FACING DIFFICULT DECISIONS
ACTS: CHURCH 101
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN ACTS 1?
Acts 1:7 (NIV) He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
“Why did Jesus leave in that fashion?”
Acts 1:12 (NIV) Then they [the Eleven] returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city [between 3/5 and 2/3 of a mile]. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.
- Stay OBEDIENT. 1:12-13
What had Jesus told these apostles to do? Acts 1:4 (NIV) “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift My Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 1:14 (NASB) These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
- Stay UNITED. 1:14
- They were of “one mind.”
Romans 15:5 (NIV) May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 4:1 (NASB) Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Keep your commitment to the person of Christ.
Make a commitment not to withdraw love.
Romans 12:16 (NASB) Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Philippians 2:1 (NASB) Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
- They “were continually devoting themselves to prayer.”
- EVALUATE the decision with Scripture. 1:15-20
Acts 1:15 (NIV) In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus - 17 he was one of our number and shared in this ministry."
Acts 1:18 (With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
Acts 1:20 “For,” said Peter, "it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,' and, ‘May another take his place of leadership.’”
- Set out Biblical GUARDRAILS (guidelines) Acts 1:21-24
Acts 1:21 (NIV) “Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection." 23 So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.
Acts 1:24 (NIV) Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two You have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.”
Acts 1:26 (NIV) Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.
- MAKE the decision and get on with it. 1:26
Proverbs 16:33 (NIV) The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.
Proverbs 18:18 (NIV) Casting the lot settles disputes and keeps strong opponents apart.
When all these parameters are used, any decision wholeheartedly pursued will be the right one.
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