Summary: We must pray and plan, as we trust God's providence. When we obey, pray and stay, God will make a way.
Decision Making and the Will of God
Rev. Brian Bill
September 28-29, 2019
Play WHBF Story About Ruth Darr
Ruth has been a member here for about six years and has invited many people to gather with her. I can think of at least 5 people at Edgewood today because of her.
Shortly after this story aired on WHBF, Ray’s mom Michelle sent me a link to the video along with a note. I have her permission to read it – “This is my son & one of your members. She has helped Ray so much when his grandma passed away. She is who he talks to when he feels down. I’m going thru treatment with cancer tumors and we are a close [k]nit family…I’m so blessed to add her [to our family]!!”
We put Ray and Michelle’s names up on the wall in the worship center in the hopes that we can add them to our faith family.
Ruth is living on mission by BLESSing those she comes in contact with. Many of you are doing the same by following this simple acrostic (we have additional bookmarks available in the lobby).
Begin with prayer
Listen for hurts and needs
Serve in practical ways
Share the story of Jesus
Have you ever stopped to think about how many decisions you make every day?
Some decisions are really easy like the one I made when a friend asked if I wanted some free Packers tickets for the game Thursday night. When I called my dad to see if he wanted to go with me, he immediately replied, “Let’s do it.” When I asked if he needed to check with my mom and his calendar, he said, “Why? I’m going to the Packers game!”
Last weekend we learned this from Acts 1:6-11: We’re called to witness where we are, but not stay where we are. We celebrated how God uses Edgewood to get the gospel out to our community, to our counties, to our country and to the continents.
As we continue in our “On Mission” journey through the Book of Acts, our topic today is “Decision Making and the Will of God” from Acts 1:12-26.
Here’s what we’re going to discover: We must pray and plan, as we trust God’s providence. I see four details from this passage that will help us make wise decisions.
1. Obey immediately. After Jesus commissioned these first followers to be His witnesses, they watched as He ascended into Heaven. Since they were told to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit we see in verse 12 they immediately obeyed: “Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.” A “Sabbath day’s journey” is a technical term referring to a bit more than a half-mile, which was the distance the tribes would have to travel for worship at the tabernacle while they were in the wilderness.
Luke 24:52 gives us a sense of their mood: “And they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.” Olivet, also called the Mount of Olives, is significant in the Scriptures. In Ezekiel 11:23-24 the glory of God departed from the temple and eventually ascended back to heaven from the Mount of Olives: “And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city…then the vision that I had seen went up from me.” Just moments earlier, the disciples witnessed the Glorious One ascend into heaven from this same mountain.
The Mount of Olives is where Jesus agonized in prayer. As we anticipate the second coming of Christ, Zechariah 14:4 describes what and where this will happen: “On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.”
Immediate obedience is the most important part of our discipleship. How are you doing at obeying? Is there something you’ve been putting off? Remember this: Delayed obedience is disobedience.
Some of us may be seeking to know God’s will about something while not obeying the will of God we already know. For instance, the Bible is clear God’s will is our sanctification and sexual purity according to 1 Thessalonians 4:3: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality.” God wants us to gather, to grow, to give and to go with the gospel. Let’s be like David who declared in Psalm 40:8: “I delight to do your will, O my God.”