The Book of Acts Chapter 1 Part 2
Introduction: A key idea in the book of Acts is that God's people should be witnesses wherever they go. Today, we hope to discuss the Lord's choosing.
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Read Acts 1:12-26
3. The Lord Choosing. In this section of the book of Acts Peter talked to the group assembled in the upper room about how the scriptures had to be fulfilled regarding Judas' betrayal.
They prayerfully looked for someone who had been faithful to replace Judas. Through faith and lots, they chose Matthias to replace Judas.
- Praying together. Notice in vs. 14 of this section of the book of Acts the prayer meeting session. It is important for believers to pray. And it is especially important for us to learn to pray together.
Most of those who claim to be members of our church family don't come to prayer meeting. One can only wonder about the relationship between our lack of praying together and God's being pleased with us.
Let's work on praying together. Our prayer meetings may be more pleasing to God and helpful to us, if we brought something edifying with us to the session and we programmed the session to allow for us to share that which is edifying.
When Deacons and preachers take all of the time, it can become less than what God and those in attendance want.
- God's trustworthy word. Notice in vss. 16-20 in this section of the book of Acts we see the idea of the scriptures being trustworthy. We can count on God's word being true.
Consequently, when the Bible teaches that God will bless our obedience and punish our disobedience, we should strive to live obedient lives.
When the Bible teaches that all things are working for the good of God's people, we should not lose heart, when things get tough in our lives. Let's live like we believe that God's word is trustworthy.
- Saved living. Notice in vss. 16-28 that Judas died a terrible death. It is not strange for someone to ask, "Did Judas go to Hell or not"? The question often comes from some combination of his terrible betrayal of Jesus as well as his suicide.
First, anyone who accepts Jesus as his/her savior by faith is saved. Once a person is saved, they are always saved. A saved person's killing a dog doesn't negate his/her salvation, nor does killing someone else, nor does killing one's self.
Second, those who are saved should show some sign. A person who sins without conscious is not behaving like a saved person. This may be the product of a saved person sinning like all of us do from time to time.
Or it may be a product of the person having only a lip service salvation – saying the right stuff but not really believing in one's heart. God is the ultimate judge of these matters.
The answer about Judas is the answer for all of us – did he and have we accepted Jesus as savior by faith. God will handle the Judas issues. Let's make sure we are saved and strive to live lives that show evidence of our being saved.
Killing ourselves is contrary to how God wants us to live. Think about the slow suicide of smoking, getting drunk, and not taking care of our health.
- Leadership development. Notice in vss. 16-20 of this section of the book of Acts that there was a need for leadership development as a means of continuing to do ministry.
The church can do so much more than it is doing, if we had more trained and discipled people to give leadership to the work. Where there are few leaders, there can only be so much ministry being done.
Let's make sure we are giving ourselves to supporting and being leaders, according to God's will. It is not God's will for everyone to be a leader.
However, all of those who are being called should step up. And those who are not leaders should support those who are. We should be thankful for our training programs.
- Leadership prerequisites. Notice in vss. 20-22 of this section of the book of Acts that prerequisites for leadership had to do with discipleship.
The replacement of Judas had to have a history of walking with Jesus and seeing the resurrected Jesus. Our churches, families, places of employment, and communities suffer from people being in positions of influence and leadership but lacking the right stuff on the inside.
Talent is never enough to be a leader. Character is more important than skills, because skills can be easily taught. Whereas it takes years to build character. Let's work on having godly character and calling for such in the lives of those we chose to be leaders.
Every leader in the church, for example, should already be regular in Bible study, a faithful registered reacher, and tither. They should have the training courses completed.
- Selecting leaders. Notice in vss. 23-26 that prayer, lots, and agreement were used to select Matthias. Prayer and agreement should be used today.
Thank God the use of lots seemed to have been a special situation for our text (see Pro. 16:33). Let's work on being more prayerful as we seek to agree on who will serve as leaders.
Sometimes it seems that we are more concerned with popularity, giving everybody a chance, or keeping things confined to a small group than with prayer and God's will. Church meetings may be less stressful, if prayer meeting was more effective.
Conclusion: Let's work on being witnesses for Jesus everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.
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