Experience - Day 6

Acts 2:21-25 NLT

21 “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus— 22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.” 23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen 25 as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.

I’m sure every single one of us reading this thought today has a story about being chosen, or being overlooked, or we’ve heard plenty of those kinds of stories. I have my own, from little league, to varsity sports, and even to speaking opportunities I felt called to give but in the end, got overlooked. But there are several aspects to today’s passage that give me reason to have courage.

One, I’m encouraged by how many there were that, though not chosen to be a part of the original 12 disciples, continued to remain as close to Jesus as possible. They were never rejected by him, mind you, there were just so many Jesus could invest in at once. So here was a group of people, 120 according to Luke, who were also followers of Jesus. We don’t know if Peter refers to all of them when he says “we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time,” or just a few, but either way, I’m
encouraged they had a good number of devoted followers to choose from.

Two, I’m encouraged that this group of leaders didn’t seem to fight over names, but chose in one spirit to nominate two worthy individuals, and after praying about it and casting lots (a process that involved throwing stones to see how they landed, trusting God for the outcome), they graciously accepted and moved forward to continue the work of the gospel.

In our world, our churches, there is so much fighting. Everyone wants their voice heard, yes, but they also want their voice to win the day. Churches split over a difference of opinion, or belief, or practice, and because of this, not only is there damage done to that local body of Christ, there are people that don’t get to hear the gospel because Jesus followers were fighting among themselves.

The devil doesn’t care what you’re focused on, as long as it’s not Jesus. I pray that our communities could have the Spirit of the apostles in this part of the Jesus movement. They were humble, honest, and they put the good of the community ahead of their own. May we have the courage to do the same so that the gospel may advance, so people may come to see Jesus more clearly, and so that we may be empowered to continue to lovewell.

1. Have you ever been involved in, or witnessed, a painful battle between
believers? What was the outcome? Were those that were hurt reached
out to and reconciled with, or left behind?
2. How can you and I avoid these types of division in the body of Christ?
3. Spend some time today praying for unity in the church, and that the
followers of Christ could have the courage to lay their lives down for the
sake of Jesus and his church?

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

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1 Comment

Doyle - April 5th, 2024 at 9:38am

As a young, uncoordinated person I was not athletic to say the least. Now as a senior citizen with health issues I often continue to choose the position of “left-out” when it comes to competitive sports. Thankfully, throughout my life I have been blessed with others in my proximity who have included me in just for fun events.