Summary: Some of you want to hit the “reset” button in life. Perhaps you need to start over because of a really bad semester of school. You're coming out of a bad job situation or marriage, and you want to hit the reset button.
Matt is a surveyor for a land development firm. He has designs on going back to college. He started his family when he was young and didn’t have time to take but a couple of courses at night. Yet, the kids are moving on with their lives and he’s been wondering what God wants him to do with the second half of his life. Matt has been attending a small church of about 120 people or so, when the church’s pastor, announces they need a new missionary. The pastor tells the few people present to pick a number and write it down because he’s going to roll the dice on the table upfront. Sure enough, the dice point to Matt. He’s the church’s newest missionary! This story is a “mostly” true story. Instead of Matt, the young man’s name is Matthias and you can read it in Acts 1.
Just weeks away from the resurrection and literally hours from Jesus’ ascension to heaven… Judas had deserted the Twelve weeks before, and they only now set about to identify his replacement. So the larger group of disciples had gathered together and they put forward two from the approximately 120: Joseph called Barsabbas (not Barabbas who Pilate released in Jesus’ place) and Matthias.
Today, I want to focus your next few moments on the intersection of God’s Will and God’s mission. … at the intersection of God’s Will and God’s mission. What is God’s will for my life? God has a will and a purpose for your life.
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. 15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “ ‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’; and “‘Let another take his office.’ 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” (Acts 1:12–26)
We continue our study of the book of Acts today. For believers, one of the most common questions we ask of our lives and of our Lord is this: what’s God’s will for my life. Again, I want to focus on the intersection of God’s Will and God’s mission. Understanding and discerning God’s will for your life can be so difficult. Is finding God’s will in real-time, like -ife version of an Easter Egg hunt? God is in heaven and we’re down here on earth hunting to discover His will. At times, we feel like we ask the “silent heavens,” “God, do you have a plan for my life? How do I find your will for my life? And how far off from Your plan am I currently?” While He sits above saying, “You’re getting colder. You’re getting warmer.” The Scripture is clear that God has a desire or there’s choice you can and should make that please Him.
The famous Psalm 23 talks about God’s will: “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3). Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34). Jesus taught us to pray: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Even Jesus asked God the Father: And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).