Good morning! Today we will finish Acts chapter one. While today’s devotion or selection of verses is long there are interesting facts revealed about Judas Iscariot and the selection of a new apostle. Join me as we continue to read about what the disciples did while waiting on the promise.
“15 During this time, when about 120 believers[d] 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.’[e]
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.” 26 Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.” – Acts 1:15-26 NLT
As we read in the above 11 verses, we see the apostles were not sitting idol while they were waiting on the promise of the Holy Spirit. In addition to praying (as we read yesterday), they were busy taking care of business to ensure the continuation of the ministry.
Sisters and brothers, the Coronavirus (COVID-19), has temporarily stopped ministry within the four walls of the church, but it never stopped or should stop ministry or the work of ministry. If we look at the example of these apostles, they’ve taught us a lot in 26 verses.
- That when things look dim, listen to God’s instructions.
- Look to heaven, but don’t lose focus of the many promises of God.
- Retreat in prayer. Pray constantly – in the morning, the afternoon and night.
- Invite others to pray with you and for you.
- Be mindful that there will be times when there will be fallout or betrayal, but stay attuned to the One who knows it all – the Lord God Almighty. Pray and ask for His guidance as you continue to pursue kingdom ministry.
- Get the right people in place, because when it’s time to move or be moved by the Holy Spirit we need to be ready to go.
Father God, thank you for the lessons taught in this weeks verses. Father, thank you for never leaving our side. Lord, you have protected us from so much and then there are times when you allow us to experience heartache and trials. Lord, we know all things work together for the good of those who love you, however we sometimes struggle when those things don’t feel good. Lord, we lift up our friends, family, and others who are suffering from cancer, struggling with chemo, diabetes, heart conditions, depression, arthritis, herniated disc and other painful conditions. Lord, today we ask that you touch their bodies and give them relief. Lord, you know how painful their situation is. You know their outcries and struggles to keep pressing on. However, Lord we know you are healer, comforter, restorer and waymaker. We ask you for healing. We ask for those tumors to shrink. We ask for the depression to be lifted. We ask for the nerve pain to cease. We ask for hearts to be strengthen – in the name of Jesus. Lord, whatever journey you have us on, continue to prepare us in our waiting. Continue to push us beyond our waiting. Give us courage to surrender our fears to you and press on in Your name. We ask all these things in Jesus name, amen!
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