Preparing to Move
Lord, I cry out to You, I lean on You, I trust in You. What a faithful God You are.
Read Acts 1:12-26
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.
“The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad:…and all the peoples see his glory” (Psa. 97:1,6).
What drives this next initiative? First, it comes out of prayer—prayer that is constant and united (14). The word translated “together” is a favorite one of Luke’s and appears again in the context of prayer in 4:24, indicating a unity of mind and purpose. Do our churches know this sort of prayer? Prayer often tends to be squeezed into the time that is left over after we have done things which are, in reality, of lesser importance. It seems not to involve the sort of united crying out to God to fulfill his purposes that marked the early days of the Church. There is much that those of us in the Western Church could learn, not only from the early Church, but also from the Church in other parts of the world today.
Second, it was inspired by Scripture. Peter quotes Psalm 109, which speaks of one who opposes God’s anointed and prays that he might be removed and replaced. Close reading and discerning application of Scripture is still the primary guide for God’s people, individually and corporately. How many of our decisions are consciously informed by our wrestling with it?
Third, it is motivated by the ministry of Jesus. He had chosen twelve to establish the continuity with the old covenant and at the same time to announce the arrival of the new. Twelve was, therefore, a key number. The crucial qualification for the disciple who was to take the place of Judas was that he had been among the wider group of disciples and had witnessed the resurrection. Being prepared to learn from Jesus and being convinced of the reality of his resurrection are still the key qualifications for ministry today. Technical skill and expertise are important for Christian service, but knowing Jesus is what really matters.
Reflect on any new initiatives in mission which your church has undertaken. What were the determining factors? What fresh initiatives might God be calling you to undertake for him?
Patient Father, empower me to pray as if there is no such thing as work, and to work as if there is no such thing as prayer.
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