When we realize the God does not need us to do His work, we become more eligible for doing His work. What?! , You say? Sometimes we get so full of ourselves when things are going right and plans are coming together that the temptation to think WE did it swells our heads with pride. We slowly begin to go our own way with our own thinking. God’s ministry becomes MEnistry. We get to the point where we think we have a better idea about how things should go than God! We seek out and only hang around only those who agree with us. We find out later that those who agree with us merely want something from us because they are going their own way, too. This and more happened to Judas, who fulfilled scripture that there would be a betrayer to Jesus AND fulfilled that this backstabber would take his own life. Now he needs to be replaced.
Peter, beginning to think more like Jesus, rises to the occassion and present the group with a plan for choosing. Meditate on the method and qualifications as we read…
Acts 1, The Message
15-17 During this time, Peter stood up in the company—there were about 120 of them in the room at the time—and said, “Friends, long ago the Holy Spirit spoke through David regarding Judas, who became the guide to those who arrested Jesus. That Scripture had to be fulfilled, and now has been. Judas was one of us and had his assigned place in this ministry.
18-20 “As you know, he took the evil bribe money and bought a small farm. There he came to a bad end, rupturing his belly and spilling his guts. Everybody in Jerusalem knows this by now; they call the place Murder Meadow. It’s exactly what we find written in the Psalms:
Let his farm become haunted
So no one can ever live there.
“And also what was written later:
Let someone else take over his post.
21-22 “Judas must now be replaced. The replacement must come from the company of men who stayed together with us from the time Jesus was baptized by John up to the day of his ascension, designated along with us as a witness to his resurrection.”
23-26 They nominated two: Joseph Barsabbas, nicknamed Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, “You, O God, know every one of us inside and out. Make plain which of these two men you choose to take the place in this ministry and leadership that Judas threw away in order to go his own way.” They then drew straws. Matthias won and was counted in with the eleven apostles.
What we learn:
–Pride goes before a fall.
–After the fall, God’s people prayed. God intervenes and answers the prayers of His people, earnestly seeking HIS will. YOU are God and we are not, they cry out.
–YOU know us inside and out.
–We want YOU to make the decision plain to us.
–When we pray, God answers. His Kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Replacement is made.
Theologian A. W. Tozer said: “Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image.” Let us avoid this at all costs, for it may cost us our very lives.
Dear Heavenly Father, You teach us so much in just a few words, a short passage, at the beginning of Your Acts story of the beginnings of the formation of Your church, gatherings of people who love You back. YOU are God and we are not. It is because of YOU that we gather still as YOUR people. Thank you, O Lord, for caring to know us inside and out, seeing our hearts sincere, not as others see here on earth. Thank you for Your Holy Spirit that comforts, convicts, turns us back to You, leads us to repentance, guides and directs our steps in Your direction and consistently moves us forward. Make decisions in this life plain to us as we seek YOUR will and plan. Continue to be with us until You come back for us.
In Jesus Name, Amen