Trust the Spirit
Lord, may Your Spirit lead me once again as I look to Your Word for what You have to teach me.
Read ACTS 1:12-26
 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city.  When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.  They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.  In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)  and said, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus-  he was one of our number and shared in this ministry.”  (With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.  Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)  “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the book of Psalms, “‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’ and, “‘May another take his place of leadership.’  Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,  beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”  So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.  Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen  to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.”  Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat were the believers “constantly” doing?
The believers return to Jerusalem and devote themselves to prayer (14). This leads to their first decision. You may know what it is like to lose a place of leadership, and the consequent weight of the renewed trust and expectation. Peter must have felt this, and wisely bases on Scripture his first venture in leading the new community (20). They all knew well the significance of the number 12—the number of the tribes, the number of completeness and the whole people of God. If they were to model the kingdom, they needed to replace Judas. Appointing an apostle was a solemn matter. The Lord himself prayed all night before choosing the Twelve. The believers had been let down by someone they trusted. Not only had he fallen away, he had betrayed the Lord into the hands of the authorities. And yet the believers discuss, pray and put this decision in the hands of God (23-26). The appointment of Matthias is an act of trust which brings a sense of completeness, healing and closure, and allows the community to move on. There is much to be learned from this model of prayerful decision-making.
What role does prayer play in your decision making and that of your church? What can you learn here?
Have you ever let the Lord down? If you need to, ask his forgiveness, and receive his renewed trust.
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