falls down before Him crying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Two more things stand out for us,

  • He does not ask for healing but for cleansing – for it is being unclean that has separated him from family, friends and other fellowship.
  • He does not question Jesus ability – only whether He is willing.

Jesus response is beautiful.  He reaches out His hand and touches the man – touching the untouchable and recognising his humanity and loneliness. Then He follows it with the wonderful words, “I am willing.” And immediately the leprosy left the man. He was cleansed and healed in that moment.

Sin can be like a leprosy – making us unclean, and even disgusting, in the eyes of ourselves, others and even God. But the wonder of His love and grace revealed in Jesus Christ is that He has come to find us, reach out to us, and cleanse us from all sin, stain and guilt. And we, who were also the untouchable ones, find ourselves touched by the wonder of His cleansing and healing sacrifice – and bathed in the warm life-giving light of the risen Son.

Draw near to Him – He is not only able but very willing to restore you to true life.


Lord Jesus, I come to You with all the weakness and darkness and stains that have clouded my life and relationship with You, and with myself. Cleanse me too Lord that I may walk with You in the glorious light of  Your Life. Amen.


God accepts me

“Then Jesus declared,
 “I who speak to you am he”
(John 4:26)


Yesterday we looked at the account of Hagar who met ‘The God who sees me.’

Today we recall another meeting between a lonely and rejected woman and God. This was a Samaritan woman who, after five failed marriages, was living with a man who was not her husband. She left her town to draw water at an outside well. The inference is clear – the local woman who met to talk and draw water at the well in the town square wanted nothing to do with her.

When she reached the well she found Jesus waiting for her. Not only did He surprise her by talking to her – for Jewish men would not talk to Samaritan women – He also asked her for help. He wanted her to give Him a drink of the water she drew from the well. He went on to talk to her about her life, showing just how much He knew about her, and then revealed His real identity. Amazed she ran back into the town and told everyone about her encounter with the man who could be the Messiah. As a result many of the townspeople became believers. Suddenly and unexpectedly her life had changed. And if she had been asked to give Him a name she might well have called Him ‘The God who accepts me.’

This is the amazing truth of the love and grace of God. Because of Jesus Christ no one has become too unacceptable to God. Anyone who looks to Jesus Christ and puts their faith and trust in Him as their Saviour and their Lord becomes acceptable to God –no matter what their past has been like. In a glorious and wonderful moment of transformation we become forgiven and cleansed and reborn as the daughter or son of God.

He is the God who accepts you and accepts me right this moment– as we are and with all out past and baggage – and draws us into His great, transforming and eternal love.

In Jesus Christ you are an accepted one – believe it and live it.


O my wonderful Father, my precious Lord Jesus, and life-renewing Holy Spirit, thank You so much for making me acceptable to You – and rejoicing over me. Help me to believe, receive and rejoice in this wonderful truth. Amen.


God sees me

“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her:
“You are the God who sees me”
(Genesis 16:13)


Hagar was an Egyptian maidservant to Sarai, Abram’s wife. When Sarai realised she was not having children she gave Hagar to Abram so that they could have children through her.

After Hagar had falling pregnant she was mistreated by Sarai and ran away. She had no home or family to whom she could turn, and the Lord found her in the desert near a spring. After He had told Hagar what He had planned for her He sent her back.

“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her:
“You are the God who sees me”

Not only does He see her in terms of knowing exactly where she was at that time – He also saw her in knowing everything about her and her situation, and how she fitted into His plans and purposes. He saw all that there was to see and know about her in terms of her past, present and future.

This is our God who “chose us before the creation of the world.” (Ephesians 1:4) He is also the God who sees us – who knows everything there is to know about us – past, present and future, physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally and about all our circumstances including His plans and purposes for us.

I find this such a huge comfort. I don’t have to try and explain or excuse myself to God. He already knows and understands everything there is to know about me – much more than I am aware of myself. He knows where I am, who I am and why I am. He knows where He is taking me. And He knows what I need.

Sit before the Lord as if you were a book. Sense His looking at you and turning the pages of your life and being. Be aware of His light playing across the surface of your soul and shining into the sore and dark and lonely places of your life. He loves you right now as you are.


Lord God, You are the One who sees me. Thank You that I am known to You completely. I have nothing to hide from You or from me. Let Your Light shine into me Lord and bless me. Amen.



“I can do everything through him
who gives me strength”

(Philippians 4:13)

As we grow into our new identity in Jesus Christ we find that it leads us to certain foundational truths.

  • I am Completely Accepted (Monday)
  • I am Extremely Valuable (Tuesday)
  • I am Eternally Loved (Wednesday)
  • I am Totally Forgiven (Thursday)
  • I am Fully Capable (Today)

Paul discovered through experience that he was able to meet all the trials, obstacles and temptations of his new life through the wisdom, understanding, strength and presence of His Lord. The Holy Spirit led him into the truth, provided him with gifts, poured the love of God into his heart, clothed him in the armour of God and produced the fruit that followed after him.

When Jesus promised His disciples that He would be with them always He meant it in a way that would never, ever leave them alone. And so He came in the Spirit of God to live within them – just as He had promised.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:16-18)

So many Christians have discovered that as they walk with the Lord their strengths become their weaknesses and their weaknesses His strengths. We realise that we are at our best when we allow Him to work in and through us – and so we aim to involve Him in everything that we do. And when it seems that the storms of life are really about to overcome and overwhelm us He is the Rock upon which we can stand, His the Hand to which we can cling, His the love and strength that is stronger than fear and death.

By His Spirit within you He will help you to face all of life’s challenges and equip you with what you need at the time.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5)


Lord Jesus You promised to be with me always – help me to be with You always. Amen.