Our Bible study group recently finished studying the book of Mark and we were discussing the next thing to consider in our desire to study the books of the Bible. The lead choice at this point is the book of Acts – the second book written by Dr. Luke who also penned the Gospel named after him. Luke wrote to people who were interested in the truth and were concerned that they received the Good News from eyewitnesses and others who travelled with Jesus. While the Gospel took care of the ministry of Jesus and his teachings during His time on earth, the book of Acts focuses on what happened after the ascension of Jesus.
The book contains the beginning events surrounding the church and how Peter preached the first sermon in history addressing the people of the new church. He was incredibly committed to the mission of God on earth and it was not long before more than 5000 people were brought to know the Lord and were indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Of course, baptisms were happening and the Good News of Jesus Christ was beginning to spread throughout the area.
There are all kinds of interesting stories about the infancy of the church and how the remaining disciples (all except Judas) were involved in the early church. One of the first orders of business was to determine who would take over for Judas since he had betrayed Jesus and died soon thereafter. The apostles decided to cast lots to fill the position. They had two men and asked God to choose between them. As the Scripture tells us, the lot fell to Matthias and he joined the remaining 11. However, there is an important lesson to be learned here.
Apparently the apostles hadn’t really invoked God’s will for filling the vacancy. Although the lot fell to Matthias, this is the last time we ever hear his name mentioned. I guess God wasn’t all that interested in working through Matthias. So in their haste to fill what they perceived to be an opening, the disciples failed to listen for the quiet whisper of God – and that’s a mistake that many of us are guilty of today.
Yes, it is important to act out our faith – but that includes consulting God on what He would have us do and not running headstrong into what we think is correct – especially when it is not in accordance with God. We have a prime illustration in the story of the choosing of Matthias. The verse for tonight is from the Acts Acts 1:23-26, “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.”
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to act our our faith – just like the apostles did. My prayer is that you will consult the Father and make sure that you are in alignment with His desire. Have a great day in the Lord, and act out your faith! Grace and peace…