Summary: The disciples were faced with quite a dilemna. Leader gone, huge task, uncertainty filling their hearts. What should they do?
Passage: Acts 1:12-26
Intro: Have you ever been excited and terrified at the same time? Walking along and see this…
PP Roller coaster pictures.
1. we have a choice as to what is going to grip us; the fear or the anticipation
2. saw last week that Jesus’ disciples given a huge task.
3. they were anticipating perhaps the return of political/military power to Israel
PP Acts 1:8 “you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth.” Wow!
5. change of plans on a colossal scale!
6. then Jesus ascended to the throne and left them alone with their instructions
7. imagine them walking the 2/3rds of a mile back to Jerusalem and up the stairs to their room.
8. they may have stood there and stared at each other in silence. They needed help! And they got it from the same sources available to us as we continue the ministry of Jesus Christ thousands of years later. Steps they took!
I. They Tuned Their Hearts to God’s
1. we typically think of prayer as telling God what we want and need
2. and no doubt we are called to do that.
3. but the example of Jesus was to pray so that His heart would be tuned in submission to the heart of God.
PP Luke 22:42
4. these disciples and their believing friends began to pray.
5. v14, two Greek words describe their praying, mean “steadfastly” and “with one mind and purpose”
6. we can’t underestimate the crisis nature of this situation. They needed to tune their hearts to the heart of God!
7. don’t forget they were only a few minutes away from “Lord, is this when you restore the kingdom to Israel, with us as the rulers?”
8. that door had closed, and the task they had received was a huge unknown.
9. and yet there was great joy, because they knew beyond any doubt that their Lord had died for sins and risen to life.
10. they knew that they possessed great news, the solution to the human condition through the finished work of Jesus Christ.
11. they had with them Jesus’ brothers, who had been skeptics but now believed
PP John 7:5
11. so through prayer their heart became tuned to God’s, the priorities of God, the joy of God in the working out of His plan to save His children.
Il) Dale and I tune guitars to each other, but one of us has tuned to a machine.
12. prayer was a huge transition to go from their own plans to God’s plan
13. we should pray not so that God will answer by writing on the wall, but that our hearts will be tuned to His.
II. They Found Their Biblical Footing
1. v15, “in those days”, so a period of time between Ascension and Pentecost.
2. still praying, still seeking to tune their hearts, but they accessed a compatible resource.
3. Peter is led to put together some Scripture to discover God’s plan in the circumstances.
4. OT references to Judas’ betrayal from Psalms. Somewhat obscure until the event took place. So was Isaiah 53!
5. Jesus as well had prophesied Judas’ betrayal
6. so Peter found comfort that Judas’ stunning betrayal was prophesied and therefore part of God’s plan
7. and at the same time, his demise was also consistent with the terrible end of the wicked.
8. some difficulty with Matthew passage, but best possible harmonization is that Pharisees used “his” money to buy field, where he hung himself and perhaps either the rope broke and the fall killed him, or he was dead and body fell to a gory end.
9. OT, abusive disposition of body=God’s curse
10. but his betrayal and death created a problem, for Jesus had prophesied that 12 apostles would sit on the throne judging Israel.
11. twelve is an important number in the Bible, and Jesus had originally chosen 12
12. so based on the Biblical record applied to the situation, decisions needed to be made.
13. do you see the process?
14. Peter led the group is finding themselves in the Word of God.
15. what are the Scriptures that apply to this particular situation.
16. the principle is instructive.
17. they went to the Word to chart their course, they sought the heart of God in prayer and the mind of God in His Word.
18. God’s will allegedly found in prayer will never contradict His Word.
III. They Took Faithful Action
1. with the light they had received from prayer and the word, they took action
2. principle is this: the revelation of God demands a response of faith expressed in action. “It is necessary”