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130: Unified for a Full-Power Ministry

May 15, 2009

Text: Acts 1:12-26

Outline:

  1. Devoted to Constant Prayer                                              Acts 1:12-14
  2. Devoted to Finding a Qualified Replacement            Acts 1:15-23
  3. Devoted to God’s Will                                                          Acts 1:24-26

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Because of the length of Acts [third longest book of the NT] and because Acts documents the work of the Holy Spirit in the continuation of Christ’s ministry, I have chosen to continue on in the same format I used in writing on the Gospels.

The “eleven” disciples return to the Upper Room after Christ’s ascension. His ascension is covered in Acts 1:1-11 which was referenced in Lesson 129 so we are beginning with verse 12. Other disciples including Jesus’ mother, His brothers [who did not believe until after His resurrection], and the women from Galilee were there too. Perhaps Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, Lazarus, and others were present from time to time because the disciples numbered about 120.

Peter takes a leadership role and suggests, based on Psalm 109:8, that they need to find a replacement for Judas Iscariot. One could say that they were also Devoted to God’s Word. The conditions are clear. That person had to be a follower of Jesus all during His ministry and someone who was a witness of His resurrection. Two men met the criteria. They prayed first, then cast lots as was the custom of that day, and Matthias was chosen to replace Judas. The “eleven” are now twelve once again. Some speculate that the twelfth position was to be Paul’s but nowhere do we read of any displeasure on the part of God.

Lessons/Applications:

1. Prayer for our Leaders, both Church and State, is a must.

2. Qualifications are critical for defining the proper selections. Don’t over define. Stick to the basics.

3. Spiritual Unity defines candidates before talent.

4. Multiple choices help sort for the right choice.

5. Trusting one another validates the Lord’s will. Trust comes from listening and comprehending other points of view.

6. One does not necessarily require unanimous votes to learn God’s will but is sure helps.

7. Having the Spirit of God is not necessary to sense the Spirit of God but it sure helps.

8. Having an aptitude of DEVOTION is critical in preparing for and participating in His ministry.

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