Title: Continual Praise
Key Verse 24:53
And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
This passage offers a lot to think about. We learn about the Resurrection body of Christ, which can give us real, concrete hope in the resurrection for Christ's followers. Also, Jesus gives the disciples their life mission - to tell others of the Good News! Finally, we see Jesus' ascension and see the disciples full of joy and praise, constantly at the temple. I have a few words to say on these things, but my thoughts are rather scattered.
First, with regards to the command to go and preach to all. Sometimes when I hear this, I get grand ideas of traveling all over the place and spreading the word. But in fact, there is not much difference whether one travels or whether one stays. There is much harvest work to be done in my own backyard. In my own opinion, I think the latter may actually be the harder in some cases. A prophet has no honor in his own country.
Second, the last verse really struck me. "And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God." Often people say, "Well, I don't really feel like going to church today" or "I don't want to pray this evening." It is a sincere confession; but it should not be tolerated. When I feel that way, I need to ask what is it that is blocking my heart from yearning for God like these disciples or like King David? I never used to have this passion to come into God's presence, but now that I have corrected my views on many things, my heart is more able to reach out to Him. I had to admit that I was not holy and that God's ways were higher than my own ways. Otherwise, I feel that I don't need God in my life. But when I know my dependence and how my very breath right at this moment is by His grace, I can learn to love Him. With a proper heart-attitude and understanding, I can desire the things of God and not of myself.
"If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable,...
Then you will take delight in the LORD,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken." Isaiah 58:13-14
One Word: Delight in the LORD and His work