Bible Reference: Acts 1:23–25
Translation: Good News Bible (GNB)
Bible Text: So they proposed two men: Joseph, who was called Barsabbas (also known as Justus), and Matthias. Then they prayed, “Lord, you know the thoughts of everyone, so show us which of these two you have chosen to serve as an apostle in the place of Judas, who left to go to the place where he belongs.”
OBSERVATION: Often we will see so many earthly distractions and evils coming into play with godly decisions, that it becomes very challenging for mere man to make a decision that pleases God. However, in our Scripture today, we see how the disciples made their decision for the replacement of Judas. I believe that all followers of Christ would prefer to make decisions pleasing to God, so let us meditate and seek God’s perfect will for our decisions today.
APPLICATION: Too often we make personal decisions based on our selfish desires, wants, passion, and from a heart of envy for what others might have. Unfortunately, there are persons who make up the leadership of our local churches that are challenged with this same issue, but these are also the fathers and mothers in our homes and in our local businesses that take care of us. Therefore. we must realize that when it comes time to make decisions, sometimes very critical ones, these individuals may revert to the same earthly methods for making decisions about God’s work through the church. God’s Word was specifically provided to us so that we may discern truth and wisdom from it, and use it as a guide on how God expects us to live today. I love the way that the disciples approached this matter in prayer when they admitted to God that He knows the thoughts and hearts of the two men in question and that they (the disciples) didn’t. That God knew which one should serve as a disciple to replace Judas, and they didn’t. Friends, this is a simple truth that we should always adhere to, for we are too apt to apply our personal desires and preferences to a candidate, where God can point us to the one who has a heart like Him and who will serve to represent Him in truth at all times. Let us therefore set aside personal preferences and seek God’s perfect will in our decision making, whether at church or at home, work or anywhere we are called on to help make decisions. An important part of this, is to consider what made the disciples any different to us. I might remind you that the disciples spent valuable time with the Lord. They walked along the same roads that He did; They witnessed many of the miracles that He did; They saw the difference that He made in their lives in turning them around from fishermen, tax-collectors, etc to followers of the Son of God. So what prepares you and I for drawing closer to God? May I suggest that the following things may help: perhaps you might open up yourself to understand the heart and mind of Christ By praying to Him and inviting Him to speak very clearly to you; Perhaps when you prepare yourself before reading His Word, you might understand His intention and His will as you meditate on the Word; Perhaps as you sit in church or Bible study prepared to hear the Word proclaimed and explained, God might speak direct truth to You to prepare you for the challenges of the day. Friends, I believe that what I am saying to you today is that the pastor cannot draw you closer to God, nor can your parents, or your spouse, for drawing close to God is an individual desire of each person that is followed by action by the individual alone. It’s a personal experience, desire and action that takes place when prompted by the Holy Spirit and followed through in obedience by the individual with the Father. Have you been that deliberate my friend? If not, do you feel that God would possibly lead you towards deeper truths or in seeing His works all around you? Take, for example, in the case of my wife, I saw her beauty, wanted to know her better, made every effort to place myself in her presence and communicate with her, then asked her to marry me so that I could know her even better. Does that sound like your relationship with Jesus Christ? If not, why do you suppose that He would think you are serious about having Him help you make right decisions? My dear friend, draw close to God, and watch how He will draw close to You and work miracles in your life, and all around you!
PRAYER: Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, see all the worlds thy hands have made… I stand in awe precious Lord that You would reach down in love to help me make it through every circumstance of life. Thank You Lord, for hearing my cry; for leading me thru the path to righteousness, and pointing me in and through a day filled with opportunities to share Your love with others. Lord You are, more precious than diamonds, and nothing – yes nothing, I desire more, than knowing that You are guiding and directing my daily path, so that others might be drawn to a closer walk with you. Please Lord, hear my cry, and the hearts and desires of each reader who might meditate on this devotional today. Only You can make a difference in our lives, so that we, in true, may make a difference to those that we come into contact with today. We are your vessels dear Lord, please fill us, lead us and use us to fulfill Your will here on earth. AMEN!