Acts 1

Author:

Rob Schultz

Scripture:

Acts 1:1-26

Observations:

Luke is writing a 2nd book to Theophilus Luke references his former book's purpose of describing to Theophilus what Jesus did and taught before being taken up to heaven Luke starts his Book capturing Jesus last days with the Apostles after his "suffering" (crucifixion) & resurrection until Jesus' ascension 40 days later. The day Jesus ascends he commands the Apostles not to leave Jerusalem because in a few days they would receive the Holy Spirit They knew about the Holy Spirit because they heard Jesus speak about the Spirit before The Apostles ask Jesus if this would finally be the time that He restores the long awaited Kingdom to Israel Jesus tells the Apostles it's "none of your business" what date/times this would happen... ... and then he redirects their focus from "the great coming" to "the great commission" The Apostles will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes and they will be witnesses in Jerusalem, through out Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth Right after speaking those words Jesus is "taken up" as the Apostles watch until a cloud hides him "Suddenly" two men dressed in white appear and tell them that Jesus will return in the same way Luke then informs Theophilus that all this took place on the Mt. of Olives and then the disciples return to Jerusalem They return to an "upstairs room" that the 11 Apostles (minus Judas), the women, Mary and Jesus' brothers are staying They joined together in constant prayer All together there were 120 believers Peter stands before the believers and states Judas' betrayal was according to Scripture (Psalm 69:25 & 109:8) and someone should take his place of leadership


Luke then inserts a side note that Judas took the money he received for betraying Jesus and bought a field where "he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out" Peter states that "nominees" need to be disciples that had been with them from the time of John's baptism to Jesus' ascension to join them as witnesses of the resurrection "They" nominate two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias "They" prayed for God to sovereignly choose who should replace Judas through their casting of lots Lot went to Matthias and he was added to the 11 Apostles

Application:

Like the disciples I'm curious when Jesus is returning and fully establishing & restoring His reign yet Jesus is more concerned with his disciples being witnesses and making disciples to the ends of the earth. We also have the Holy Spirit's power to witness today. From prayer meetings throughout the week to spontaneous prayer sessions that lasted hours, I've tasted the sweetness and fruit from joining constantly in prayer with others. How can corporate prayer with others be more of a rhythm in my life today? Peter's prerequisite for a disciple being worthy of an Apostle was not knowledge, gifting, skills, degrees, etc. but that he was "with us" and our master (rabbi). I need to remember that so much of discipleship is caught vs. taught and therefore it's the relational "with us" life that I see how to follow Jesus in others and others can see, hear and feel what following Jesus looks like by my witness and way of life

Prayer:

Risen Lord, thank you for this day to worship you as King of Kings. I confess that I can get distracted by the unimportant or less important things. May my heart, mind and strength be empowered by your Spirit today to be your witness. My I witness by serving others, listening well to others and may I witness with my words. Lord, I've been somewhat silent about you recently to non-Christians. Open the door this week to help be boldly witness about you and what you're doing in my life.
Spirit, take my mind, my affections, my eyes, my feet, my hands, my ears, my voice and use me to bear witness to the resurrection today as I make disciples... whether through a simple text or email or face-to-face walking with someone. Spirit, ignite me and unite me to pray with others with the expectation and anticipation that you are drawing the lost around us to Jesus. From Stay & Play to Trinity's new street ministry.... from Gateway to our neighbors and co-workers, may we bear witness to your goodness and what your Kingdom's all about. In Jesus' name.

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Jim Asselin wrote:
Thanks Rob. I saw that in v3 Luke tells us that Jesus spoke to them over the 40 days concerning the Kingdom of God. This reminded me that Amazingly, a new era has been ushered in, God now oversees our hearts and our focus can be higher, deeper, wider, more purposeful with this Kingdom mindset that the Holy Spirit gives us. My concerns in this life revolve too much around the paltry,and the immediate. God, give me a more eternal reality today so that the noise around me decreases and what really matters is presented to me, and then comes from me. Let's do some Kingdom preparation today.

Wed, February 4, 2015 @ 6:12 AM

2. Rob Schulze wrote:
Amen Jim!!

Thu, February 5, 2015 @ 4:44 AM

3. Phil Payne wrote:
Observations:

1. Jesus is alive. For forty days he was present with the disciples, giving them many proofs and teaching them about the Kingdom of God. This evidence was convincing – not just to the closest disciples who remained together (vs 12), but to over 100 others who gathered with them (v 19). The company of believers now includes Jesus’s brothers, who had
previously scoffed and attempted to take him into protective custody, saying that he has out of his mind (Mark 4:21)

2. The disciples were eager for the Kingdom of God to come to Israel. That was their greatest hope and goal. They had expected Jesus to bring this Kingdom a few weeks ago, before he suffered on the cross. So after His resurrection they ask again- is NOW the time? He tells them NO, not now, that only our Heavenly Father knows when . Their job is to be His witness throughout the world; then the Kingdom of God will come to Israel. Their power for witness and ministry will come from immersion (Greek – baptize) in the Holy Spirit (vs 5, 8). They are to wait a few days.

3. Jesus ascends to heaven – but He is coming back. Attending angels tell the disciples that He will return out of heaven, first appearing among the clouds and then descending to the earth. He had previously told the disciples they should ignore the future Christ-pretenders - those who claim to be Him – because they will come in an other way. (Luke 21:8)

4. The church begins as the approx. 120 disciples wait together, in unity, and devote themselves to prayer. Peter emerges as the leader. What is remarkable here, now different from Jewish practice of the time, is that the men and women are gathered together for prayer as equal heirs of Christ. This is quite a contrast from the contempt that some disciples had toward these women in Luke 24:11, dismissing their witness as an idle tale.

5. Matthias is appointed as a new disciple, replacing Judas the traitor. His appointment was made by the church (those gathered) AND the Holy Spirit, which controlled the drawing of lots. (This was before Pentecost; Today the church does not require physical signs to understand the will of God, because the Holy Spirit speaks directly into our thoughts.)

The first requirement for leadership in the church was proven spiritual maturity. Matthias had been with Jesus since the beginning, and the leading apostles knew him well. But human judgment alone was not sufficient. Peter was keenly aware that Judas the traitor would have fulfilled the same criteria – and the other disciples had failed to discern the evil in his heart. So they ask God – who sees into our hearts – to inform them which nominee is best.

Applications:

1. Our congregation will be choosing new officers in a few days and Trinity’s practice is to post nominee’s names in advance so that I and the church can pray, asking the Holy Spirit to direct the intentions of our heart as we vote. Infrequently, the Holy Spirit has spoken a clear NO. In church governance we should seek the Holy Spirit’s wisdom first, neither quarreling in disunity nor giving fallible human leaders a blank check.

2. The inclusion of women as co-heirs of Christ is my example. Am I careful to treat my sisters with respect and honor due Christ? Do I treat ALL of our assembly with the same respect and honor, not regarding social distinctions or barriers? Do I recognize the Church as one body, so that I embrace those who worship in different ways, provided their theology is grounded in the Bible?

Let me give an example. Although my personal practice does not include the Pentecostal norm of speaking or singing in a spiritual language, I have learned important lessons about spiritual growth at conferences led by Pentecostal teachers or writers, and have received personal healing / deliverance as the Holy Spirit worked during a Pentecostal brother’s prayer-song.

Thu, February 5, 2015 @ 7:43 AM

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