ACTS, The Actions of God
The closer we get to Jesus, the closer we get to each other. Our love for others deepens when we fully realize the depth of Jesus’ love for us and our love for Him.
After Jesus rose from the grave, He not only appeared to many of his followers to prove his resurrection by letting them see the scars, eat with him in fellowship but Jesus also spent 40 days getting them ready and solidifying the continuous of the mission to “Go and Teach” and “begin in Jerusalem”.
The first “church plant” is in an upper room. The Eleven are there along with about 120 others who will become witnesses of the resurrection and hope in Jesus Christ, our Savior AND our Lord. They will begin to proclaim, teach and help others find and follow Jesus.
I love this statement, “They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer, the women included.” No one is left out of the mission. Together in prayer is the key to their success. We will see this though out the book of Acts. Prayer brings action…the Action of God.
The first order of business was to replace Judas. Peter becomes the leader, “the rock upon which I will build my church,” we recall from Jesus’ words. Listen to the way they choose this person. He must have been with us, in other words this person must have longevity with the teachings of Jesus, “designated along with us as a witness”. There are two that fit the bill. THEN THEY PRAYED, relying on God to choose. They draw straws and Matthias is chosen.
As we read the books of Acts, let us learn how to be the church, how to rely on God’s will and plan and to watch for prayer as the key to God’s actions in our midst.
Acts 1, The Message
Returning to Jerusalem
12-13 So they left the mountain called Olives and returned to Jerusalem. It was a little over half a mile. They went to the upper room they had been using as a meeting place:
James, son of Alphaeus,
Simon the Zealot,
Judas, son of James.
14 They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer, the women included. Also Jesus’ mother, Mary, and his brothers.
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.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Lead and guide our every thought and action today. We ask that your desires become our desires. We know that where you lead us, your will guide us and provide for us. We will be looking for your actions in this day. You are always at work. It’s time we noticed and praised You for all actions.
In Jesus Name, Amen