July 21, 2022
Intro: I truly enjoy a ministry planning or Board meeting that welcomes the Spirit; one that is centered on discerning and obeying God’s plans. God imparts wisdom and insight through the gifts he places in His people; the gospel is the focus as we plan. Peter has always provided this kind of environment for our planning or Board meetings at Connect2Christ Church. We are so blessed with his leadership.
In Acts 1, Jesus, sets his disciples up for ministry success. In verses 4-5, Jesus essentially calls a “planning meeting” with his disciples. His instructions for moving forward begin with waiting! What? That’s right, Jesus tells them to wait for the Holy Spirit. In other words, the disciples are not to start doing things according to their own ideas, but they are to wait for the Spirit to impart God’s plans to them and provide the power to fulfill them (v.8). The Spirit was always Jesus’ source and power for ministry. As soon as Jesus finishes sharing this part of the planning meeting, he ascends to heaven.
In our passage today, the disciples obey Jesus’ Word; the eleven disciples, Jesus’ brother and mother Mary, as well as several other women, return to Jerusalem and go to an upper room to wait (v.13-14). Soon, the group grows to about 120 people—many new believers in Christ. Peter takes charge and calls a planning meeting. What is on the agenda? It is time to ask God to replace Judas the betrayer who killed himself near the Potter’s Field. The disciples want God’s choice for a replacement, so they begin to devote themselves to prayer and they wait. Waiting is not passive activity, it is dependance and obedience to God’s Word and timing.
Waiting before the Lord is essential whether we are seeking God’s plans for ministry or we are seeking God’s plans for our lives. God will bring us direction; he will reveal His plans, so we can follow. God wants our victory. I always have to remind myself of this Truth, so my Life Scripture is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Acts 1:15-25 (NLT)
15 During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them. 16 “Brothers,” he said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David. 17 Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us.”
18 (Judas had bought a field with the money he received for his treachery. Falling headfirst there, his body split open, spilling out all his intestines.
19 The news of his death spread to all the people of Jerusalem, and they gave the place the Aramaic name Akeldama, which means “Field of Blood.”)
20 Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’
21 “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus— 22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.”
23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen 25 as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.”
Prayer: Lord, help us as your children to wait patiently for the response of your Spirit to guide us into righteous living and leading. May you be exalted and praised. In Jesus’ name. Amen.